If a change increases costs or time, it should lead to a change order. Design conflict, preference, and construction dilemmas can all contribute to changes. To learn more about change orders, please see our previously written article where we covered the basics of a change order. Our Florida construction lawyers have a few tips on what you should do while you wait for a change order.
First Things First
Document all stages of your change order and make sure all change orders have been signed off. An unsigned change order could be the difference of you getting paid. Prepare a detailed change order proposal with updated price and schedule requests, include documents showing changes, inform all parties that the delay is “no fault of the contractor”, and then wait.
Know Your Options
If you proceed to work, then you may not get paid for that work. Conversely, if you don’t proceed with work, it could mean a breach of contract and a potential lawsuit. In the meantime, document your file and try to avoid performing work on an unsigned change order.
File a Construction Change Directive
If there is disagreement or delay on the change order, file a construction change directive (“CCD”). A CCD is as a written order that follows a change order prior to agreement on the modifications. A CCD is used when in limbo and when there has been a lack of complete agreement on a change order. Even though the architect is required to prepare the CCD, the contractor can modify that language to state or request to prepare it.
Consult a Construction Lawyer
Agree to a third-party decision-maker, to make on-site determinations. A qualified construction lawyer will be able to assist with a contract that addresses most of the contractor’s concerns.
Construction contracts can be wearisome but there are measures that can be put in place, preferably early in the process, that can make the change order process more manageable.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.