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Essential Elements in Construction Contracts Part 2

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As we discussed in the last section, when a contractor agrees to work on a construction project, it’s important that they have clearly defined the terms of their agreement with the owner. Without a concise contract, neither the contractor or owner may have a clear understanding of their expectations working on the project, their legal obligations, or their agreement in general. In this section, an Orlando construction attorney will discuss how to implement changes into a contract after it’s been signed by both parties.

Construction Changes

Changes to the scope of work happen frequently on projects for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the owner has issued this change. Maybe there was a design gaffe, force majeure scenario, or an issue during the building process. Regardless, the vast majority of construction changes result in more time and money invested into the project. These changes can also lead to disputes if the original contract failed to clearly define the terms to project changes.

Aligning a Contract With Changes

When a change is necessary, the owner or general contractor must request changes to the contract through a written process called a change order. However, if the contractor and owner cannot agree on the changes needed, the owner may submit a construction change directive instead. If the contractor and owner cannot agree to a change, the information in the original contract may determine the outcome. It’s crucial that the contract articulates ways that a project can seek adjustments or else this can lead to a dispute which can then lead to litigation.

Creating Change Orders

If you need to submit a change order, the change order must satisfy the requirements within the original contract and must be mutually agreed to by both contracting parties. Again, this is why it’s important to have a well-written original contract. With the right foundation in place, the contractor can identify what changes could impact the provisions in the contract, so appropriate amendments can be created and both parties will be satisfied with the adjustments.

In order to successfully submit a change order and have the necessary changes made to a project, the contractor needs to identify what changes to the work will be made along with identifying how these changes will affect issues in the contract like the total price, the deadline, and the work. The success rate of submitting a change order increases exponentially when the original contract is clearly worded and comprehensive.

For more information on essential elements in construction contracts, please read sections three, four, and five.

If you would like to speak with one of our Orlando construction attorneys, please contact us today.

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.