Before starting any construction work, you need to draft a contract for all parties to agree to.
Contracts are legal documents that both parties must sign before the work starts. It is not just a piece of paper that is filed away. It is the foundation for the relationship between two entities.
Changes during construction are an expected occurrence. A construction project, depending on how large, can be challenging to predict the budget and timeline for months.
Your contract becomes more critical when changes in the scope of work or unforeseen circumstances arise. When these changes happen, it is important to document them with a change order.
A contract change order can help with:
- Clarifying what has been agreed to and what has not been agreed to
- Documenting any changes in the scope of work
- Documenting any changes in timing or budget
- Preventing disputes
- Getting contractors paid what they should be paid
However, before any action or changes take place, a proposal for a change order must be made first since it’s a legally-binding document. A Change Order Proposal (COP) is a document prepared and submitted to the General Contractor (or Owner).
You don’t want to make any mistakes while making changes, or you must start the process over. When it comes to construction, time is money, and you don’t want it wasted on rewriting contracts.
Tips for Change Order Proposal
We’ve gathered several tips to help you prepare for the actual change order and submit it to the other participant within the contract. Here are a few tips to make the process effortless!
Start With What Changes are Needed
The construction change order process starts with what changes are needed. The first step in this process is identifying what needs to be changed. The next step in this process is determining who will be affected by the change and how it will affect them.
To change other variables within the agreement, you need to determine the cost, materials, and labor to develop a reasonable timeline.
Create a list first and then discuss it with the other participants. That way, everyone can be on the same page.
Discuss With Other Participants
Construction change orders are a natural part of the construction process. They are not only necessary to adjust to changes in the plans but also to make sure that there is a clear understanding of what is needed for the project.
The first step is to communicate in person to gain a clear understanding of the new perimeters of the project (new costs, for example). This will ensure that everyone has a clear understanding of what needs to be done, and it will also help prevent any miscommunication between team members.
Before you begin drafting a change order, you want to discuss it in person to smooth out any details that require clarification.
Outline Original Specifics
When negotiating a change order proposal, you want to have all the original information in hand to compare to changes. Both parties should have access to them.
It should include all of the details that were used in creating the initial contract, such as:
- The date of the order
- Name of parties involved
- – Why is the change order needed
Organizing all this information for the proposal will make the entire process faster. You don’t want to delay the project with paperwork.
Keep Everything in Writing
Contract change orders are a crucial part of any construction project. They ensure that both the contractor and the owner are on the same page about what will happen in terms of changes to the project. Therefore, make sure all the documentation is in writing.
At a minimum, use email to keep everything in writing, a clear paper trail, and reduce confusion. After an in-person meeting or phone call, follow up with either an email or change order proposal that sums up the changes discussed. These actions provide a timestamp if a delay or information needs to be referenced.
This contract change order template is an example of how a construction company can document all changes to a project in detail
Change order management software from Trak Changes makes changes orders even simpler. Quickly send new change order proposals to your clients outlining the changes, costs associated, and timeline, and they are sent the information electronically to review and sign.
Determine Updated Range for Scheduling
Construction change orders can be challenging to manage because they often require a lot of coordination between different parties. The construction manager needs to communicate with all parties involved and ensure everyone is on board with the new plan.
The construction manager should create a few dates for possible completion and determine an updated range for scheduling based on these dates. This will help them better manage their resources and keep their project on track
Use Change Order Software
The construction change order process is tedious and time-consuming. It is also prone to human error. The construction change order process can be more efficient by using software.
Software can streamline the process and manage all documentation. Change orders can require lots of communication and documentation back and forth, and software like Trak Changes keeps everything under one roof.
You can view software as an investment since it with undoubtedly save you time and money by streamlining the process. Not being organized from the beginning can drastically delay a project. As a contractor, time is money, and while you’re waiting on changes, time is being wasted.
Why Trak Changes?
Trak changes is your solution for a simple tool to manage change orders online. The complexity of change orders is broken into 3 easy steps:
- Fill out a detailed change order form online
- Your client receives an email alert of the change order request
- The client is then able to review the proposal and electronically sign and approve the changes with the click of the button
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