In the construction industry, change orders are inevitable. Dealing with changes can be a hassle, but one of the best ways to make change order management a lot easier is to use a standard Google Docs change order template.
Especially when you’re estimating the cost and time frame of a project, there are all kinds of variables that can affect things.
Having a template on hand can save a lot of time, as well as making it easier to communicate clearly with your clients.
Of course, templates aren’t the only option for change order management. Here’s how to determine if using a change order template via Google Docs is your best option.
The Pros of Using Change Order Templates
Using standard document templates, using a cloud service like Google Drive, can bring some useful benefits for project management, and change orders are no exception.
Here are some of the pros of implementing a template.
Accessible to Everyone
Change order templates are a simple way to ensure that the contractor and owner of the project are on the same page. It also helps to reduce disputes and disagreements between them.
The change order form is an agreement between the contractor and the project owner. It is created when there is a need for changes or additions to be made to the original contract, such as additional work or materials.
Making Changes to the Document is Fast & Easy
Change order templates allow owners and contractors to manage changes over the life cycle. These templates need to be flexible to update any new information efficiently.
Templated change order form documents can facilitate better communication between the owner and contractor, which helps avoid misunderstandings. They also can provide more transparency and accountability.
Using a change order form can also help minimize costs or delays because of the change.
A template will help you organize all the information needed for the project, and it will also help you keep track of what is happening on site. This will allow you to avoid mistakes and problems with communication.
Using a Template Saves Time
With a template, everything’s right there as soon as you need it. The template includes spaces for all the necessary information, such as the date, who initiated the difference, what was changed and why it was changed.
It can be used for any project, no matter how big or small, and can be easily adapted for each situation. It saves time because it takes less time to write up a change order than to create one from scratch.
Change orders already delay the process of a project. Since time is money, as a contractor, you can significantly save time by using a template.
It Keeps Everything Organized
Spend a decent amount of time creating a well constructed template. If you are confident in your change order template, they can help keep projects organized. It won’t be spread throughout various documents.
Since you can separate the different change order types, you can consolidate change orders into varying categories to streamline your management process.
By using templates, you know what information is required, making it easier to develop an organized tracking system. It becomes a routine part of your system while saving you time.
Cons for Using Change Order Templates
As we’ve mentioned, a Google Docs change order template is far from your only option for streamlining your change order management. Here are a few of the downsides and drawbacks of templates.
Not All Projects are the Same
Change order templates are a handy tool to capture the details of a change in an easy-to-follow format. However, they can be limited in space and not allow for flexibility in more information. This is because when you’re using a template, you will have to follow the format of the template, no matter what.
A change order template creates an agreement between two parties to allow new changes to an existing project. Construction companies typically use them. A change order usually includes information about the project, the work that needs to be done, and any changes that need to happen, as well as payment and other details.
Unfortunately, since templates are duplicates of information needed, they are not equipped to accommodate all types of projects since they have a standard framework. There’s little room for differentiating.
Some Templates May Be Too Basic for Complex Projects
Often change order templates are a skeletal structure of a standard change order. If you aren’t familiar with using templates, you might be uncertain of all the requirements.
Usually, they do not have enough room for all the details and information. It leaves the possibility for many changes to the template before they can be processed.
Since change orders require signatures and details, you do not want to be sparse when adding elements.
You might need more space for details and, with a template, overlook significant factors, if they aren’t listed.
Do I Need a Change Order Template?
We’ve laid out several pros and cons to using a change order template.
How do you know you need one? If you’re starting out in construction, you might not need them in the early phase of beginning. But for an established company, it can help a lot.
Our recommendation? Please do your research first and get outside input from seasoned contractors on their templates’ information.
Going through a few on your own can help create or tailor one to your needs. It isn’t easy to choose a suitable template if you haven’t had direct experience creating one from scratch. You don’t want to run the risk of missing crucial information.
Spend time gathering notes and insight on how to make a change order and walk through your first one. Have a trusted project manager or fellow contractor look over for holes in the document.
Templates Are Great, But Dedicated Software is Even Better
Using a change order template can be significantly effective in streamlining your workflow and adequately managing projects.
Maybe you’re on the fence about using one template, but what we can confidently recommend is using change order software to simplify the process.
You’ll get a lot more flexibility with dedicated change order software than you would with a simple Excel or Google Sheets template.
If you’re looking for an optimal option for software, Trak Changes has all the features to streamline your change orders.
Tired of change orders being a serious hassle? Try out Trak Changes today!
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