A construction change order is a change in the scope of the original work agreed upon by the construction team and stakeholders.
Construction change orders can range in severity and overall implications. In some cases, a change order can force a complete work stoppage while designers, architects, and construction experts determine how to manage a stakeholder request. In other instances, a construction contractor may discover a flaw in design or an issue with building materials that forces a change to the design or schedule.
Every change order has ramifications, impacting everyone involved with the project including investors, stakeholders, tax payers, contractors, construction employees, designers, and architects.
Think of a change order as a slow-down or interruption in the agreed upon schedule and plan. Any interruption has trickle-down effects, with work stoppages, potential loss of employees, weather implications, delays in opening, and the subsequent payments that must be made regardless of the progress of the construction project.
And yes, there is a link between change orders and construction cost overruns. It is very challenging to manage change order requests and interruptions without experiencing some kind of impact to the budget. Think of how much it costs to update a design, order new materials, extend contracts, or to delay the opening of a new business.
Every change order adds to the complexity and costs of your construction project. At Construction Check™, we want you to have a team behind you who is committed to seeing your project completed on budget.
Change orders happen when key steps in the project estimating, design, evaluation, assessment, and planning stages are overlooked or rushed.
Often stakeholders are competing to secure government or grant funding, inadvertently resulting experienced construction personnel to cut corners or to rush the decision-making process.
It’s important to understand that change orders are not unique. In fact, according to the Independent Project Analysis Group, on average 35% of all construction projects will experience at least one change order.
This highlights why it’s so critical for everyone associated with your construction project to understand why change orders happen and what can be done to prevent change orders.
To prevent construction change orders, make sure the following are part of your construction project:
Remember, there is no such thing as a small construction change order. Every change, regardless of its scope will force delays, cost overruns, and schedule slippage. The more work that is done before the digging starts – the easier it is to identify obstacles and other issues that could lead to problems.
Make sure everyone has the chance to speak up and voice their thoughts on the construction project. You don’t want to learn four weeks into the construction that the design of the new school has overlooked the proximity of the school playground to the street or that the new hospital’s emergency room is too far away from the patient registration and assessment area.
Change orders do not need to be part of your construction project. When you work with an independent team tasked with providing construction project oversight and analysis – you can prevent the errors and omissions that lead to change orders.
When you work with a company like Construction Check™, you can be confident that your project is getting a thorough review and analysis before, during, and after project completion.
Trust the Construction Check™ team to apply our industry experience and proven methods to ensure that the critical steps in construction planning and management are not rushed or skipped.
Learn how Construction Check™ makes sure that change orders and cost overruns are not part of your construction project.
Lee Thomas, MBA is the chairman and CEO of Construction Check™. Lee has over 20 years of hands-on operational process experience under his belt. He is deeply committed to seeing your construction project succeed.