A change order can often be an unwelcome part of your construction project—sometimes adding unexpected time and expense to your build. However, there are ways, to limit change orders on your next construction project, which will help you manage costs from the start and see the project through to completion as seamlessly as possible. If you’re looking to keep your next construction project on track and within budget, here are 5 ways to limit change orders.
What is a change order?
A change order is a request from the contractor to the owner to make changes to the scope of work. Change orders can be used to add or delete work, change the schedule, or change the price. Change orders should be approved by the owner before work begins. Change orders are one of the biggest reasons for delays and cost overruns on condos and other construction projects, especially when it comes to managing multiple contractors.
- Reducing Change Orders: Planning and communication with the client.
As a construction professional, you know that change orders are a fact of life. No matter how well you plan and communicate with your client, there will always be changes that come up during a project. While you can't eliminate change orders, there are some things you can do to reduce their frequency.
One of the most important things you can do is to have clear and concise communication with your client from the very beginning. Make sure they understand what they are getting into and what your expectations are. If you think there might be disagreements, talk about them right away so there are no surprises later.
Another important factor is to make sure that your project plans are as detailed and accurate as possible. The more information you have upfront, the less likely it is that changes will be needed later. This means taking the time to do your homework and research every aspect of the project before getting started. For instance, if you are constructing condos, make sure you provide the client with all the details of the pros and cons of the project while clearing out anything that could cause major impact after a change order.
Finally, try to build some flexibility into your plans. Allow for some wiggle room in your budget and timelines so that small changes can be accommodated without major disruptions. By being flexible, you'll be better able to deal with the inevitable changes that come up during any construction project.
- Communication with the project team.
Another way to limit change orders is to ensure that there is good communication with the project team. All team members should be aware of the project scope and schedule and should understand any changes that are made. By keeping everyone on the same page, you can avoid surprises and reduce the likelihood of change orders.
It's also important to document everything related to the project. This includes drawing up contracts that clearly define the scope of work, as well as maintaining detailed records of all communications and decisions. Having a paper trail can help to prevent disputes and misunderstandings that could lead to change orders down the road.
If you're able to effectively communicate with the project team and keep good records, you'll be in a good position to limit change orders on your construction project.
- Clear agreement on Drawings
As the saying goes, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." In other words, it's easier to avoid problems than it is to fix them once they've already occurred. This is especially true in the condo construction industry, where change orders can quickly eat into your profits.
One of the best ways to avoid costly change orders is to make sure that a condo's drawings are complete and in agreement with the client before starting the job. By taking this precautionary measure, you can be confident that everyone is on the same page from the beginning and that there will be no surprises down the road.
- Solicit multiple bids
By solicit multiple bids for your project, this allows you to compare pricing and find the most accurate estimate for the work that needs to be done. You can also ask for itemized bids so you can see exactly what each contractor is including in their price. Once you have all this information, it's easier to choose which contractors offer the best value. It's also a good idea to look at customer reviews before selecting a company, as this will help you gauge how well they are liked by previous customers.
- Establishing the budget to prevent exceeding cost projections
As the construction project manager, one of your primary goals is to keep the project on budget. Unfortunately, sometimes change orders can cause cost overruns. Here are some tips to help you limit change orders and keep your construction project on budget:
- Communicate with all stakeholders from the beginning about the budget and what costs are included.
- Make sure you have a detailed and accurate estimate for the project before work begins.
- Keep track of all changes that are made during the project, no matter how small.
- Work with your team to come up with creative solutions that meet the customer's needs without exceeding the budget.
- Be prepared to negotiate with contractors when it comes to change orders.
By following these tips, you can help limit change orders and keep your construction project on budget.