E286: Ask Coach – Change Order Requests

Change orders can create sticky situations with our best clients.

  1. The challenge
    1. Changes will happen
    2. We don’t want a bad rep for asking for too many changes
    3. We don’t want to give away our profits
      1. There is a fine line to balance here
  2. Types of changes
    1. Unknown / unforeseen conditions
    2. Added scope due to design errors or omissions
    3. Added scope due to Owner request
    4. Added scope due to contractor error
    5. Some are easier for your client to accept since some they expect – what about the others?
  3. Handle them properly and fairly
    1. price everything and let your client know – you don’t have to get a change order for all but at least let them know
    2. Build in a contingency up front if you can
    3. Balance the budget with offsetting value engineering

Key Questions:

  1. Do you price all changes?

  2. Do you build in a contingency?

  3. How can you use your change order management to your advantage?

  4. How can you improve it?

Take-Action Items:

  1. Price everything and tell your client aware

  2. Create contingencies up front

  3. Promote your management



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