During any remodeling project, we expect there to be changes. We try to be sure that the scope of the work is clearly defined—in writing—from the outset, but there are bound to be things that come up that will require a change in scope.
We handle changes in scope of work upfront and in writing so that there is full agreement on the planned new direction. These changes may alter costs, aesthetics, and function. In some cases, we need design input, and in other cases, we simply need to consult with the various trades to determine cost and schedule impacts. But in all cases, we reach an agreement before the changes take place! This avoids problems down the road.
The changes are written up in the form of a “change order”. There are generally 3 types of changes on any given project; things the homeowner wants to add, things the house itself requires, and adjustments to allowances for finish materials.
Many of our customers love the work we do and want to add things they think of as we go along. That’s always the best kind of change where the customer gets what they want.
Unfortunately sometime the house itself occasionally makes demands that end up as change orders. If we open up a wall and find a cracked soil pipe or termite damage, for example, you will probably want that addressed, though nobody will be too happy about it!
The third type of change order is when the customers have an allowance in the contract that needs to be adjusted to actual purchase costs. There might be an allowance for $5,000 in cabinetry, but the customer only chooses $4,000 worth of cabinetry. A change order would be issued for a credit of $1,000.
In summary we are always very clear about what the changes are, and in writing – in advance along with the exact cost.
How many change orders should you expect?
There is really no way to determine how many changes you might have on a project. That said, the bigger the project, the more complex it is, the more change orders you are likely to see. If a project is small and fairly contained, there will probably be fewer changes.
What should you budget for change orders?
On average, changes typically amount to ten percent of project costs, but that’s just a generalization. We suggest that you go into a contract with a little bit of a pad. For instance, if you have $200,000 to spend, don’t design your project down to the last penny of that budget because you won’t have any wiggle room when you want to add something. In this sense, ten percent is a good average.
The Impact of Change Orders on the Schedule
If there’s a significant schedule impact as a result of a change, we will include that in the change order. For instance, if a change is going to delay completion, we will make sure it’s noted on the change order before you sign.
In conclusion, we do our best to ensure our clients are as well-informed as they can be throughout the process.
Are you thinking about a remodel for your Main Line home? We’d love to show you how we can help! Reach out today and let’s start the conversation.