While they may be viewed as an inconvenience by most construction professionals, change orders serve a very important purpose on projects. They also do not have to be the source of stress and anxiety that many people make them out to be. Here are some ways to ensure a smooth change order process from start to finish.
The more documentation you generate to accompany change orders, the more protection you have. Make sure all requests are committed to paper. Also, try to keep communication within the confines of email or text. That way you have backing documentation for any claims that may arise down the line. Once decisions have been made, make sure all contracts are fully signed and authorized before the work takes place. This will prevent others from denying work that was previously agreed upon.
You should also make every effort to keep the change order process moving. Putting off work, whether administrative or on the job, will only delay the decisions that need to be made. There are a lot of steps involved in the process, so the faster you address them, the sooner you can move ahead in the work. To expedite the process even further, make sure you already have a plan for change orders before they even occur.
Finally, make sure all involved are privy to updates to the work being performed. Everyone from owners to subcontractors must be in the loop, both for scheduling as well as to ensure they fully understand their role in the process. The more transparent you are when it comes to change orders, the more your team will be kept informed.