During the course of a construction project, you might introduce certain modifications to the original plans. When this happens, you can use a change order template to explain in a professional manner why a certain work gets introduced, changed or removed from the original agreement or contract made by the parties.

Change Order Templates

What is a change order form?

A change order template is a written order made by a client with the intent to make modifications in the scope of work of the original contract. This document describes the new work that you need to accomplish or deleted, the effect on the budget, and the modified schedule for the completion of the project.

Construction change order forms are very common, especially in large construction projects. On average, there could be as many as a hundred of these orders for every large project. A change order form in the original plans for the project can come from several factors. Either you or your client use this document and decides what changes to make for the completion of the project.

Change orders or “modification orders” follow contract laws. This means that the orders should meet all of the requirements of the original agreement and that you must refer the contract back to them. Generally, all signatories to the contract should agree on the contract change order template. But there can be some exceptions. For instance, when the changes are in line with the contractor’s changes clause, the client can just enforce the changes.

Change Order Forms

What is a change order request in construction?

In the project construction and management business, a construction change order form is an integral part of the change management process wherein the scope of work agreed upon by the contractor, client, and architect get implemented. With a contract change order template, work is either added or removed from the original contract.

This can have an effect on the original contract completion date or the budget. The change order may even force a new project to deal with significant changes to the existing project. Change orders templates are very common in every construction project, especially the large scale ones.

It’s not rare that after the completion of the original scope of a project including the work to accomplish and the total budget, a client may change his mind and decide that this original plan doesn’t best represent his definition for the final project. As such, the client may suggest an alternative approach.

Why do you need a change order template?

Change orders can become a problem, especially in large and complex projects that should have ended on a specified date. Documenting each change and remaining organized can already feel like a full-time job by itself. However, if there is an efficient and streamlined process meant to handle change order forms, this can save resources, time, and help minimize the likelihood of issues. Here are some reasons why you need this document:

  • For the customer
    Of course, since the customer pays for the work, they have a right to have it done to their liking. Often, customers aren’t even aware that small changes may result in more labor, costs, and materials. They have the tendency to just informally ask you to make the changes.
  • For the contractor
    All contractors and subcontractors know that any changes in plans requested by the client can cost money. What might seem like a minor change can actually be an expensive and complicated issue to deal with in the job site. The best way to deal with these changes is through a change order form done in writing. At the end of the day, you aren’t paid for the work you perform but for the work you document.

Construction Change Order Forms

How do you write a change order?

Both contractors and clients involved in construction will generally deal with modifications in the original plan of a project. It is typically the client who changes his mind in the course of the project. For this, you must require the client to sign a change order template, and in most cases, the client should pay a fee. The rules and procedures of how to carry out change orders appear in the construction agreement between you and the client. Here are some steps for writing a change order:

  • Review the original contract
    Before creating a change order form, you must first review the contract with your client to make sure you follow the written procedures included in it. A change order specifies that the client wants a specific part of the project performed differently which entails purchasing new materials and services.
  • Determine if you need a change order
    When the client makes a request to change something, you have to determine first if you can still change the issue or if it’s too late. You should also determine if such the change needs a change order template because there might be some activities that aren’t significant enough to require this document.
  • Date the contract change order template
    Use a spreadsheet or word-processing program to create your form. Give the document an appropriate title and provide the date of the request.
  • Provide a description of the change
    Describe in a detailed fashion what change you need to make. Include the type of work needed to accomplish the change and the materials. Also, include a description of any information you have to remember.
  • Include the cost
    It is a standard operating procedure to charge an extra fee simply for changing something and in addition to that, you would also charge the difference in cost to the client.
  • Get the necessary signatures for the form
    This dated document must have signatures from both yourself (as the contractor) and the client. You should include the document in the client’s file and it serves as a legal contract.

How do I change the order of a word?

For clients, it is a recommendation to make a change order informing the contractor or the project manager about changes you want in a project. Include with the change order the original contract documents, expectations, and revised plans to make it easier for the contractor to do his work. Change orders can serve several purposes, such as a change in the project’s time frame, a change in the project’s scope, a change in the management process, and so on.

Aside from the nature of the change that you want in an ongoing construction or project, it’s always advised to have and use a blank change order template. With this, you can communicate expected changes in a more organized manner without leaving room for confusion.

Contractor Change Order Templates

Tips for managing change orders

The use of a proper change order procedure can help minimize a lot of issues. For one, change orders can create a record of additional services the client requests for along with the increases in cost. It’s a good practice to get everything in writing and in some jurisdictions, this can even be a legal requirement.

Furthermore, should there be a misunderstanding concerning work and pricing, a written change order that’s properly-executed can become part of the contract. Here are some of the best practices to make the change order procedure easier:

  • Plan ahead
    If you can perform some pre-construction due diligence, this can go a long way in easing the process of handling change orders. You can start reviewing all of the plans and specifications beforehand to reduce the amount and need for change orders needed to successfully complete the project. The review also allows you to identify any areas or tasks of uncertainty along with the risks associated with them. This allows you to anticipate any changes later on.
  • Use a change order template
    Paperwork in the construction business can be a serious problem. Each project involves different suppliers, contractors, and subcontractors. All of these people have their own versions of terms and forms. Using a standardized template for all these groups can save more money and time during the evaluation process while speeding up approvals too.
  • Include photos and detailed information
    When making a request for changes, make sure that it’s easy and quick to evaluate. You can do this by providing enough details to explain the situation well. A good change order should also include the proposed cost and any effects that the change has on the schedule. The best way to do this is by providing supporting evidence that can be in the form of updated specifications, daily reports, photographs or marked-up plans.
  • Have written approvals
    One of the major causes of financial losses are the unapproved change orders and because of this, it’s essential that you do all approvals in writing. You should always instruct your crew not to do anything until the change order received approval in writing. This includes the ordering of materials or even the scheduling of work.
  • Communicate
    Having open communication channels can promote transparency to keep everyone on the same page. For instance, if a change order has received approval, contractors can then reach out to their suppliers and subcontractors to discuss the necessary adjustments needed for the sequencing, allocation, and scheduling of materials.