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The Remodeling Change Order

One of the biggest fears homeowners have about remodeling and contractors are change orders. Changes are a normal part of any home improvement project. A reputable contractor will not take advantage of you with unmerited change orders. Also, if you are presented with change orders for work not requested, do not just sign off. Most contracts state that no additional work shall be performed without a valid change order.
Here are some typical situations where change orders apply:
1. Documentation of a pre-existing field conditions.
2. Deviations from the plans or specifications due to code requirements or measurement discrepancies.
3. Material, fixture, or finish upgrades requested by owner.
4. Plan changes.
5. Additional work requested by owner.
A word of caution. Be wary of a home remodeler that comes in with a low price. Some contractors intentionally undercut bidders knowing that they will use change orders as a means generating more profit during the course of work. Ask for references, so you can ask them if the original contract price was honored.
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Gregg Cantor, a third generation contractor and owner of Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel has successfully remodeled thousands of homes in San Diego County. Gregg's is experienced in all phases of construction and home remodeling including design development, project management, best building practices, code requirements, and contract law. He also writes articles for examiner.com and is co-host of The Home Pro Show Saturday's at 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on A.M.600 KOGO San Diego. Follow Gregg's posts.

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