So many factors can affect a construction project. This is why it is sometimes necessary to issue change orders, but these orders can also be a major source of conflict. Being prepared for such changes and handling these orders well can potentially prevent arguments between different parties involved with your project. Here’s some advice on how to do that from our seasoned Houston construction litigation lawyers.

What Are Change Orders?

Change orders are changes to the original scope of work. There are many different parties involved in any given construction project, and change orders can throw a wrench in some of their plans. Contractors, subcontractors, and others taking part in the project may not like it when someone asks for a sudden change in their responsibilities or schedule.

Unfortunately, not every reason for a necessary change order is predictable or in the control of anyone involved in a construction project. This means that you have to be prepared to address conflicts as they come up.

What Are Some Common Reasons for Change Orders?

There are a few reasons why change orders may have to be issued. Some common causes include:

Unforeseen issues: This can mean anything from a problem with the materials to bad weather that continually messes with your plans. These conditions may be beyond your control, but how you handle them can make a huge difference.

Client preferences: Sometimes clients have their own ideas about a project and change their mind about something while you are in the middle of work. Keeping your customer happy obviously has to be a top priority, so you should find a way to work with all parties involved in the project to address the client’s needs.

Schedule-related disagreements: It’s important that everyone is on the same schedule, but disagreements about timing and when certain tasks need to be completed can necessitate a more formal order.

How Can I Make Orders and Address Potential Conflicts?

Making change orders is going to be necessary sometimes, so you should go about this in a fair and transparent manner. We recommend that you:

Know how change orders are going to work beforehand: You can avoid many conflicts related to change orders by making sure that everybody knows how they are going to work before the project begins.

Get everything in writing: Handshake deals are lovely and all, but we recommend that you get everything in writing. Whether we’re talking about the initial project parameters or any changes to it, it’s just smart to have a written contract to refer to.

Keep lines of communication open: Do not just issue an order and move on. Communicate with other people on the project. Hear them out and address their concerns.

Contact Our Law Firm Today

If you do still run into conflict on the job site, we may be able to help. Contact Patout & Shaw to schedule a consultation with our team. If we can be of assistance, we’ll get right to work on your case.