What is a construction change directive? a change order? We will answer this question in a series of posts...

Almost every construction project has changes. Sometimes the client changes his or her mind. Sometimes, there are unforseen conditions. (Change orders are not necessarily bad. Sometimes, it’s a subtraction from the contract amount.) This is not the same as incomplete drawings or a contractor who claims conditions differ from what he or she agreed to do. It’s productive to use AIA documents because of the extensive legal case history that exists. The document is then updated on a regular basis to make sure it is productive and effective. The AIA contracts committee oversees this endeavor and is a diverse bunch representing owners, contractors and architects to make sure it is fair.

Cause and Impacts on a Project

Best Practices

Architect’s standard of care

So what do you do?

In a tripartite structure, the client has a contract individually with the architect and the contractor. NEVER, NEVER use a contractor’s contract without understanding what your rights and obligations are. First, speak to an attorney and take his advice before moving forward. Second, remember that there is a honeymoon period on every project and your relationship with the contractor may change. Also, the obligations with the contract documents need to be spelled out. For instance with renovation work, we recommend a cost plus arrangment with the contractor so the risk of being overcharged is minimized. There will ALWAYS be unforseen conditions and a cost plus contract with transparency is one way to mitigage this and keep delays to a minimum. Delays in construction cost money and that’s why the cheapest bid with the wrong type of compensation system can be more costly that a cost plus agreement. (Part 1)