What is a Change Order?

A change order is defined as a form that identifies the changes in the scope of work upon the owner, contractor, and engineer's agreement. This is also referred to as a contract change note and is a term used in project management. Change orders are common in most projects, and they occur if a client decides that the original plans do not represent their vision of a finished project.

How to Create a Change Order

change order template

Considering that change orders are common regardless of the size of the project, it might be best to keep one handy just in case you need it. While this order form is essential for keeping track of the changes that were made for the duration of the project, it needs to be written professionally and comprehensively. To learn how to properly create one, refer to the list of instructions provided below.

1. Anticipate and Take Note of the Possible Changes

Again, changes to a project plan will occur if the work done by the architect and engineer doesn't coincide with the expectation of the owner, and this happens frequently. This is why it is always best to anticipate any possible change in the project and take note of these. This will be a lot easier if you really made an effort in understanding your client by digging deep about what they want to achieve.

2. Review the Project Contract and Determine the Need for a Change Order

Before a contractor will actually initiate a change order, they must ensure that they are following the procedures as written in the legal agreement. Since construction change orders identify the changes that a client wants, this may result in having to use completely different materials. Also, determine if a change order is indeed necessary because there are some things that are considered irrelevant and a change order is no longer needed.

3. Gather the Necessary Details to be Included in the Change Order

A standard change order form consists of various elements, and it's essential that you already have these details to save you time. The basic elements include the title or name of the job, the address, and the contact number. Also, you will need to have the name of the project's owner, a complete description of the change to be performed, the expected date of completion, and the total costs for labor and materials.

4. Use a Word Processor to Encode the Information

Once all the details about the change have been gathered, you can start writing them on a word processing application of your choice, like Apple Pages. When encoding the change order form, follow a strict format and maintain a formal tone of voice. And after writing the content of the change order, don't forget to proofread it, this will ensure that everything is spelled correctly and the content is composed professionally.

5. Print and Sign the Change Order

Printing a construction change order is very straightforward, you simply need to save the file in a preferred file format and then print it on paper. After printing the document, always check its legibility and formatting. From there, you can then affix your signature and the date of signing over your name, and let the client do the same. The change order form is then kept in the client's file where it serves as a legal document.

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