Keep your GC happy, or pay the price!
You have found the perfect general contractor. You have completed all the paperwork and things are progressing well. The framers have come out and you realize that you could have more space in your master closet if you just shorten one wall and extend another. Perhaps you’ve also decided you want more lights in the hallways. You inform your contractor about these changes, and they mention a “Change Order,” which includes additional costs. You might wonder why you are being charged a fee for something seemingly simple. Are you being penalized for being “difficult”?

The term “change order” might not be familiar to everyone, especially those outside the construction industry. Homeowners may sometimes feel like contractors are being inflexible or penalizing them for making small changes. However, it’s important to understand that plans, whether for floor layouts, electrical work, or plumbing, provide specific instructions for each crew member and ensure that materials are ordered and purchased accordingly. Even minor changes can disrupt the entire process, leading to additional fees for materials and labor. Despite what some may think, there’s no extra charge just for changing your mind. It’s important to realize that all materials are carefully accounted for, especially during times of shortages. Most general contractors are open to changes if they are communicated early enough with minimal impact on the project timeline. Homeowners should be aware that changes can extend the project timeline, and as long as they are comfortable with that, general contractors are usually accommodating. Change orders may be costly and inconvenient, but they are not meant to punish homeowners and are legitimate aspects of the construction process.