Q&A With Jean: How Do I Document Change Orders?
Welcome to #12 in our series, designed to bring clarity to some of the mysteries of renovating! Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or a serial renovator, each project brings with it a new set of circumstances and new questions, and Sweeten is here to be a source of knowledge and reassurance.
Feel free to email us at [email protected] with any reno questions or dilemmas you’d like addressed.
QUESTION: How do I document change orders?
JEAN: Each general contractor has his or her own methodology when it comes to documenting change orders (changes that alter the original scope agreed and signed upon), but they should definitely be documented in some way. Change orders can be as simple as a contractor opening up a wall and discovering that pipes or electrical wires need to be replaced or updated before installing an appliance. Another common change order is when a renovator chooses materials that require special installation, such as a tile that has a complex pattern or is very small or large-format.
Documenting can be a quick snap of a photo with a written description and the cost; just make sure that changes are documented, understood, and approved on your end before they move forward. Have that conversation up front with your general contractor because inevitably (or I would say with most projects), there are at least one or two change orders.
Looking for more advice from Jean? Be sure to check out the eleventh installment in this series, Q&A With Jean: How Many Contractor Bids Should I Get?
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