How Do You Avoid Getting a Huge Unsubstantiated Invoice At The End Of Your Project?

More specifically, how do you avoid unknowingly going over budget? You begin by including the original contract amount and schedule in your contract. Any changes made to the work, schedule, or budget must be agreed upon IN WRITING by the contractor, owner, and architect (if you are using one). This is called a CHANGE ORDER. This is written document containing any and all details pertaining to the change that eventually becomes an addendum to your contract. Do NOT agree to any changes in schedule or dollar amounts verbally. If your contractor says, “If I take the time to write all of this out, it is going to cause added delays.” True, it does take added time, and the contractor’s time is money that you should rightly pay for. However, it is a LOT less expensive to pay for the added bit of time to write up a proper Change Order than to get this added expense lumped together with 32 other ill-detailed added expenses later… when you can’t remember what it was or how much it cost. Change Orders are just part of the process, so deal with it, and be diligent about it. If your contractor doesn’t have a formal written Change Order form, then please use the G701-2001 Change Order. Again, at the very minimum, take a look at it, and ensure your contractor’s form includes all of the required information.

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