Have you ever made a purchase, then shortly after seen something similar that you like even better? Or maybe you’ve shopped around for a service and committed, only to find that it wasn’t going according to plan and you wished you’d made another choice? These things happen all the time, including home improvements. Unlike things like purchases, however, home improvements often have the time frame necessary to make little changes whether they’re for cosmetic reasons, or because a larger problem was uncovered and you’re choosing to address it now. All these little changes can add up, however, completely altering the scope of a project so that it no longer resembles what was outlined in your initial contract. That’s why it’s so important to document all your changes with change orders.

Why Document Changes

At the start of your project, you probably took the time to go over your contract with your Pro to make sure everything was included. This is to help protect both you and your Pro and make sure that everything gets done correctly. But when you make a change midway through the project, this information won’t be in the original contract. So what happens if there is a problem, such as a delay or a raise in the price? Without a change order documenting those new additions to the project, you or your Pro could be liable for issues later on, such as your project not finishing on time or you owing far more money than you had originally thought.

When you document every change in your project, you have a paper trail that backs you both up. That way, if your Pro says the changes will add two weeks onto the project, you have a way to hold him to that. Otherwise, if the changes take three weeks, you could be on the hook for more hours or be without access to an area of your home for longer. Having a change order that specifies delays, changes, additions, and other things can help ensure that you know exactly what is happening in your home and when.

What Is a Change Order?

A change order is a document you create with your Pro to outline the list of changes to the project. It’s very common for things to pop up amid a project, from a change in material or design to an expansion of the overall size of the space. So a change order lets you both agree on what those changes will be, how much they will cost, and how long they will add to the project. Just like your contract, a change order can have contingency plans, or specify damages if the project isn’t completed on time.

You file your change orders right along with your contract, either electronically or in your project binder, so that you can refer back to them easily if you have any questions later on.

Manage Your Project with Ease

Don’t let the fear of more things to keep track of keep you from documenting important changes to your home improvement project. Our project management system makes it easy to file, store, and retrieve your contract and change orders so you can keep track of everything from start to finish. Sign up today and help your project get off to a great start.