Pennsylvania Construction Law Attorneys for Change Order Disputes
Over the course of a construction project, owners and designers often see the need to change and/or add to the agreed-upon scope of work provided in the original construction contract. When there is such a change, no matter how small, a change order is required to clarify expectations and to keep contracts fair and accurate. Otherwise, change order disputes are likely to arise, costing everyone time and money. In handling change order disputes, we at Davis Bucco work to resolve issues quickly and thoroughly, so projects can move forward with as little extra expense and interruption as possible.
The Role & Importance of Change Orders for Amending Construction Contracts
A recent industry survey found the typical commercial construction project involves over 50 change orders. Most construction contracts require all changes and authorizations for extra work to be put in writing—generally before the work is performed—however, contractors and subcontractors are under significant pressure to complete projects on time, regardless of changes that arise, and change orders are approved verbally to stay on schedule. Counting on someone to put change orders in writing later and after the fact is often the impetus for change order disputes.
Also, unforeseen difficulties, improvements to the original plans, and scheduling hassles can send a construction project in a new direction, spark contention, and ultimately make change order disputes likely. In addition, design specifications are well-known for leaving some details up to the contractor or subcontractor(s). What a subcontractor sees as a departure from or addition to the scope of work, the owner or designer may interpret as the subcontractor failing to carry through with expected work.
In some cases, change orders are necessary to correct faults in the original contract rather than to achieve an actual change in the building plan or design. For example, any of the following factors may warrant a change order:
- Rushed or inadequate planning in preparing the initial contract
- A poorly defined scope of work
- Compressed project schedules
- Unrealistic budget constraints
- Lack of product and/or building material specifications
When work on a construction project is already in progress, it’s difficult for contractors and subcontractors to stop and say “no” or “wait” when a change or addition is directed by the owner or designer. Everyone wants to keep the ball rolling. At Davis Bucco, we understand this and work to settle change order disputes swiftly, while never sacrificing our client’s best interests. Because when you look at the big picture, both parties are on the same side, eager to get back to work and complete the project at hand.
Handle Your Change Order Dispute Today
If you are involved in a change order dispute, please contact David Bucco for smart legal advice and representation. Our Pennsylvania construction law attorneys represent clients throughout the mid-Atlantic, offering sound guidance for streamlining construction projects and resolving issues.