The Realities of Change Orders on Your Home Remodeling Project

The Realities of Change Orders on Your Home Remodeling Project

Planning to remodel your home? There’s plenty to learn before starting the process, including making sure you understand change orders and how they can impact your remodel. The good news? This article will teach you everything you need to know about the realities of change orders. Get the details below!

What is a Change Order?

“Change order” is an industry term that refers to any alterations that change the scope of work during a home remodeling project. Change orders can be requested by the contractor, designer, or homeowner and typically occur for one of two reasons:

  1. Unforeseen obstacles occur, such as delayed deliveries or problems with the home’s plumbing, electrical, or framing.
  2. The homeowner makes a request for aesthetic changes to the project.

When a change order is requested, both the client and contractor must sign off on it before the change can be made. The contractor will usually draft a “change order proposal” outlining the changes in the project scope and its financial impact. Once the written change order has been approved, the project can move forward.

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How Change Orders Impact Your Remodel

Home remodeling is dynamic and complex; sometimes, change orders are inevitable. While they’re not the end of the world, change orders can significantly impact your home remodeling project. Whether unplanned or intentional, making changes to the project affects construction timelines, the completed design, and the overall cost.

Construction Timeline

Depending on the complexity and scope, change orders may delay the completion date for your project — and not just because of the labor involved. You might deal with additional material shortages and delays, especially with today’s supply chain issues.

Project Design

While a design change may seem small, it can have a bigger effect than you think. For example, adding a window where there previously was none may mean altering other areas of the design. Likewise, deciding to remove a wall at the last minute might require relocating electrical wiring, plumbing, or ducts.

Project Costs

Change orders can result in additional expenses that increase the total cost of the project. Making changes to the design, whether it’s altering the layout or swapping out materials, requires the designer, contractor, and other team members to spend more time on the project. So, you’ll end up paying more for labor and whatever materials are needed to accommodate the change.

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How to Reduce the Impact of Change Orders

When it comes to preventing change orders from derailing your remodel, proper planning is key — and it all starts with selecting the right home remodeling contractor. An experienced, reputable design-build contractor understands how valuable design and planning are to a successful remodel.

Good communication is also essential during a remodeling project. Ideally, your contractor will not only facilitate but encourage transparent communication throughout each phase. Communicating effectively about expectations, project goals, design, and other aspects of the project ensures everyone is on the same page.

Other ways to reduce the impact of change orders include:

  • Asking questions during various phases of the remodeling process
  • Reading the remodeling proposal and contract carefully
  • Comparing the final design concept to your list of needs and wants
  • Verifying you understand the construction and change order process, which will keep things moving at a steady pace
  • Being detailed and clear about the change you’d like to make
  • Including extra funds in your home remodeling budget to offset costs related to potential change orders

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Premium Design-Build Services in Minneapolis, MN & Nearby

As a leading design-build company in the Greater Chanhassen and Twin Cities area, Excel Builders strives to make the remodeling experience run as smoothly as possible. We’ve fine-tuned our process to keep change orders to a minimum, providing:

Contact us today to learn more about our design-build services, which include kitchen remodeling, bathroom renovations, basement finishing, and more. We can even design and build custom cabinetry, millwork, and furniture through our in-house custom cabinet shop! Give us a call at (612) 306-4064 or send an email to to get started.

Excel Builders proudly serves Minnesota homeowners in Chaska, Carver, Excelsior, Minneapolis, Chanhassen, Plymouth, Edina, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Shorewood, and nearby.