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What are Change Orders in a Home Remodeling Project?

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When it comes to home remodeling, things can change at any time. Whether a surprise issue is revealed during the demo process or the design is modified midway through, planning for and knowing how to handle changes is essential.

Keep reading to learn more about change orders, including what they are, how they work, and how to keep them to a minimum!

What is a Change Order?

A change order occurs when the scope, duration, or price changes during the remodel. There are a lot of reasons a change order may come up. In construction and remodeling projects, it’s often related to unforeseen obstacles like inspection requirements and delayed deliveries or hidden issues with plumbing, electrical, or framing. Change orders can also be initiated when the designer or client makes a significant change to the original plan.

When a change order is issued, it typically needs to be approved by both the contractor and the client before that part of the project moves forward. The contractor will usually draft a “change order proposal,” which outlines the change in scope and the associated costs. Once all parties have agreed to the proposal, they’ll sign the written change order, and things can proceed.

Are Change Orders Unavoidable?

It’s not uncommon for a project to go through changes — that’s just the nature of home remodeling. Change orders exist because there’s no telling what you may find once you start construction. Some of those costs can be avoided, while issues like the following cannot.

  • Items that need to be brought up to code
  • Hidden water damage or wood rot
  • Outdated plumbing and electrical work
  • Framing issues
  • Foundation problems

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How Can a Change Order Impact Your Home Remodeling Project?

Change orders can derail a project if not handled well. This is true whether the change results from a hidden issue or the client changes the design late in the game. In addition to added expenses, changes can cause major setbacks to the project timeline. And, as we all know, time is money.

Making changes to the project, whether planned or unintentional, means more time invested by the designer, contractor, carpenters, and other team members. In the end, you’re paying for the cost of the completed change and the time and labor spent in making it possible.

So, how do you anticipate those surprises? By working with a reputable, experienced contractor or design-build company.

Why Work With a Design-Build Company?

Design is one of the most crucial parts of any project, whether it’s a new construction home or a remodel. As a design-build company, Excel Builders understands that better than anyone. The design is more than a visualization of the completed project; it’s the north star guiding every decision and phase. With proper planning and design, we can limit unforeseen changes to the project.

The beauty of working with a design-build company is that designing and executing your remodel is a team effort. While the designer puts the design concept together, the contractor provides valuable input on costs and if a design idea is even feasible for the space. For example, if the design calls for tearing out walls, the contractor can tell the designer which ones are load-bearing and how removing them will affect the budget.

With many of the key players housed under one roof, change orders go a lot smoother. Design-build companies often have a plan in place to accommodate any unplanned expenses, which may include padding the budget. The communication between various parties also happens a lot quicker, which can speed up the time it takes to get change orders approved.

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Minnesota’s Dependable Design-Build Company

Excel Builders is a professional design-build company serving Minnesota homeowners in Chanhassen, Minneapolis, and the surrounding area. Our design-build services include bathroom remodeling, kitchen remodeling, new home additions, basement finishing, deck building, and more. We also have an in-house custom cabinet shop and can help clients with all their custom cabinetry and millwork needs.

Whether you’re planning a complete remodeling project or simply want to update your home with some custom millwork, Excel Builders can help. Get in touch with our expert team today by giving us a call at (612) 306-4064 or emailing info@excelbuilders.com.

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