Change orders are one of the business processes that many builders and remodelers feel most uncertain about. Part of the reason might be that we want to do right by the client and have already started to have a good working relationship with them, so we may be reluctant to rock that boat. So many clients these days are poised to be critical of contractors, having heard from friends or family members that contractors are notorious for low-balling the price and then ratcheting up the cost through changes. Does that matter? It might to the contractor–client relationship, but it probably doesn’t matter from a business perspective. A change is a change, and if that change originated with the client, you deserve to be paid for it.
Here are three perspectives from leading building-business advisors Leslie Shiner and Melanie Hodgdon, Tim Faller, and Judith Miller that might help you think a little differently about change orders and help you create a straightforward system that can be integrated easily into your existing business systems.