You want to feel a level of trust with your subcontractor, right? You have a signed contract based upon every detail that your attorneys and years of experience can anticipate. The next thing you know, a change order hits your desk. Ugh. What wasn’t anticipated? The change order comes about when the drawings you were given failed to foresee some critical detail, or your client decided to make some changes after the planning stages are long in the books. There isn’t much you can do about the latter, but the former?

Many times those costly overlooked details which caused the change order to become necessary can be avoided by using Allstate Steel Company’s design-build services. Let’s face it, you’re just not able to know all that we know about structural steel. If you invite us in during the planning phase, we will bring our hundreds of years of combined experience in structural steel design and fabrication to the table…the design table.

Although it seems like having the plans and specs done as inexpensively as possible and then putting that “chum in the water” of hungry subcontractors should lead you to the most cost-effective, low bidder, this process is actually leading to more potential for missed items, which leads to those change orders. Change orders cause not only the cost to add something to the project that was left off or missed, it also adds cost by way of delays to the entire project. By using our expertise at the outset, we can anticipate those areas which others might not.

Outside of inviting us to do the design-build, here are some other common tips to help avoid the hiccups that involve change orders:

  • Make sure that change order proposals are submitted in a timely fashion and are complete.
  • The other side of that coin is that change orders are reviewed and submitted in a reasonable period of time.
  • Check quantities for quotes on material and invoices.
  • If a change order lumps the unexpected quantity of material in with the contracted materials, the subcontractor may have done this because he/she ordered with other items in order to get a better price; however, you should request separate line items for the items specifically called for on the change order for your records.

Change orders should be approved and handled within a process that results in a price that is agreed upon and substantiated by another source’s estimate, if time permits.

Lastly, by the use of BIM-Building Information Modeling during the design-build phase, many change orders can be eliminated. By seeing your project in 3D, it is much easier to anticipate when plans may or may not be feasible.

Please partner with our Allstate Steel engineering experts using BIM and reduce the need for change orders on your next project.