ThinkstockPhotos-480601875 (change ahead)
Licensed image from Thinkstock/abluecup

Any construction contract worth its salt includes provisions for modifying the agreement, either by agreement or by unilateral action.  The most common modifications increase or decrease the contract scope, contract dollar amount and time.  Commonly referred as a “change order”, when used correctly and consistently, this instrument works to avoid disputes when payment becomes due, the project seems untimely or the budget is exceeded.  They can also become a double-edged sword if not carefully reviewed and understood in the context of the contract language requiring their use.
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Agree to What?

Image courtesy of Flickr (Licensed) by © Debra Hendrix Photography
Image courtesy of Flickr (Licensed) by © Debra Hendrix Photography

In this competitive environment, all too often contractors are presented with incredibly lengthy, unfair and unbalanced form contract from out-of-state contractors or overreaching owners.  Many are so biased that you lose the fight before the first controversy ever arises.  Despite initial posturing these agreements are frequently negotiated.  Most often, the drafters know that their form is unfairly biased and expect modification requests.  Being able to recognize and avoid the worst parts of these subcontracts, before signing on the dotted line, helps you avoid disputes and can save you significant money.


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