How To Evade Change Orders In Your Swimming Pool Project

by Pool Builders on 05-17-2011 in Articles

When planning the construction of your swimming pool, bear in mind that proper research and studies must be devoted to this kind of activity in order to plug possible loopholes when actual construction starts. You must zero in your studies on how to build the pool at the budget you have allocated. And this could be done only if your construction plans are the best sketches of what you really want in your pool when it is finished and that your plans are realistic enough that they were verified at actual site conditions. If your plans were done by professional and experienced technical men, chances are the words "change orders" will never be heard in your discussions with the contractor.

Change orders are the common causes of increases in your contract cost. Some limit change order in your budget up to a maximum of 25% of their contract cost to soften the impact during actual construction. This is premised on the fact that there are no perfect plans. There are plans that were prepared by inexperienced architect or engineer where major items of works were missed on the plans but have to be constructed. And this type of omission is very frustrating since this is often the cause of big change order item that was not budgeted by the owner. This item could be avoided if the following steps were taken several days before the drafting of the plans started.

1. After finalizing your initial plan for the swimming pool, start looking for a professional and experienced swimming pool architect or engineer to help you in finalizing the construction plans of your project. Do not entrust the work to a newbie who lacks the experience and eagle eyed qualities of a well-versed planner who could easily identify any missing item in the plan.

2. Once you have approved the working drawings before finalization of the plans, make sure that a list of your technical specifications is also prepared that would accompany the plans. Your plans must contain the details of every work items for purposes of contract monitoring and project cost estimation.

3. Appoint a contract manager or supervisor to coordinate and monitor the exact implementation of your construction plans. Every items of work shall be evaluated and any change order that might arise should be scrutinized.

4. In case the project would be on a contract basis done through competitive bidding (which should be), the unit cost approach should applied instead of the lump sum method in your contract. This approach would temper and prevent any unjustified change order without the detailed comparison of the bid and actual unit done which could be possible in a lump sum bid where there were no details.

5. All change orders must be properly documented with shop drawings and detailed cost estimates with justification subject to the approval of the owner and concurrence of the contractor.

6. There must be a provision in your written construction agreement regarding change or variation orders. The steps and procedures to be followed covering their approval and payment must clearly indicated.

Having done all the above, the chances of increasing the construction cost of your swimming under your budget is very small if not totally eliminated. This will also avoid unnecessary disagreement between you and your contractor and will facilitate the smooth construction of your project.

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