The Official Publication
of the Mason Contractors
Association of America
Are you a WIMP?
Have you ever completed additional work and without getting paid for it? Have you ever swallowed extra costs because they weren’t approved before you did the work? Contractors know they are required to get change orders signed and approved prior to doing the work, so why don’t they?
Change order excuses:
Are you A WIMP?
Train your customers
Use your contract and project management procedures to train your customers. If you are firm but fair, right from the start, you will get what you want from them. In your pre-job customer meeting held at the beginning of every job, explain exactly how change orders will be handled. If they want additional work that’s not in the contract or on the plans, tell them you will require them to put it in writing. No exceptions!
Late = never
Change order tips:
Never give it away. You are only responsible for what’s included in your contract. If the plans are incomplete or the specifications don’t match what your customer wanted, it’s not your fault. Your customer must take responsibility for what he signed and agreed to. Giving away additional work to customers avoids confrontations and conflicts, but doesn’t make you rich.
Charge the right price, the first time. Too often, subcontractors present change order requests that are significantly overpriced. When this occurs, customers lose trust and faith in their contractors. This causes re-pricing, delays, unnecessary arguments, and eventually these contractors lose repeat customers. Be fair!
Charge the right markup. To avoid future conflicts, always agree to your change order markup with customers before you start the project. Put the approved markup percentage and terms in your contract. This eliminates arguments later, when negotiating final prices.
Never do additional work without knowing: Is the work extra? How will it be charged? Who pays for it and when? Is there money available to pay for the work? Who is authorized to approve the work?
Always include additional time required. Most customers don’t want to approve a time extension until the end of the job, even though they asked for extra work. Additional work requires additional time. Always include on your change order request how many days this will extend the project.
To request and track changes during a project, submit timely field memos documenting each item of extra work before you do the work or within 24 hours after discovering the problem. Outline the additional work, time required and the terms (lump sum, detailed estimate or cost plus) to be submitted to your customer per the contract requirements. Then, make sure you get it signed before it’s too late to benefit your bottom-line. Don’t be a WIMP; get it in writing, or forever hold your peace!
Return to Table of Contents
|Last Updated on Friday, 29 May 2009 10:25|