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Could change orders lead to a construction lawsuit?

| Jul 1, 2021 | Construction |

When you started your construction project, you had a specific vision in mind — but your vision has evolved since then. You need to speak to your contractor about some revisions.

This is actually a common issue. Roughly 35% of all construction projects have a major change at least once, so most contractors — and their clients — expect a change or two along the way to a finished building.

Unfortunately, change orders are also one of the major causes for construction litigation.

Why do change orders lead to lawsuits?

Change orders can happen for a number of different reasons. Sometimes, change orders are the result of poor planning and poorer communication on the contractor’s end. They can arise from:

  • Inaccurate or unclear drawings that the client didn’t understand
  • Workers or subcontractors that don’t show
  • Budgets or schedules that aren’t well-considered
  • Inaccurate specifications in the contract

All of those things can lead you to be angry and unhappy with the project’s progress, and you may feel that you’ve been cheated if you find yourself on the hook for additional expenses you never anticipated or the construction is delayed.

The reverse can also be true. If you tend to have sudden bursts of inspiration that lead to changes in your plans, your contractor may get frustrated with you. Too many change orders can cause a contractor to suddenly drop your project because it now exceeds the scope of the original work in a way that they find unreasonable or excessive.

Either way, you may find yourself in a serious dispute that involves both your unfinished project and a lot of dollars.

What can you do when you end up in litigation with your contractor?

If your relationship with your contractor blew up over change orders, don’t panic. Get help, instead. Any violation of a construction contract that costs you money or disrupts your life needs to be treated seriously.

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