“Changing” Your Mind Can Be Costly

You’re in the middle of a remodeling project and you have a new idea. It will throw a wrench in the building plan and could irritate the builder. It will delay job completion by at least two weeks. It will also be costly. Changing your mind mid-stream in a remodeling project is often cost-prohibitive. Even talking about changing something will delay the current process. Should you decide not to make the change, you may still have lost valuable time.

With most professional builders and remodelers, a change requires a change order. This is a signed piece of paper detailing your changes. It contains both your signature and the builder’s after you both have discussed and agreed on the change. It’s more paperwork, but it covers you in the end. It also covers the builder. The pitfalls: the time to implement the change order and the impact the change will have on the rest of the job may be detrimental to both your timeframe and your wallet. Whether it delays work or requires extra work, the change order should communicate this. It will certainly enumerate the costs of it. Delays themselves are costly because there is a delicate balance of schedule coordination that happens behind-the-scenes of a remodeling project. The builder makes every effort to have a subcontractor on the job every day. If a change occurs mid-way, subcontractors may be asked to come back, or they may not have a schedule opening for another month or two. Delays are frustrating to the homeowner, but also to the builder.

If a change is to design or materials, it may impact the materials cost. You may still need to pay for the already-ordered materials as well as the new. Clarify all the added expenses in a change order. Ask for a thorough explanation. Then determine if the change is worth it for you in the long run. You can still change your mind anytime.