The contract is signed, the job has started, and the next thing you know… the wall you wanted to remove turned out to be structural and additional labor and materials are needed to make the plan work. In comes the Change Order.
Change Orders are used to supplement the original contract with regard to additions, subtractions or changes to the original scope of work.
Not all change orders mean more money. Some can be a simple change in the finish details of the original scope of work. For example: You decided on a Brushed Nickel faucet instead of Oil Rubbed Bronze. The cost is the same, but in order to abide by the contract, your contractor will want you to sign a change order.
Most often, change orders are additional items that are added throughout the process. They usually mean additional money is added to the contract. No work should be completed on a change order item unless the cost has been approved by the homeowner and signed. This protects the homeowner and the contractor.
Don’t be scared of change orders. Just make sure your contractor is bidding the work as you described initially and not with the intent of bidding low to change order it up later.