Questions on change work orders. When should they be written and by whom? How much should you charge? How do you get your employees to write them?
Change Work Orders or Additional Work Orders should be written before any work is done that changes the scope of the job. This means any change, regardless of the size. Make a small change at no charge and the customer will be back tomorrow with a little bit larger change, expecting the same price. And so the wheel starts to turn. Write a Change Work Order for everything and there won’t be any confusion.
Changes should be priced at no less than your normal markup plus at least 10%. The smaller the change the higher the markup. Example, anything under $1,000 cost should be charged times 2.
Employees should be told and it should be in the employee manual that if they do any work for the customer that is not in the contract and on the plans, you are not paying for it, either labor or materials. If you do have to pay for it, they had better have another job lined up. That is also known as an attention getting statement.
Change Work Orders and Additional Work Orders are the start of many an argument between an owner and a contractor. Keep your paperwork in order so there is nothing to fight about.