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Sometimes homeowners think that remodelers are a little bit “obstinate” when it comes to filling out change orders on a remodeling project.  Occasionally homeowners feel that their builders won’t make the slightest modification to a plan unless there’s a signed piece of paper that details the change.  If you’re considering remodeling your Los Angeles area home – and you’re planning to use a reputable remodeler – you’ll need to be prepared to deal with change orders.


So why do custom home remodelers make such a big deal about change orders?  Are they really just being stubborn?

Even though it may not feel like it initially, having a written change order for items not included in the original contract protects both homeowners and homebuilders.  It protects you as a homeowner, because you need to know exactly what the additions to the contract are going to cost and how they are going to affect the schedule.  Nobody likes unpleasant surprises at the end of the project.  By capturing the specific changes in writing, you can avoid incorrect assumptions.  When you tell the builder to lower the floor “a bit” does that mean three inches – or three feet?  A written change order makes sure that everyone is on the same page.


Capturing your change requests in writing is also a good way to make sure your request won’t be overlooked.  There are a ton of details to coordinate in a remodeling project.  Even the best builder can’t always keep track of everything without help.  If your builder is in the middle of a tricky part of the project and you mention a change you’d like to make as you’re walking out the door, he may nod in agreement – but that doesn’t guarantee that he really heard you – or grasped the details.

As a homeowner, written change requests ensure that your desires get expressed exactly the way you want them.  And most experienced builders have had verbal change orders blow up in their faces.  Nobody wins in that scenario.

So when your remodeler insists on a written change order, don’t think of him as stubborn.  He’s really trying to protect both of you.