CHANGE ORDERS are not optional...

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Team-Green L&L, May 14, 2008.

  1. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    Okay, not to sound too much like a newbie, but I have had to re-learn a valuable lesson this year and wish to share it.

    I had a client (the husband) call for an estimate. I go out and he hasn't a clue what he wants and a pretty low budget ($3000). I give him a design and a number. He calls back a week later with a new design done by some concrete contractor (a stamped pad was the focal point). Obviously the contractor didn't know anything about horticulture because he has specified Arbs and Knockouts under a deck on the North face of the property. We explained to the client that we needed to adjust the plant selection and move the pad a few feet to make it work. Plus there needed to be a retaining wall due to grade concerns.

    The client says, "that's fine" and I didn't get that CHANGE ORDER I should have. Needless to say, there was a wife also (that I never knew about) and after the project was completed and signed off by the husband, I have been back 5X due to the wife's calls. Mind you, every time we went back we asked the same question..."is everything to your standards ma'am?" and always got an affirmative answer until a few days later when she "wasn't happy" again. Now we at the point that we are making changes to her changes and have dropped several thousand dollars in free materials on this $3000 job all because I didnĀ“t get that Change Order.

    Keep this in mind. If the design changes in the least it calls for a change order. My attorney has told me that I have to get a signature of approval now and she has been running us mad for free and never signing the approval (only stating it). I am half tempted to change everything back to the original design and leave it at that...
  2. parkwest

    parkwest LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 678

    Just write up all the change orders to date and then have them sign the CO's. If they do not sign, advise them you will need to follow the original design.

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