Estimating change orders

We have written before about what you should expect to see in your ADU budget. We encourage you to make sure your budget includes all the big line items. As our founder likes to repeat, you cannot save money during ADU construction. You can only save money at the planning stage, when you are discussing plans for your ADU with your consultant, contractor or architect. Just make sure they are motivated to keep your budget under control.

But nothing is ever 100% predictable in construction, there are too many moving parts. And a change order is always a possibility.

There are two extreme points of view in construction – one side thinks change orders are evil, the other calls them a blessing.

Why? The first group is worried about being efficient. And about how adding to scope of work delays the job’s completion and makes the schedule go South.

The second group takes advantage of the homeowner with extra charges.

It is unrealistic to expect that your job, especially when you are building for the first time, can go without any changes at all.

What should you do? Discuss how your contractor will treat the change order when it comes – before signing the contract. Plan the job in as much detail as possible.

For reference, here are the notes from a company whose only job is to estimate: find here

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

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