Construction projects often involve changes to the original scope of work, which are typically managed through change orders and variation orders. But what happens when a contractor performs work outside the contract scope without obtaining the necessary approval? In this post, we’ll discuss what owners and consultants can do in this situation.
What to Do When a Contractor Does Work Without a Change Order
1- Review the Contract
The first step is to review the contract. This will help you understand the original project scope and the procedures for change orders and variation orders. The contract should outline the process for change orders, including necessary documentation, approval procedures, and timelines.
2- Notify the Contractor
If the contractor performs work outside the contract scope without obtaining the necessary approval, notify them immediately. It’s important to document the notification and any subsequent communication to ensure a clear record of events.
3- Evaluate the Work
Next, evaluate the work performed by the contractor and determine if it falls outside the contract scope. This may require reviewing project documents such as drawings and specifications.
4- Determine the Impact
Once you’ve established that the contractor performed work outside the contract scope, determine the impact on the project. This includes evaluating any potential cost or schedule impacts.
5- Negotiate a Change Order
If the work performed requires a change or variation order, negotiate with the contractor to obtain one. This may involve discussing documentation, cost, and schedule impacts.
6- Document Everything
Throughout the process, document everything. Keep records of all communications, change orders, and any other relevant documentation. This will help ensure that you have a clear record of events and can avoid disputes over payment or other project issues.
Q: What is a change order?
A: A change order is a written document that modifies the original project scope, typically to add or remove work, materials, or services. Change orders require approval from the owner or their representative and the contractor.
Q: What is a variation order?
A: A variation order is similar to a change order but refers specifically to changes in the type or quality of work already included in the contract. Like change orders, variation orders require approval from the owner or their representative and the contractor.
Q: What happens if a contractor does work without a change order?
A: If a contractor performs work outside the contract scope without obtaining the necessary approval, the owner or consultant should follow the steps outlined in this post. This includes reviewing the contract, notifying the contractor, evaluating the work, determining the impact, negotiating a change order, and documenting everything.
Q: Can a contractor perform work without a change order?
A: Technically, a contractor can perform work outside the contract scope without a change or variation order, but this can lead to disputes over payment, delays, and other project issues. It’s essential to follow the proper procedures for change orders and variation orders to ensure that changes are approved and documented properly.
In conclusion, if a contractor performs work outside the contract scope without obtaining the necessary approval, it’s important to manage the situation effectively. To do this, first, review the contract to understand the original project scope and the process for change orders. Then, notify the contractor and document all communication. Next, evaluate the work to determine if it falls outside the contract scope, and assess the impact on the project. If necessary, negotiate a change order with the contractor, and document everything throughout the process. Following these steps will help ensure that changes to the project scope are managed effectively, and projects are completed on time and within budget.