CHANTILLY, Va. — The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) has announced the release of its latest publication, Guidelines for Change Orders. Many factors can result in project changes, including a poorly-defined scope of work or gaps in the scope; unforeseen conditions or delays related to the conduct of other parties; or a redesign. A contractor’s biggest challenge is the inevitability of project changes and obtaining proper change orders.

Handling a change order properly and getting paid is indeed a big challenge, said Rick Freeman, executive vice president, Stromberg Metal Works, of the Washington, District of Columbia, metro area. “The HVAC ductwork contract drawings a contractor receives in a lot of cases have not been compared and coordinated with the structure to make sure there is sufficient ceiling space for these systems. In some cases this requires the HVAC ductwork contractor to go back and make the necessary adjustment to the systems to fit in the allotted ceiling space. As a result, the contractor becomes a problem-solver, record-keeper, communicator, and negotiator in order to receive compensation for this additional work.”

SMACNA’s new publication gives contractors the information they need to make a change order. “In addition, it provides the data necessary to sell the change order to management,” Freeman said.

The guide recommends construction contract forms and procedures that if carefully and pragmatically applied to individual project circumstances, put the subcontractor in a more favorable position to pursue fair compensation for changes.

Topics covered include:

• The Need for a New Approach (Construction Trends)

• Common Triggers for Change Orders

• Classifying Changes

• Understanding Contract Change Provisions

• Assessing the Risk

• Documenting and Pricing the Change

• Benefits of a Standardized Approach

• Impact of Technology on Change Orders (BIM)

• Negotiating and Confirming the Change (Preserving the Subcontractor’s Rights)

Guidelines for Change Orders is available free to SMACNA members and is $75 for non-members.

Publication date: 5/4/2015

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