As I sit down to write my annual list of resolutions for contractors, I am amazed at how much things changed in 2020. Construction was going well and then, in March 2020, COVID-19 hit. At first, we thought it was going to be a disaster for the construction industry. States, cities and towns shut down projects and many applied for PPP loans. Then, something amazing happened. Construction was considered an essential service and everyone was back to work.  That said, the work world changed: companies were donating their PPE to frontline workers, COVID-19 protocols had to be followed and paperwork had to be filed. Everyone was scrambling to figure out how to comply and keep their businesses going. So, you may or may not ask, what was I, as a construction lawyer doing? I spent March and April thinking about the new risks contractors/construction companies were facing and developing contract clauses to protect the industry. I wrote a number of blog posts with clauses to add to your contra

Contract Clauses Every General Contractor Should Have-Change Orders

All change orders must be in writing and signed off on by both parties. If all contractors were to follow this rule, my caseload would be reduced by about 80%. I am not joking. Disputes over change orders account for fee disputes and delay claims. Put something in your contract like this NOW!:

Any alterations or modifications initiated by the Owner must be agreed upon and will be executed upon a written Change Order issued by ABC and signed by ABC and Owner(s) with the price and number of days for performance specified before work on any such alteration or modification shall commence. Payment for such alteration or modification shall be made before the order is placed or the work is commenced and the Completion Date shall be extended by the number of days agreed upon for performance.

Any increase in the Scope of Work set forth in these Contract Documents which is required by plan checkers or field inspectors with city or county building/planning departments will be treated as Additional Work to this Agreement for which the Contractor will issue a Change Order.

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