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Minimize Change Orders & Heed the Warnings

A key consideration of any project is the budget and how it might change after your project has been initiated. There are no formula's that can help us eliminate certain changes because two uncontrollable factors (human and hidden) are always in the wings.

The Human Factor involves things like local Building Inspectors who control and influence the necessity of unforeseen modifications. Hidden Factors include everything we can not see until investigation of a more destructive nature (like removing existing roof systems) begins.

Change Orders
As we suggested, in all but new construction a large portion of the roof envelope is hidden. The older the building the more room there will be for valid Change Orders. Skilled Roofing Project Managers will be able to help identify area's likely to be affected, guide you through the possibilities, alternatives and potential impact on budgets.

  General Contractors have general knowledge - hence the name. Forecasting cost for Hidden failures requires an experienced roofer with the necessary business, financial, technical and practical skills and background accurately forecasting references related to the roof system.
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We can anticipate and provision for certain acceptable Change Orders like replacing deck deficiencies or structural issues that may only be revealed as roofers peel back the original surface. Things that are difficult to discover without expensive destructive and non-destructive test, or until the project starts.

Notwithstanding, CRS Roof Consultants as the Project Manager has experience where contractors attempted to initiate change orders in their best interest. Such proposed modifications that benefit the contractor can be detrimental to the property owners' Return on Investment.   Read more...

In many cases, there's a correlation between contractor proposed modifications and the lowest bid. Some things property managers need to be alert to are significant price differences between bids and In Progress Specification Changes (detailed below). In all cases where this type of proposed Change Order is apparent - it is absent a written Bid Specification.

A comprehensive Bill of Materials (BOM) included with the proposal can help to avoid and/or eliminate material substitutions. The importance of BOM correlates with a buyer's warranty expectations. Properly prepared Bid Specifications establish parameters through interviews with the property owner (or owners' agent) in advance of inviting contractors to bid.

  Acceptable alterations can be introduced during the Pre-Bid Walk-About but they require special handling to maintain integrity in the Bid Specification.

In Progress Specification Changes
In addition, it's important for property managers to assure changes are not introduced by contractors during the bidding process. It's not unusual for contractors invited to bid on the Type of System Selected (ie: Built-Up Roof) to provide two bids - one for the BUR system and another for a different system. Let's say Single-Ply for sake of discussion.

This multi-bid technique is used to establish a foothold in the bid process on the basis a contractor is qualified and/or certified to install a BUR system (the prerequisite), present a low price BUR proposal and then attempt to change the specification to a Single-Ply.

The problem with such an action is the contractor then becomes sole bidder on a system that has many variations. Options begin with the Type of Single-Ply roof system (ie: PVC, EPDM, TPO and Hypalon) and flow to more critical considerations in the fire ratings and material warranty.

Bid Specifications are designed around a series of variables tied to the Type of Roof System selected in Phase I. In Progress Specification Changes negates your original efforts and eliminates the specification. This places buyers at great risk.
©2008 Copyright. All rights reserved. CRS Roof Consultants, LLC
1361 Winchester Blvd, Suite 207
San Jose, CA 95128
(408) 871-9296 • (408) 871-9295 fax
Member of Silicon Valley BOMA