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