Buyer – “All we did was add a $100 ceiling fan?!?”
Builder – “You didn’t just add a ceiling fan.”
What really happens when you want to make a change?
When contracting to build a new home it is very important to get all the upgrades and changes to the standard house plan agreed to up front in the initial contract. Once the building permit is received and construction starts, making what appears to be a small and inconsequential change can impact multiple trades and thus becomes far more expensive than had the change been implemented initially. Changes become even more expensive when plans need to re-drawn or inspections re-ordered.
Typically, a builder’s policy regarding changes varies with the volume of homes they build. A ‘track’ or ‘production’ builder will tend to have a far more rigid and prohibitively expensive mechanism for change orders (mostly to strongly DISCOURAGE changes) where a more custom builder will have a more flexible system in place. No builder likes to change things mid-job but some do a better job of accommodating the modifications than others.
Knowing your builder’s change order policy prior to the start is important to understand.