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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,362
Likes: 1
Cat Servant
Thanks for the form, LK.

I just received the annual "Houses" issue of "Fine Homebuilding." There is an excellent article there on the subject of change orders.

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Joined: Aug 2004
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Thanks for the change order form. I love the $$$$ signs all over the place. That makes it very clear that they will be paying for our services.


Power to the people
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 33
LK, I saw your change order form that you use. In residential work, a quick descreiption would be sufficient. When I do an "enginered" job, I only do change orders with approved drawings to document the change. It will be either a full size drawing or a simple 8 1/2 x 11". But one way or another there is always a paper trail. Remember, "If it aint in writing, it never happened"! Work Safe.

[This message has been edited by rcksmith127 (edited 05-04-2005).]

Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
LK Offline

That is all we do on resi change orders, we put in a short description of the work, and just the total amount, the form lets the customer know, there are other costs involved in doing changes.

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 706
Sometimes I'll give the client an extra without charging, but I bring attention to it on the invoice. Giving more than expected can work out good with repeat business and referrals.


Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,429
LK Offline

"Giving more than expected can work out good with repeat business and referrals."

That is all fine, giving more than expected, as long as you charged for that more then expected, in the inital contract.

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 52
kd Offline
I usually work by the hour, so added stuff is added hours. No need for a change order.

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 35
VinceR Offline OP
Everyone: I agree with the comments re change orders. From now on I will respond to requests for extras by say “That is a great idea, let me write up a change order so you can see how much it will cost and authorize the work.”


Thanks for your post. You are right on with your comment that they don't realize that you only have so much time to complete their job. Based on your comment, when I will tell them that if they authorize the work, the soonest I can do it is X days from now because I am booked up with other customers until them. (This has the added benefit of sending the message that I do quality work and am in high demand.)

I guess it all comes down to knowing that you have to get paid and having the TOOLS to tell the customer in a positive professional way that you need to be paid.

This brings me back to my question about charm school. Does anyone know of any books or other resources so I can sharpen my skills so I present myself as positive, business like and firm when it come to informing the customers about my fees?

Thanks again,


Joined: Jan 2005
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Likes: 1
Cat Servant
Oh boy, here I go, stepping in it again....
Suffice to say that some of the best business advice I've ever had has come from unusual places, some of which are legal only in Nevada!

One lafy, who charged considerable more than ie "average" in her trade, explained it to me this way: "You're worth it. Of course you are. And the customer, even if they are not able to afford you today, must be treated with true respect, the assurance that their request is perfectly reasonable, and some day, they will be able to have the best. So state your rate with confidence." She went on to explain some of the "little" things used that helped set her apart from the 'discount' competitors. Things like service, uniforms, a clean, comfortable workplace, and a willingness to custom-tailor her services to the customers' needs.

Good advice for any business, I'd say.

Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 17
renosteinke, that explains the charge for the "little" extras, but how much do the bigger ones cost?

(sorry guys, I couldn't pass that one up)


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