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  • Writer's pictureBarry Shaw

How The Building Inspector Influences Change Orders

Throughout the construction process, inspections are a requirement for approvals to be obtained, so that the next major phase can then proceed.

Building Inspectors have the power to ‘override’ the Architect’s plans that have already been approved of by the Building Department.

Most of the time, this is within reason, as the site conditions unfold in the field revealing what could not be seen ahead of time by the Building Department or Architect.

In a remodel project for instance, an existing wall that is opened during the project could reveal galvanized pipes, that now need to be replaced with copper; a Plumbing Change Order. Or, old and frayed wiring discovered, thus needing to be replaced with properly sheathed and gauged new electrical wires; an Electrical Change Order.

Site conditions also have their ‘natural’ characteristics to deal with. Lets say an old home is completely demolished and hauled off of the site, making room for a new home to be built. Upon Inspection of the soil that was underneath the home, it’s discovered that some of the areas contain significant pockets of clay. Therefore, this soil needs to be removed; possibly new structural engineering calculations reflecting foundation footing resizing/redesign; import of new good soil; time delays and obviously cost upgrades; Change Orders.

If you would like to know how to prepare for and even avoid some of the many possible Change Order costs, contact us


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