Protect Your Bottomline: Differing Site Conditions and Change Orders (Crash Course: Contract Law with Wally Zimolong)

The Fohlio Podcast

Jul 8 2019 • 1 hr 10 mins

Differing site conditions is what happens when you’re working on a project and you encounter conditions in the field that differ from the drawings that you were provided, what was represented to you, and what you could have reasonably anticipated.

Unfortunately, no matter how well any project is thought out and arranged, it’s rarely the case that everything goes exactly according to plan. This is why you’re going to need agreements for how to deal with those unexpected situations and the changes that follow.

Of course, both parties have a lot at stake and this is where change clauses can become a really fertile ground for dispute — not just legally but emotionally, as well.

It’s important that those change orders get paid, from the contractor’s perspective, because it could be the difference between a profitable or unprofitable job.

On the other hand, there’s nothing a project owner hates more than having a contractor come to him and say, “I couldn’t have anticipated encountering these conditions and so it’s going to cost you 25% more to complete your project.”

So how do you avoid disputes? This is where clauses for differing site conditions and change orders come into play.