How to improve finances with construction change order software

Learn how custom home contractors can keep projects on time and on budget in the face of unforeseen changes that normally cause delays, disputes and dollars lost.

Change order graphic

Change is inevitable. Or, more accurately, change orders are inevitable. Because that old saying holds especially true in construction.

Custom home contractors know the more complex a project, the more likely it will need adjustments. However, that doesn’t mean change orders need to be the bane of your existence as a builder. When managed successfully, through construction change order software and other smart strategies, these can make projects more profitable and organized.

Instead of cursing every time a change order pops up, you can look at it as an opportunity to bring in more money while boosting your reputation as an easy-to-work-with builder. It’s time to make change a good thing.

It doesn’t take rocket science to make it happen either. All you have to do is put the right processes into action. Here are four strategies you can get started on now.


  1. Communicate clearly and quickly

Bad news doesn’t get better the longer you sit on it. It spoils. Procrastination is not your friend when it comes change orders.

Custom home contractors too often wait to communicate unforeseen costs until the final bill.  At that point, you’re going to catch clients off guard, upset them and you might even end up eating the costs yourself to save the relationship. That’s a lose-lose.

Be bold with billing. Communicate as changes occur, so there are no surprises at the end for homeowners. Be sure to keep your team in the loop, too. With construction change order software, automated notifications can be sent as changes happen. You’ll never get stuck on the phone repeating the same conversation over and over again.


  1. Get a signature and document everything

Before you break out the sledgehammers, be sure to get your clients’ sign-off. This ties right to our prior point and acts as a deeper layer of communication.

The last thing you want is to pit your word against theirs. By recording all changes and client approval, you avoid a “I said tan, not sand!” argument. Every change order should be organized and documented while detailing out the scope of work and costs.

Construction change order software like Buildertrend makes it easy. This leading tech platform allows you to bypass face-to-face meetings and collect signatures electronically. Log in, send the change order and collect a signature then get right back to work.

Click. Click. Click. It’s that easy.


  1. Make the process clear from the start

You might not know what alterations are lurking ahead, but you know change orders are a part of almost every project’s life. Since you can’t beat ‘em, embrace ‘em.

Be proactive and prepared for change orders from the very start when you bake them into initial contracts. Specify how they will be initiated, carried out and the fact they can result in delays or added costs. Get your lawyer to help with this one. You’ll want to be as transparent as possible.

This is important for two reasons: First, it protects your business, plain and simple. Second, it level sets expectations for clients and clearly defines your change order workflow.

Keep in mind change orders are commonplace to you but a foreign concept to new homeowners. Show them previous examples. Walk through the process. Leave no questions unanswered.


  1. Speed things up with construction software

Here’s a fun fact about the power of construction change order software: Change orders are approved 33% quicker in Buildertrend.

Whoosh. That’s fast! That’s because our Change Order tool makes all the difference. This stat compares builders in our system who use this feature versus those who don’t.

Right from a cellphone or computer, you can create and deliver change orders from the office or on the go as well as capture electronic signatures and instant payments from clients online. Everything is documented, organized and streamlined, so your team always collects on change. You won’t miss a thing – or a beat.


Upgrade to Pro and add Change Orders to your digital toolset

Our customers unlock the full value of Buildertrend when they upgrade from Core to Pro. You’ll get all our project management capabilities – and that’s just the beginning. Pro customers exclusively have access to our profit-boosting financial features. That includes our Change Order tool.

If you’re already a Buildertrend customer and want to upgrade to take the stress out of construction changes, talk with your account executive today. Or, if you’re not already using our tech but want to get started, try Buildertrend risk free.

We’ll help you go from change to cha-ching.

About The Author

Sean Robinson

Sean Robinson Sean Robinson is a senior content marketing specialist at Buildertrend

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