Management of Potential Change Orders with As-builts

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Every project is unique and requires an immense amount of skills and expertise to be completed successfully and on time. It is almost given that at some point or throughout the project you will be hiring an Architect and a General Building Contractor to design and build what you have in mind. This article is written with homeowner in mind as a guideline for a very interesting and education experience of remodeling your house which waits ahead of you. First thing that you as a homeowner should understand is the fact that construction project you are about to begin is complex.

Your role in the process is just as important: you will be playing in part a Construction Manager. Most likely your Architect will assume greater part of that responsibility: he or she will help you with the bid process, contracts, change order approval, etc.

The better the Architect you hire, the smoother and less costly the construction process will be. Unfortunately, many good Architects do not have sufficient time to spend on your projects and bad ones spend way too much. That is why some tasks and decisions might be best handled by you, the homeowner.

Most difficult decisions you will be making are associated with your contractor asking for an additional compensation. Under certain circumstances it is absolutely legitimate for your contractor to do so. Most good constructors do not like issuing change order as much as you do not like receiving them. In the end change orders are usually costing your contractor more trouble due to coordination problems.

The truth is that your contractor has to do so in order to cover an unexpected cost. The cost is usually unexpected for two reasons: the design team you had hired had missed or misrepresented an element on the drawings or in specifications (Type 1 Existing Conditions), or there is something that arouse during the construction process beyond anybody’s reasonable expectations (Type 2 Existing Conditions). The third time your contractor will be asking for more money is whenever you as a homeowner, decide to change all toilet fixtures to pure gold.

There is little that can be done with regard to the last tow cases: you just happened to have a 40-ton WWII tank berried in your back yard and your spouse absolutely has to have golden toilet fixtures. The First one, however, is something that you, a homeowner, can strategically avoid. Many Type 1 Existing Conditions which have the potential for causing change orders can be discovered, before the final bids are issued.

One of the most successful strategies used is a mandatory pre-bid site investigation. Mandatory inspection means that in order to bid on the project a a contractor must send one of its representatives on site during specified time. Like anything else in life, there are advantages and disadvantages to the idea.

The main advantage of the mandatory pre-site inspection is the fact that the bidders are seeing the scope of work, an estimator will better understand plans, and relay scope to operations executive who will determine if this type of project best fits the company.

Other advantages include the fact that good and knowledgeable contractors are asking questions. It is absolutely essential that you or your Architect carefully documents all asked questions and issue an Addendum to the plans and specifications to reflect misunderstandings. Should a dispute later arise as to who said what to whom, addendum may be your greatest leverage.

The fact is that most potential change order issues are resolved on paper. During the site visit the contractor and the owner are also getting to know each other; personal relations and impressions are major part of the decision maker for some people.

Sometime an owner may ask contractor to sign a contract with clauses in which the contractor acknowledges that it has thoroughly investigated the project, its site and the conditions. Questions like “How is one to gain access to the work?” will be also asked and you should be ready to answer them.

Disadvantages of the mandatory site visit include such issues as you may not have enough people to bid on the project and since everyone knows who else is bidding, decisions will be in part based on that, rather than the lowest cost which can be offered.

Contractor may often elevate the price knowing that there is not enough competition for the job. Whether you deicide to have one or not, one fact continues to be true: the more contractor knows, the less it will cost you, the less the contractor knows, the more spread out your bids will be and more likely it is that your project will be buried in change orders.

Probably the next thing besides a pre-bid inspection that will help you to cut the probability of a change order is an accurate set of asbuilt drawings. Depending on how long ago and how well the last construction project had happened, you might already have a set of asbuilt drawings sitting in your file.

If such is the case, you may want to transfer such data into CAD file format which will dramatically improve the design process performed by your Architect. If, which is more likely, you do not have an updated set of asbuilt drawings, it is essential that you obtain one. Representation of existing conditions will most likely be asked for by your permit issuing authority, there is almost no way around that.

Your Architect may sometime prepare such documentation for you, but it is recommended that you use an asbuilt service company to prepare such plans. Due to specialization in filed verifications, you will be getting a much better end product result at a lesser cost compared to your Architect.

Please use article “Your As-Builts Are Your Blueprint for Success” as a guide to understanding the selection process for an asbuilt service company.

Once the project has been started, there are several things you can do from "day one" on the project to prepare you well in the event of a construction dispute. At this point everything you do will only help you in future if it has word "paperwork" in it.

Keep a journal on daily basis, documenting progress, problems, issues, calls. You will never know which little detail will account for the largest change order for the project. Keeping track of everything is essential, but if you cannot, the least you can do is to make sure that weekly meetings are scheduled such that you may always attend one. Ask your Architect to keep detailed meeting minutes during these meetings. A less time costly way to keep track of your project is to take pictures.

While you may not be aware of any particular terms or practices used, most task of the construction process are visual, meaning that you get what you see. You only get to see the name and a type of a roof membrane used, for example, for a couple of days before it gets covered with shingles or other roofing material.

Taking 10-20 pictures every couple of days and simply storing them in a classified order by date on your computer is a very simple task that may help you avoid a costly change order, give you a change order “trading” advantage or simply remind you of all the good time you had building your home later in life. During construction process, you as a homeowner can ask your contractor to keep a updated set of redlines depicting all of the requests for information, clarifications, addenda and change orders.

Ask the contractor to bring an updated redline set to every weekly meeting and sign off the drawings. The redlines are often left unattended by a busty contractor and are done in the last possible minute. Practice of updating the plans throughout the project duration helps you, as a property owner, with documentation of all the changes and mutual understanding of what needs to be built.

Redlines are used to prepare a set of post-construction asbuilt drawings at the end of the project by the general contractor, giving you or the next owner a fresh blueprint to start-off with on any other remodeling that they might have.

The contractor usually collects asbuilt redline documentation form major subcontractors involved with Electrical, HVAC, Data, Fire Protection, etc and submits such data for documentation to an experienced asbuilt service company. Within weeks you should have an updates set of asbuilt plans reflecting newly remodeled residence. At this point, if all items on the punch list have been cleared, your contractor will file a final completion notice, signifying the end of the construction process.

Monday, April 16, 2012

iSTAR® the world’s first automatic rapid 360º camera launches in Texas

Camera design and manufacturing company, NCTech, is today launching the world’s first fully automatic instant 360º panoramic camera at SPAR International 2012 in Texas. Eagerly anticipated, the iSTAR® is widely predicted to displace current technology globally across multiple sectors including police, military, engineering, media and heritage.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Trimble Introduces New Positioning Solution for Tunnel Construction

PARIS, April 16, 2012 Trimble (NASDAQ:TRMB) today introduced three new solutions for heavy civil construction professionals, the Trimble® Connected Office, the Trimble Connected Controller and the Trimble Connected Machine.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Laser Technologies: Taking the Guesswork Out of Pipeline Condition Assessment

Every year, wastewater managers must make decisions about which portions of their collection system should be maintained, rehabilitated or replaced. With the EPA and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) both projecting hundreds of billions of dollars of investment shortfalls facing our aging wastewater infrastructure, it is more important than ever that our wastewater managers are able to spend these limited funds most wisely to reduce risks and maintain service levels at a low cost.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Laser scanner from Faro Technologies measures up to 976,000 points/s

FARO Introduces Next Generation Focus3D Laser Scanner

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Do you have permission to scan that building?

ORLANDO, Fla. – If any presentation here at the FARO 3D Documentation Conference truly got attendees thinking it was Tuesday’s talk by Tom Kurke and Michael Weinberg: “It will be awesome if they don’t screw it up: Bringing IP issues in digital documentation into focus.”

Monday, July 27, 2009

Autodesk 2010 Certification Now Available for Design Professionals

Certified Associate and Certified Professional exams now available for newest versions of AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Revit Architecture, and AutoCAD Civil 3D Software

Friday, June 15, 2007



Thursday, February 15, 2007

3D Laser Mapping Supports Kumba Iron Ore Extraction

Nottingham, UK - 3D Laser Mapping, the UK based specialists in laser measurement technology and software, is helping Kumba Iron Ore to improve the safety of iron ore extraction in South Africa. 3D Laser Mapping has supplied and installed a Riegl LMS Z420i laser scanner, the first scanner of its type in South Africa, which is being used to monitor slope deformation in order to reduce the levels of risk to personnel and equipment that occur as a result of potential slope failure. The system uses the latest laser technology to capture highly accurate slope measurements that are then analysed to identify areas of movement and therefore potential failure.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Certifying As-built or Record Drawings

Architects should use caution when giving record drawings to clients and when creating “as-built” drawings. Examples of provisional language that might be used to mitigate the risk involved with “as- built” drawings are included.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Measuring Floor Area for Commercial Leases

Measuring Floor Area for Commercial Leases

Monday, January 15, 2007

3D Laser Mapping Launches Telecom Mapping System

3D Laser Mapping has launched a mobile mapping system designed to capture asbuilt 3D measurements of overhead telecom networks. The vehicle-mounted WireFinder system uses laser technology and specially designed software to measure the position of telecom network assets, such as poles and wires.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Bentley OnSite Connects Worlds of Civil Engineering Design and Construction Speeds Project Construction, Decreases Project Risk and Costly Rework

EXTON, PA., January 4 /CNW/ - Bentley Systems, Incorporated today announced Bentley OnSite, breakthrough software that connects the worlds of civil engineering design and construction. This new offering automates and streamlines tasks for stakeout, inspection, and measurement in the field, facilitating project management and helping ensure unprecedented levels of accuracy during construction.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

GiveMePower Launches PowerCAD SiteMaster Turn-On-and-Go

CALGARY, Alberta, December 13, 2006 - GiveMePower Corporation (OTCBB: GMPW), today launched two new ultra-mobile computing solutions for building surveying and inspection, construction area estimating and reporting, and facilities asset and information management - featuring hardware from mobility market leaders Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) and Tablet Kiosk.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

3D Laser Mapping Launches StreetMapper 2

3D Laser Mapping has launched StreetMapper 2, a new modular vehicle-mounted system for rapid 3D mapping on and off road. The portable system uses lasers to 3D map assets and the landscape to millimeter accuracy at speeds of up to 70 km an hour.

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Autodesk Supports Visual Studio, .NET Framework, MS SQL

SAN RAFAEL, California, November 8, 2005 - Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK) today announced support for Microsoft Visual Studio 2005, the .NET Framework 2.0 and Microsoft SQL Server 2005. Autodesk and Microsoft work together across many technology areas. Autodesk's data management products, built using SQL Server, enable teams to gain greater insight and maximize efficiency by always having instant access to design information. The Microsoft products combined with AutoCAD-based products from Autodesk provide an optimal platform for application developers to realize their ideas in designing and creating a wide range of software applications, from shipbuilding to facilities management, plant design to urban planning, architecture to emergency response.

Monday, November 6, 2006

How can BIM benefit facilities management?

BIM is certainly changing the way buildings are designed and constructed, but is it changing how they're operated and maintained? There is a lot of interest in the industry around using building information for FM (facilities management), but how does this really work? Do the benefits of BIM extend to FM?

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Prime Edge Asbuilt Services proposes a new method for building field data verifications

San Francisco, California. — November 2, 2006 — Prime Edge Asbuilt Services today announced that it is underway to develop a full set of business applications for use by of professionals within construction, property management and design industries. Software applications include estimating software interface is called PrimeCue. EdgeCue is a CAD based software package and PlanCue is a facility plan management interface. Beta versions of these packages have been used by the company for the last two years and the updated version of the products will allow users to take advantage of a patent pending method for building data collection for estimating, drafting and management purposes, making it easier than ever to prepare asbuilt floor plans, estimate amount of work to be performed or provide a detailed information with regard to the occupied space for facility planning purposes. In an effort to make this technology available to the industry professionals Prime Edge had launched AsbuiltEdge Technologies which will be responsible for the software and business development associated with the system.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Building for Boomers

Preparing for the changes of aging, including declining mobility, is also a concern. A 2005 study conducted by Vista Market Intelligence of Lake Oswego found that 89 percent of boomers would like to have the master bedroom on the main floor of their home; 79 percent said they would prefer to own a single-story home.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Management of Potential Change Orders with As-builts

Every project is unique and requires an immense amount of skills and expertise to be completed successfully and on time. It is almost given that at some point or throughout the project you will be hiring an Architect and a General Building Contractor to design and build what you have in mind. This article is written with homeowner in mind as a guideline for a very interesting and education experience of remodeling your house which waits ahead of you. First thing that you as a homeowner should understand is the fact that construction project you are about to begin is complex.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Autodesk Releases FMDesktop 7.0 Product Suite

SAN RAFAEL, California, October 10, 2006 - Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK)today announced the launch of the Autodesk FMDesktop Product Suite, a powerful, easy-to-use software solution for facilities management. Developed by and for experienced facility managers, the Autodesk FMDesktop 7.0 suite of products, including Facility Manager, Facility Link, Facility Web and Facility Request, helps deliver the power of digital facility management through intuitive and easy-to-use features. The scalable computer-aided facility management (CAFM) suite of products was built on Autodesk's DWF platform, and, by incorporating the latest DWF viewing technologies, provides facilities managers with a simple, accurate method to create, manage and share building operating data throughout the enterprise. This is the first full version of FMDesktop launched by Autodesk, who acquired the application in January 2006 as part of the acquisition of Applied Spatial Technologies.

Monday, October 9, 2006

Ranal Launches CAMeLEAN/PM Project Management Suite

BANGALORE, India, October 9, 2006 – Ranal Software Solutions – one of the leading PLM products and service providers, and part of the Ranal Group – has launched CAMeLEAN®/PM, in India. CAMeLEAN®/PM is a complete project management suite that guides organizations through the entire project management lifecycle.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Your As-Builts Are Your Blueprint for Success

Most contractors know that next to the finished product, the as-builts documentation is essential part of a construction project. As-builts are the final blueprint drawings which reflect changes made in the field during the construction of a new structure or an addition to an existing. As-built drawings consist of a full set of construction documents and detail built structure in every detail. Electrical and Mechanical drawings are especially important part of the documentation due to the much higher cost associated with field changes. Most commercial property owners and property managers keep a set of current as-builts handy at all times to access essential information on daily basis. In fact, some entities consider as-built documentation such important part of the construction process, they require drawings to be completed prior to issuing final occupancy.

Monday, August 21, 2006 and Prime Edge As-Built Services to Combine Forces to Create a New Field in Stock Photography

UNION CITY, California, August 21, 2006 —, an emerging stock photography web site, which have been serving photographing community since 2004 had agreed to work on the development of new stock photography interface with Prime Edge Asbuilt Services, a professional service in SF Bay Area serving a network of Architects, Homeowners and General Contractors.

Monday, April 3, 2006

Autodesk Completes Acquisition of Constructware

SAN RAFAEL, California,April 3, 2006 - Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), today announced it has completed the acquisition of Constructware, a privately held company based in Alpharetta, Georgia that provides on-demand communication and collaboration solutions that streamline design, construction and facility management. The acquisition, announced on February 7, 2006, closed for cash consideration of US $46 million (see press release). This acquisition enables Autodesk to rapidly expand its Autodesk Buzzsaw collaborative project management solution with Constructware software’s industry leading cost, bid and risk management capabilities. The acquisition allows Autodesk to more completely meet the needs of its customers as they realize their ideas through the use of on-demand collaborative project management solutions.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Autodesk Updates Building Solutions Complete Portfolio

Autodesk Revit Building 9, Revit Structure 3, ADT 2007, Autodesk Building Systems 2007, Autodesk VIZ 2007 launched.

Tuesday, April 5, 2005

As-builts – Problems & Proposed Solutions

As-builts – Problems & Proposed Solutions

Friday, May 28, 2004

How big is a square foot? It all depends on your audience

Measuring square footage is not always an exact science. There are a number of rentable square footage measurement standards commonly used in the commercial real estate market. Each method, if used on the same space, would result in a different rentable square foot number.

Friday, January 31, 1997

New BOMA standards clarify lease space

The American National Standard for measuring floor area in office buildings is changing. The new version (officially labeled ANSI/BOMA Z65.1-1996) is an improved method designed to meet the current and future needs of the many industry professionals concerned with the measurement of office buildings.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

BIM and Laser Scanning for As-built and Adaptive Reuse Projects: The Opportunity for Surveyors

In his inaugural speech the new President made many references to using our natural resources more wisely, to reducing our carbon and water footprints, and investing in smart electric grids and other similar new energy-efficient technologies. Energy conservation and sustainability are top priorities and efforts are underway in many states to reinforce that--many offering fast tracked permitting to those projects that are "green". While many in the surveying community may view this as a nice gesture and work for others to do, make no mistake, while nothing is recession proof this opens up many doors of opportunity for surveyors, ones that are profitable and very much in demand.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Leica Geosystems Announces the Release of Leica CloudWorx 1.0 for SmartPlant 3D

Leica Geosystems announces the immediate availability of Leica CloudWorx™ 1.0 for SmartPlant 3D. This powerful and easy-to-learn point cloud solution is designed for Intergraph SmartPlant 3D users who want to take full advantage of accurate, laser scan as-built data directly in SmartPlant 3D. Leica CloudWorx™ 1.0 for SmartPlant 3D is the latest addition to the Leica CloudWorx suite of products that enable professionals to use rich, as-built point cloud data directly in their native desktop design and visualization platform. SmartPlant 3D is Intergraph's next generation plant design platform.