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Using Field Orders to Avoid Approval Concerns in Construction Projects

Understand Field Orders and how they can be utilized in your construction project.

Owners and contractors may not recognize the significance of a Field Order (or Change Directive) provision in their construction contracts. For the Owner, a Field Order provision enables the owner to require the contractor to proceed with changes in the work, even though the owner and contractor have not agreed on the cost of the additional work. This allows the owner to avoid project hold-ups that result from uncertainty on the scope of the additional work, or from a disagreement with the contractor on the reasonableness of proposed cost. A well-drafted Field Order provision will provide the method of determining the cost of the work and resolving disputes. For the contractor, the Field Order provision requires the contractor to perform work even though there has not been agreement on the price. A Field Order provision that is poorly worded or that favors the owner can prevent the contractor from getting paid fairly and promptly for the additional work. This topic will help both owners and contractors understand Field Orders and their use in a construction project. It will help them to distinguish between even-handed provisions and those that adversely affect the owner or contractor when reviewing construction contracts, and to negotiate Field Order provisions that better serve their needs.

Learning Objectives

  • You will be able to define a field order and a changer order.
  • You will be able to describe how a field order is used in a construction project.
  • You will be able to recognize whether the provision is even-handed or favors the owner or contractor.
  • You will be able to explain the changes that you want to the provision when negotiating a contract.

87 minutes
Course Exam
Certificate of Completion
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Agenda

What Is a Field Order (Construction Change Directive) and How Is It Used?

  • A Field Order Is an Order From the Owner to the Contractor to Perform a Change in the Work Prior to an Agreement on the Cost and/or Additional Time
  • It Allows the Owner to Proceed With the Change Even Though Contractor Has Not Agreed on Price and/or Time

How Field Orders Differ From Change Orders

  • Change Order
    • A Change Order Sets out the Description of the Change in Work (Added or Deducted) and Agreed Upon Cost and Time for Performance
    • It Is Signed by Owner and Contractor

Field Orders

  • An Order by the Owner to the Contractor to Perform Additional Work
  • The Cost of the Work and/or Time for Performance Is Uncertain or Not Agreed Upon
  • When the Additional Cost and/or Time Is Agreed Upon, It Will Be Set out in a Change Order
  • Any Dispute Regarding the Cost or Time Will Be Resolved by the Dispute Resolution Method in the Contract

Field Orders Can Be Used by the Owner to Keep Work Moving Even When Cost Is Unknown or Not Agreed Upon, but:

  • Required Change Must Be Within the Scope of Contract
  • Provisions of the Contract Will Govern Rights and Obligations of Owner and Contractor

Typical Elements of a Field Order Provision in a Construction Contract:

  • Right of Owner to Require Work to Be Performed
  • Obligation of Contractor to Perform Work
  • Method by Which the Cost of Will Be Determined, e.g.
    • Cost Plus Fixed or Percentage Fee
    • Lump Sum
    • Unit Prices
  • How Dispute in Cost or Time Will Be Resolved
  • Requirement for Change Order to Be Signed When Agreement Is Reached

Comparison of Different Contract Provisions and Their Effect on the Contractor

  • AIA Provision - A201 2007 General Conditions
  • Other Provisions

Negotiating Field Order Provisions

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Why Lorman?

Over 34 years and 1.4 million customers worth of experience providing continuing education. Our passion is providing you world-class training to help you succeed in business and as a professional.

Credits

OnDemand Course

This course was last revised on November 30, 2018.

Call 1-866-352-9540 for further credit information.

No Credit Available

This program does NOT qualify, nor meet the National Standard for NASBA accreditation.

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Why Lorman?

Over 34 years and 1.4 million customers worth of experience providing continuing education. Our passion is providing you world-class training to help you succeed in business and as a professional.

Faculty

Denise V. Cheney, Esq.

Denise V. Cheney, Esq.

Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta LLP

  • Partner with Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta LLP
  • Principal areas of practice are public purchasing, real estate, planning and development and construction law matters, with an emphasis on the representation of cities, counties and other local governments
  • Achieved the highest rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
  • Frequent speaker on purchasing and construction topics, and has written a number of papers on Public Procurement and Construction Law
  • Board Certified in Residential and Commercial Real Estate Law and is a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers
  • J.D. degree, with honors, University of Texas; B.A. degree, with highest honors, University of Texas
  • Can be contacted at 512-472-8021 or [email protected]
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Product ID: 404493
Published 2018
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