Change Order’s in construction cleaning.

Final cleaning is the last scope to be purchased on a construction site, other trades are commonly working under and above your crew.  You are waxing and painters walk in your wet wax; vacuumed the floors and electricians leave wrappers on ground. This is nothing you can stop and must expect other trades to work with you.  Commonly you are working during punch list times, so trades are fixing what the architect did not approve. 

Change Orders is the name of this game. Have the superintendent sign off on rooms when complete or have a superintendent sign for extra man hours for re cleaning.  Then you email that sheet to the project manager for official approval. Do not let the superintendent get away with making you re clean for free. Change orders early is the only way to not be burnt on re cleans due to other trades on site.

 Submit early and often for any reason that you feel you are working outside of the agreed upon contract scope. It is ok to be turned down on a change order request, but submitting shows that you are aware of rules and will not be taken full advantage of.

22% of jobs have change orders, whether it is negative or positive.

Best ways to get approved.

  • Have superintendent sign off on a sheet of paper you write on with an estimated hours or amount.  
  • Have a prepared change order template printed and keep them on the job site and have job team sign off.
  • Then email this signed change order to the project manager and copy the person who signed off on your hours.
  • Email the project manager a change order document that she can sign off.

Change order by email is ok, it requires a written document.

Raul and I agreed to $500 for tomorrow’s trip and to cover some extra work installing shelves last week. Please consider this email your authorization to proceed. Sherilyn will issue a PO tomorrow.

Thanks for the prompt attention to this. Sorry for the short notice.

John Churan

Add dates to your service days.

1.) Extra powder puff on December 3, 2013. $1,276.22 

2.) Extra powder puff to clubhouse on November 19, 2013. $205.00 

3.) Clubhouse extra fluff clean and extra final clean. $570.00 


Do not go back to site and redo work with a change order not signed.

“We just got our money in from dicks late this week… they disputed our invoice and never paid us for the work we were asked to go back to do… The total we got from Ordner Construction was $8,000”

Sometimes it is required to sign the change order from GC, others you can submit your own document

“Attached is a Change Order for the above-referenced project for you to sign, date and return via fax (301.607.8577) or email ( After receipt of your signed change order, we will remit a fully executed copy back to you.

Angela Ayers


Keller Brothers”

Good/ Common Reasons to have a Change Order.

No running water or electricity, and your scope requires these to perform.

You have to run 4 extension cords from another building so you can power your machines.

Spend time walking 10 minutes to carry water in a bucket from the only working water area.

Extra time consumed because of other trades.

  • We finished the floor last night… after 10 hrs.  It took so long because the tile guys were there as well as the guy installing the ceiling and we had to work around them.
  • We have to back charge on this job. Bobby the Super told the painters to clean their paint off the Floors in the bathrooms and entrance areas, in which they never did, so we ended up doing it to be able to seal the Black slate tiles. And he told me to back charge them and he will back charge the painters. The cost is $800 for this.

Most exterior work is a change order, normally not included in final clean proposal.

“We need to change this CO to $1650 for Pressure washing off the sidewalk along Georgia and Randolph

We are no longer doing the windows, as Patrick says.

Safeway have their people doing it.

Vincent Murray”

Requested touch up-extra mobilization.

“Hello Again-Could we get you guys back out to Papyrus at the Bridgewater Commons? The outside of storefront needs a touch up. Let me know when you can get out there and how much it will be. Thanks!

Amy Marchiando”

Adding work hours to change orders help

“Friday night into Saturday should be $3,780. $45 x6 crews x14 hrs. Add to the previous change orders plus original amount. “

Some GCs issue change orders for subs to sign, others will accept sub c/o

“Attached is CO 6 for cleaning the mortar and precast from the windows. Please sign, scan, and return to me ASAP.

Matt Brodd, LEED GA | Assistant Project Manager”

The owner can get in the way.

“I am waiting on Red Robin to approve the change order for the additional work that was done. We cannot submit extra work until they have approved it. We have submitted it to them, but they take a while to approve changes. I also need you to sign a conditional waiver that should have been submitted with your invoice. I have attached a copy I have filled out for you.

Cindy Simms” 

Bad work will result to reduction in work and loss.

“We are not satisfied with the current result of the break room that we stripped and re-waxed. There are figure 8 swirl marks and “splotches” on the floor.

We have given everyone plenty of opportunity to make this right. We need a crew who can deliver the quality we expect on the floors. If you can’t find someone else to do the work, we will hire someone else come Tuesday and pass the bill along. The current crew is not meeting our expectations or industry standards for that fact.

Brett Garrett | Project Manager ” 

Always try to submit a change order, especially if you think the project should flow another way.

“Can I put I a request for additional money for salons by jc in Ansley mall? Two reasons:

  1. My original estimate was 1 full day deployment. I need a second day because we couldn’t get in several rooms because of painters. The front on the building still had contractors laying tile, so we couldn’t do that.
  2. The floors were to to mopped, and we would polish with mops and cleaners. We didn’t include a floor machine however one is needed, they is all of glue on the floors.

I would like to add 400.00 to the invoice. But if that is going to cause an uproar and get a headache and hassle, let me know.

Either way, it will get done.”

Most common change order cause other trades in your work area- Re clean.

“There were workers working on the ceilings and floors in some rooms and hallways.  All work to our understanding was done when we bid the job. We had to re-clean the areas they worked.

Movers were moving furniture into some rooms already cleaned and we had to re-clean around them. Movers weren’t expected until Monday.

Larkspur Allen”

Travel/ trip fee’s are allowed.

“I spoke with Gerald and we are back on site today. We are doing a change order because John requested the buffing and for that we are charging $335, also for the wait time and additional travel we are charging $540. I just wanted you to be aware when we send in the paperwork.

Robb Massingill”