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Building Tips | Commercial Buildings | Pole Barn Builders | Site Preparation

How Do Change Orders Affect Your Construction Project?

October 3rd, 2022 | 6 min. read

Nettie Grubb

Nettie Grubb

Nettie joined the FBi Marketing team in 2022 as the Marketing Content Creator. Nettie grew up just outside of Des Moines, IA. In 2016, she received her BS in Agriculture Communications from Iowa State University. Upon graduation, she has worked in agriculture sales and marketing. She moved to Indiana in 2020. Outside of work, Nettie enjoys quilting, crocheting, crafting, canning, gardening, fishing, and hunting. She is married and enjoys spending time with her husband and dog.

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You’ve designed your dream post-frame building, talked to your Project Sales Consultant, and signed a building contract. Then you think, “Hey, let's add a window.” But unfortunately, as you go through the building process, changes, as simple as a window, can become costly and delay your project timeline.

We want your pole barn to include everything you dreamed of, but to meet your post-frame budget and timeline expectations it is important to have the plan details worked out from the start. 

Our team has many resources, including Design Your Own Pole Barn, to help you bring your ideas to life. We also understand that changes may come up from time to time, and we want to ensure you’re aware of how those changes could affect your project. 

In this article, we discuss the four phases of construction and how the impact of change orders can affect your construction project.

Design Your Pole Barn_FBi Buildings


What Are the Four Phases of Construction?

We have four phases that a customer goes through after they sign their purchase agreement. First, they meet with our Pre-Construction Coordinator to finalize the scope, site excavation, and next steps for permits. Then customers apply and pay for permits while we produce the final prints. In the third phase, our Project Manager will do a site inspection, schedule crews, review any changes, and finalize a start date. Finally, the Project Manager and FBi Foreman will assist the customer through the construction phase.

1. Phase One: Processing

In phase one, that simple window being added has a minimal effect on time and cost. In this phase, you would notify our Pre-Construction Coordinator, and we would just need to rework some paperwork and get the window added. 

Due to materials continually changing, a change order in phase one could cost approximately $750. This includes:

  • Cost of the window, framing, trims, and labor 
  • Administrative paperwork

2. Phase Two: Design & Permits

In phase two of the building process we provide drawings of your project for you to approve, as well as, you obtaining permits and starting site work. Ensuring your construction site is ready plays a vital role in the timeline to meet the estimated project close date. 

In this phase adding that window would result in our drafters redrawing your building and the renderings, as well as updating the material list. If you need to make any changes, you would need to contact our Pre-Construction Coordinator. 

The cost of redesigning and the window would be approximately $1,000. This covers:

  • Cost of the window, framing, trims, labor
  • Administrative paperwork
  • Re-design construction drawings (drafting time and flow interruption)

FBi Buildings, Site Prep Brochure CTA

3.  Phase Three: Pre-Mobilization

Pre-mobilization is phase three. Here our Project Manager will take you through site approval, we order and receive all of the material and finalize the construction timeline. 

If you decide to add a window in this phase, you not only add the cost as phase two, but you also delay your project timelines. 

In total, a change in phase three could result in $1,500. This would cover:

  • Cost of the window, framing, trims, labor
  • Administrative paperwork
  • Re-design construction drawings (drafting time and flow interruption)
  • Update final material list
  • Purchasing expedite extra window for shipping to job site
  • Potentially re-loading material delivery to incorporate the extra window

4. Phase 4: Construction

Post frame construction has begun in phase four. Here adding a window not only includes reworking the drawings and ordering a new window, but at this phase, we could have had the metal up and would have to cut and reframe this section.

In addition, the  extra time to install the window will increase labor cost estimates and push back your timeline. 

While we do want your pole building  to include everything you dream of, making this decision so late in the process could result in $3,000+. 

If you have a construction change order you would like to make, you would need to contact the FBi Foreman and Project Manager.

This cost would cover:

  • Cost of the window, framing, trims, labor
  • Administrative paperwork
  • Re-design construction drawings (drafting time and flow interruption)
  • Update final material list
  • Purchasing expedite extra window for shipping to job site
  • Send dedicated delivery truck to the job site with the extra window
  • Crew undo some portion of wall construction to incorporate new window
  • Put back portion that was undone and make sure all goes back together well

Do You Know How to Prevent Change Orders?

As you can see, that simple window goes from taking a little time and costing $750 to over $3,000 and extra labor and time invested

Our FBi team is here at every construction phase to support you and your building project. We want you to leave this process with the building of your dreams and on the budget to meet your expected timeline. 

We need your help to ensure all choices and any changes are made up front to ensure we can meet your timeline and budget.

*Note that all dollar amounts are estimates and based on September 2022 prices. These are subject to change at any time and are given as an approximate value.

Pole Barn Repair Quote_FBi Buildings

Have more questions about post-frame buildings not covered in this article? Please contact FBi Buildings at 1.800.552.2981 or click here to email us. If you’re ready to get a price, click here to request a quote, and a sales team member will call you.