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Many of the costly owner/contractor disputes I see in my legal practice involve change orders — or the lack thereof. I know of innumerable residential contractors who, having failed to obtain signed change orders, have eaten hundreds or even thousands of dollars of legitimate extra work at the end of a job just so they could get the homeowner to release that final check.
Contractors who make this mistake end up providing lots of work for attorneys. Or, to express it mathematically: (No change orders) x (hundreds of thousands of contractors doing work every year) = a full employment act for construction attorneys.