Construction change directives vs change orders

I am confused about a construction change directive and a change order. From what I understand a construction change directive is used under extenuating circumstances or if there is no need for the contractor to sign. For example 1) project must move forward, the contractor and owner can’t agree on price…Construction change directive. Example 2) Owner wants a Nanawall door, currently, the plans call for a window. The owner has made up his mind “I want a Nanawall”. This example would also be a construction change directive because there is no need for the contractor to sign the change order so it is a construction change directive. So if that is true it would be untrue that if there is a change in cost and/or time a change order must be issued? Please help

Hi @shaggy4464 ,

Let’s see if I can help clear this up. Construction change directives are used when the parties cannot agree on change, typically when the contractor either does not agree to the price the owner wants to pay for the change or the schedule impact the owner wants the change to have.

So, in your example, a construction change directive would be used if the owner decided they wanted a Nanawall and the contractor did not agree to the price change associated with the design change. The owner would tell the architect they want to modify the contract documents to include a Nanawall. The architect would prepare the documents needed to include the Nanawall in the design. The contractor would price this change. Then, the owner would disagree and say that this change doesn’t cost as much as the contractor is quoting. The architect would then prepare a construction change directive that would be signed by the architect and owner to ensure the work continues, even though not all parties are in agreement.

Later, oftentimes after substantial completion, this will enter conflict resolution as defined in the contract. Once a price change is finally agreed upon, the construction change directive will be processed as change order.

You can read more about this in A201:


I’d also check out the AIA’s instruction for use on G107 - Change Order

And G714 - Construction Change Directive

Hope this helps!

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