Top Reasons for Price Changes

July 29, 2020

Unlike other construction companies, when you work with the vertically integrated Morton Buildings, you benefit from our experience of keeping change orders to a minimum. However, on occasion, price changes can happen and here are the four top reasons that a price change occurs:

1. Underground Obstruction:

Not only can underground obstructions increase cost, but they will also slow down your project when specialty digging equipment is needed. Some common obstructions include shallow layers of rock, loose fill, existing tree roots, buried items, high water table, and buried utility lines. The cost of digging through obstructions is difficult to determine until digging is complete. At that time, a change order will be done to add the cost on to the project.

Note: Dotted lines are typically owned by the homeowner. Private locating services will mark these for a fee.

Owners of underground facilities (telephone, cable TV, gas, electric, pipelines, sewer, traffic signals, and waterlines) are responsible for locating the lines that they own or maintain once they have been notified of the planned excavation.

You, or the company you’ve hired to do the work, should call 811 from any state. Call before excavating on any piece of commercial or residential land, including your own private property. It’s a free service. Technicians will be sent to the site to locate public utilities using electromagnetic equipment. Then, they mark any that run from the street to the service meter. But this doesn’t mean that the area is clear and you’re free to proceed with the digging. One-call location crews only locate public utility lines. You will probably need to make a second call before starting your excavating project.

You may require a private utility locator to find and demarcate underground electrical lines, gas pipes, and more, on private, residential, commercial, and municipal land. Private utilities are the lines that run beyond the service meter. For example, buried electrical cables that go from the meter to a house or building would be considered private. For safety and liability reasons, it’s important to have these lines accurately and properly marked before starting to dig, even on your own property. To have these marked, you will need to call in a private underground utility locator.

Private underground facilities can be located by hiring a contract locator or a plumber that has access to locating equipment. Or to find a private locator company in your area, please visit or contact your utility companies for assistance.

2. Scope of Work Changes:

Scope of work changes are any changes made to the job after the contract has been signed. We understand you may have changes throughout the construction process. As time progresses, so does the complexity of these changes, which may be costly and delay construction. We encourage all customers to make any changes early in the process in order to avoid these fees and delays if at all possible. If at any time you may want to change the scope of work on your dream building, talk to your sales consultant about how this could impact your build’s timeline or costs. Our goal is to build you the building you really want and sometimes those wants/needs can change.

3. Improper Site Preparation:

A construction site that is not properly prepared will increase construction time and gives the crew an unsafe working environment. Upon contract, a preconstruction guide is made available to Morton Buildings customers to help alleviate any site preparation issues. This is a great resource, especially if you plan to manage any of the site prep or concrete work for your building project. Two examples of site issues, which could result in increased costs, would be excessive slope around the building requiring different style lifts than anticipated in the initial proposal or poorly compacted fill increasing the time for excavation for the footings. As always, the local sales consultant is also available assist with any questions throughout the construction process.

4. Relocation of the Building Pad:

Occasionally a customer’s excavator may recommend a different location for the building than has been included in the original agreement for construction. From the perspective of the excavation, this location is preferable. If this location restricts access to all sides of the building, includes excessive slopes, removes the site from the source of electricity for construction, or limits the space to unload and stage the building materials, there could be additional charges. If you consider a major shift, we highly recommend that you obtain a review by your Morton sales consultant before proceeding with that site preparation.

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