Construction Monkey

Construction Monkey Blog

Change Order Boat

By now most of us have seen the change order and contract boat image that has been circulating around the internet over the past several years.  The big boat is rightly called the change order and the small dingy is called "Original Contract".  This brings forward a very interesting question about how people think.  When you view the image it enters into your mind that this must be Contractor's set-up and he can only afford a very small boat with the profit earned on the base bid and once he got done with the "typical" contractor change orders he was able to afford the larger boat with all of those profits.  If that is your thought, you are not alone, I have been showing this photo to many people and universally that is the thought, but I offer a different perspective.

The Original Contract was what was placed on the documents and then provided by the supplier (read as contractor).  When the Owner received his boat, he realized it greatly missed his original desire and had to go through the process to get what he wanted, the Change Order boat.  This photo, author unknown, really is a great depiction of the problems we face as a construction industry.  First that most people's perception (including contractor's) is that it must be the greedy contractor's boat and his practices that allow this to happen.  Secondly, that it also shows that typical gap between an Owner's desire and then their ability to relay that information correctly to designers and then their ability to correctly relay that information to Contractors to ensure that the original intent is met.

No matter how you look at the photo, besides it being a great screen saver, it deserves some deeper thought and the way that a picture can define the difficulties of an entire industry.  I guess it is best said that a picture is worth a thousand words.

About the Author

Craig Pierce

Craig Pierce has been working in the construction industry for the past 25 years helping subcontractors master their trade. Currently he is President of Atalanta Enterprises which provides consulting services to contractors And software solutions through