Jobsite Paperwork, Part 1 Lead carpenters play a big part in generating, tracking, and administering change orders. The lead needs to clearly document them for several reasons:

* Documenting the change from the very beginning helps track the time required to finalize the process.

* The lead carpenter is the person who best knows the current jobsite conditions and how the change will affect them, and vice versa.

* It helps the leads keep track of their thought processes, so they can refer to the forms to see how they intended to accomplish the changes.

* It helps track a lead's ability to accurately estimate changes.

A complete change order should include the following:

* The date the change was first discussed.

* The materials needed for the change to be built.

* The subcontractors to contact and an explanation of how the change affects their work.

* The time frame for the change, divided into phases.

* Any discussion the lead had with the client about cost. It is a great idea for the lead to "qualify" the change by discussing the cost with the client. --Tim Faller, Field Training Services,