In the world of construction, architecture and design, the word “change” has always been equated with another word, “order.” Change orders have always scared people and been directly related to additional costs. Whether a result of the architect or designer unilaterally making the change or the impression that the contractor was using it as an opportunity to charge the owner more money, it was never a positive word or term.

However, over time, I’ve come to realize that there are actually two other forms of, or use of, the word … “change.” There’s good change and there’s bad change.

Good change, which happens often, occurs when something does not go as expected, like an existing condition or an owner’s late night idea. Ultimately, a change is made in order to make the situation better or the detail work. This type of change, 99% of the time, has positive success and is better than the original idea or design.

The second change is negative. This type of change occurs due to lack of care or a deliberate choice to continue to make design modifications, layout revisions or construction decisions. The owner simply makes changes because they can, without regard for other consultants or team members and has little or no respect for the process of design or construction. Ultimately, these types of changes cost time, effort, and money with less than successful results and negatively impacting the final product.

Embrace change, at least the good kind. Other than that, move on and stop making changes.