The opinion in Westchester Fire Ins. Co, LLC v. Kesoki Painting, LLC, 260 So.3d 546 (Fla. 3d DCA 2018) leads to a worthy discussion because it involves a common scope of work occurrence on construction projects involving a general contractor and subcontractor. The contractor submits a subcontractor’s change order request to the owner and the owner rejects the change order. What happens next is a scope of work payment dispute between the general contractor and subcontractor. Yep, a common occurrence.
In this case, a general contractor hired a subcontractor to perform waterproofing and painting. A scope of work issue arose because the specifications did not address how the window gaskets should be cut and then sealed. The owner wanted the window gaskets cut at a 45-degree angle and the subcontractor claimed this resulted in increased extra work. The general contractor agreed and submitted a change order to the owner to cover these costs. The owner rejected the change order claiming it was part of the general contractor’s scope of work even though the cutting of window gaskets at a 45-degree angle was not detailed in the specifications.
After the subcontractor filed a suit against the general contractor’s payment bond surety, the project architect further rejected the change order because gasket cutting was part of the specification requirements. (Duh! What else was the architect going to say? It was not going to concede there was an omission that resulted in a change order to the owner, right?)