This weekend I set out to build a deck. It was a small deck and the preliminary work had already been completed. We had drawings to work from and all the materials were on hand. I was excited to get started and hoped to have a glass of wine on the new deck by Sunday afternoon.

General preparations for the work were completed Friday evening. On Saturday we started layout, and at some point I decided to change the angle of the stair. Call it an owner change during construction. As an architect, I had planned ahead. As an owner, I changed my mind.

The change was logical. It turned the stair to be perpendicular to the fence rather than at a 45 degree angle to the house. We made the change and moved forward completing the main deck.

But this change also changed the north bench, which changed the stair, which changed the east bench. Then the storage compartment under the deck had to be reconfigured. The simple project had gotten quite complicated.

When an owner makes a change during construction the architect and contractor are usually happy to work to implement the change. But, all changes during construction need to be carefully considered. Most consequences can be identified, but not always. Changes often cause time delays and added costs.

Fortunately my project was small and the consequences could be anticipated. But it turned a two day project into a three day project and my glass of wine will need to wait until next weekend.