Any successful home remodeling construction project will have detailed and specific instructions of the work that is expected called a Scope of Work. A scope of work document is an agreement of the job that is going to be performed and clearly lists the deliverables, work to be done, schedule of work, milestones, and expected progress reports. This document must be clear, complete, logical, and concise enough to be understood of what is being asked of the contractor. The SOW allows for clear and concise communication between everyone involved in the project and is used as a tool to keep everyone on track.
Components of a Scope of Work Defined
Deliverables – Whether it is a service or product, this is the area the project is clearly defined and states the objective of the project which is being executed. This area can also be referred to as the purpose statement or objective.
Work To Be Done – For construction, a scope of work is where all the work will be listed for the construction job as well as who is responsible for each task. An example of this is Company XYZ will provide all specified lumber, nails, materials, and tools in order to successfully complete the job agreed upon. The more specific the scope of work is, the easier it is for a contractor to bid on jobs accurately. If a scope of work is created for an entire remodel, it is in your best interest to create a scope of work for each area of the house that is going to be worked on such as the bathroom, kitchen, garage, etc. so there are not any surprises as to what is excepted. It is very important to list the specific materials and finishes for each area of the house that will be worked on. For example, the bathroom will have this brand of the tub, tiled with this material, walls painted with this color and this brand of paint, etc. The more detailed and specific the SOW is, the better the communication is between the client and the contractor.
Schedule/Timeline – The schedule is an important element of the SOW because it lets the contractor know each phase of the project is expected to be completed. Construction projects need to be finished in steps and if the contractor does not finish each phase on time, the entire project can get backed up. When creating a construction schedule, it is a good idea to talk with the general contractor on timelines to ensure the project has realistic due dates
Milestones – On bigger projects that require many different phases of the project, creating milestones helps to keep everyone on track during the project. Without deadlines, projects can take much longer because there is a lack of urgency within the project. Construction projects are notorious for taking much longer than anticipated, so to help deter this, the client may offer incentives to the contractor for hitting milestones on time.
Reports – It is always a good idea to ask for weekly status reports and updates on projects so everyone involved in the project has an understanding of what is happening. This allows for the client to stay on track of important timelines of the project. Reports also allow for clear communication between the contractor and the client which result in a successful home remodeling job. Be sure to provide details on how you would like to receive weekly status reports on the project in your scope of work.
Must Haves in a Scope of Work
According to thebalancesmb.com, must have items on a scope of work are:
- The SOW identifies the contractor’s responsibilities
- Provides precisely contract objective and project requirements
- The SOW provides enough details to estimate labor costs
- Includes a contracting method and the payment schedule
- The Statement of Work has only one interpretation
- The SOW explains standards, regulation, and special contract requirements
- The Statement of Work presents in a clear manner all related task, duties, and limitations to obtain expected results in accordance with the project goal
The scope of work, or SOW, is one most important elements to a home remodeling project because it provides a written document of what is expected of everyone within the project. The SOW can be very time consuming to write but is well worth the time and effort. Creating a scope of work can limit the number of change orders and surprises throughout the project, as well as project discrepancies so be sure to include a detailed and specific scope of work for your next construction project.