How to Save Time and Money With a Scope of Work

When choosing a contractor to handle a remodeling job, it can be easy to get lost in the details. They will typically write out a scope of work for you to agree to, but the scope may be so vague when it comes to detailed work that something will be left undone, then argued over, or left unsettled, just because it was not in the formal contract.

One way to avoid that problem is to create a line-item scope. If the project is going to require hardware on the cabinets, make sure cabinet hardware is listed out and budgeted for. The same goes for flooring, bathrooms, and other rooms that can be easily summarized under a single bid. Remember, the more detailed the expenses and scope becomes, the easier it will be to know if the price is something you are willing to pay one expert installer versus other options.

When rehabbing a house for resale, it is important not to go over the time constraints or the budget because those two things will cut into the final profits for the flip. So, if the estimates are not quite certain, adding a contingency line as a buffer can give a little wiggle room within the project for unexpected issues or maybe a few extras if other things are on budget.

Finding prices is fairly easy. A lot of it will be based on material costs, which vary from region to region, and the labor costs, which depend on the contractor. By getting multiple quotes on throughout different home remodels you can have a pretty good idea of what something should cost.

A Scope of Work refers to the total work that you expect the contractor to do. If you are unsure of will be required, write it down while walking through each room and thinking of everything that is going out but needs to be put down. There are often little things, like molding or toilet paper holders, that the remodel will need but that you often don’t think about ahead of time. You can also write out a checklist before you start by brainstorming everything that goes into the room, and bouncing ideas off your partners.

While creating the scope of work, don’t forget the chronological order of the remodel. Some things, like fixing electrical, will come before anything else. Outside vendors will need to be coordinated into the schedule at the right time so they don’t get in the way, for example, a bathroom vanity should be delivered after the bathroom floor has been installed. Some items, like outlet covers, will need to wait until after the painting and electrical work has been completed.

Once the list is completed, you can request that the contractor add their estimate onto the scope of work that you have already drawn up. When you are comparing several different contractors for the same job, adding them onto your template next to your initial estimates will make it easy to keep track of which bids are at the high, middle and low end of the spectrum.

No matter how you decide to organize and list out the project scope of work, a little prep work and organization will go a long way in keeping the job timely and on budget.