How to Create a Scope of Work (Free Template Included)
How-To

How to Create a Scope of Work (Free Template Included)

BuildBook Team
August 4, 2022
Updated:
August 4, 2022

If you're a custom home builder or residential remodeler, then you know the importance of a well-defined scope of work document. This document is essential in ensuring that both you and your client are on the same page, and helps to avoid any surprises down the road. 

This article will walk you through the process of creating a scope of work template that will meet your needs. Happy building!

What is a Scope of Work

Before you start a project, it’s important to have a solid plan in mind. If you have a vision of growth and progress on your radar, a plan of action can help you get there.

This way, you’ll set expectations that make sense for deliverables or timelines on a specific project. This list of expectations is better known as a scope of work (SOW).

A scope of work is a formal statement in project management, either written or in the form of a document that outlines:

  1. General project details (date, who’s responsible, client, address, etc.)
  2. Project scope/description
  3. Deliverables
  4. Timeline/timeframe
  5. Financials/payment details
  6. Signatures/approvals

As it relates to homebuilders, a scope of work can be a part of the portion of contract documents that describes work to be done on a construction project.

It clearly states the expectations of the contractor. Any changes to the scope of work are done in writing and may cause a change to the statement of work.

Scope of Work vs. Statement of Work

A scope of work outlines specific goals to be achieved as a part of an outline procedure put together before a contract is started. A scope of work is important this way to ensure there are reasonable expectations upfront before work begins. 

Contractors and subcontractors may sign off on the scope of work as an easy way to prevent disputes.

A statement of work focuses more on project deliverables and is used in the management and documentation of a team to ensure performance is on standard for the project that is outlined. 

Why is a scope of work important?

If you’re a homebuilder or remodeler, you may be ready to jump into a project the moment you receive your assignment. Here’s why it’s better to implement a scope of work first.

Communicating effectively

Misunderstandings are common, especially when there’s a larger construction project to be done. When a scope of work is formed before a project starts, you’ll largely cut back on missteps in the construction process.

You’ll be able to sign off on project objectives, overall expectations, and make sure all parties involved agree before starting work.

Time well spent

Working in construction, you know how time is very valuable. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to remember what party wanted a certain change if guidelines aren’t established beforehand. 

When a scope of work is written beforehand, you’ll make sure all equipment and tools are accounted for before starting.

Pushback on sudden changes

When a project is outlined beforehand, you’ll avoid deliverables changing mid-project. Changes are already outlined as a part of the agreement and your project will be more likely to stay on schedule, on cost, and move forward. 

What a scope of work should include

General project details (date, who’s responsible, client, address, etc.)

As a part of your scope of work, you’ll want to submit details of the project for all parties involved. It should clearly outline subjects such as:

  • Date of your projected service
  • The contractor performing the job
  • Address
  • Client
  • Timeline of the project

It’s important to include these things because they’re direct and don’t leave much room for interpretation. If there’s a problem with the project, it’s clearly stated who owns it and the deliverables. 

Project scope/description

The scope of the project will clearly define deliverables outlined between you and the client. You can start by outlining what you and the client have discussed overall, like the projected date the project will be finished, tools that will be used, or the number of people on your team that will help the project go smoothly. 

You can also mention how your teams will work cross functionally to get the job done. 

Deliverables

When naming the deliverables of a project, make sure they are clear. Include who is responsible for what equipment will be used, and what your client can expect during each stage of the process. 

This can seem like a lot of information, but by specifying what contractor or sub owns certain parts of the project, you’ll save yourself a lot of potential finger pointing later on.

Timeline / timeframe

Maybe even more important than the deliverables is the timeframe. Look at everything you’ve outlined so far including the description of the project as a whole and what will be delivered to the client as a part of your agreement.

Consult with your team to come up with a timeframe that is reasonable for the project. Take into account delays and additional equipment that could be needed to get the job done. 

Financials/payment details

Clarify how you will be compensated for the project. This could include if you’re doing a payment plan for the project or a down payment before the project starts.

Specify outside expenses that could go into the project and how you’ll accept payments. Outline whether all payments will be required upfront, taken throughout the project (in milestones) or after the delivery of the project. 

Signatures/approvals

To make this agreement official, you’ll need to get some signatures. Signatures are important so you have evidence that all parties have read over your scope of work. 

Each contractor and subcontractor involved should sign to approve that they’ve seen the terms of your scope of work and agree with them.

How to create a scope of work

To write a scope of work, you first need to project goals specific to your contractors and subs who will be working on your project. Follow these steps to create a scope of work.

Start from scratch or use a template 

Keep in mind when creating your scope of work, you can use a template or create a document from scratch in Microsoft or Google Suite. Make sure that your scope clearly outlines project deliverables, timeframe, and the appropriate signatures.

The free scope of work template from BuildBook is a great starting point!

Be detailed, clear and specific

Make sure you’re detailed and clear when creating your scope of work. You don’t want to leave anything up to interpretation. Instead, clearly outline project deliverables, payment methods and times payments are due, as well as any project details.

You also may want to include any reports that will be provided about  updates, financial statements, and when the construction project should be finished. 

Include visuals when possible

Visuals are helpful in a number of ways. By including a visual representation of your project, you’ll give your clients a clear roadmap of their project. 

Gantt charts can be helpful to show a view of the entire project.

You can include visuals for the deliverable itself, your project timeline, or even the project description. 

Set proper expectations

A scope of work helps your subs and contractors set proper expectations of your client’s project. Be sure to include an estimated duration of the project as well as your expected due date. 

Collaborate with your team and offer descriptions of each task so everyone stays on schedule.

Make it executable, saveable, and easy to find

With fast, powerful, and simple to use tools, you can store your scope of work right inside your BuildBook account. With our Drag n Drop construction scheduling, you’ll be able to store any documents and maintain your scope of work right inside your BuildBook account.

Pro tip: You can use BuildBook Construction Management Software to store and manage all of your documents within each project so they are always accessible and easy to find.

Make it reusable

Once you create one scope of work, there’s no need to create a new one next time you have a project. You’ll now have a roadmap for future projects and can easily swap out deliverables, timeframes, and general project details, all from your BuildBook account.

Scope of work example

Here is a visual example of a general scope of work followed by a written examples of what you might find in a document:

Scope of work sample
Example of a finalized scope of work for residential construction

General project details (date, who’s responsible, client, address, etc.)

Subcontractor: John Smith

Contractor: Ian Heights

Client: Carter Nathanson

Project scope/description

Smith Home Bathroom Renovation that includes reflooring, increase bathroom square footage, and replacement of bathtub and sink.

Deliverables

Reflooring tile (specific square footage)

Fixture cost and model

Square footage (specific metrics)

Timeline / timeframe

Estimated Start date: 10/15/2022

Estimated Completion date: 11/15/2022

Duration: 3-4 weeks

Financials/payment details

Payment plan with 20% deposit and 80% due upon completion

Signatures/approvals 

Name: John Smith, Role: Subcontractor, Date signed: 10/10/22, Signature

Name: Ian Heights, Role: Contractor, Date signed: 10/10/22, Signature

Name: Carter Nathanson, Role: Client, Date signed: 10/11/22, Signature

Scope of work template

Ready to create your scope of work? Download our free Scope of Work Template for Home Builders and Remodelers.

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