Developing a Scope of Work & Why It’s Important

Developing a Scope of Work & Why It’s Important


Scope of Work:

Why? How? When?


Developing a proper Scope of Work can be critical to the outcome of your project. Whether you’re rehabbing a property to sell it or you’re remodeling your own home, having guidelines in place to make sure everything gets done, and gets done properly, is very important.

To start, have a general document lined out that covers everything. When I say “everything”, I’m talkin’ from the color of the outlet covers to installing a new gas line for the stove. You want to make sure every single minute detail should be listed.

Once you have everything that you could possibly need listed on paper, create a Master Doc. This step is exceptionally beneficial if you renovate for a living. This way you always have a starting point for each project. Trust me, this will make your life SO MUCH easier.

Having an idea of what needs to be done at a project (personal or business) also helps you to develop a more accurate budget; You know more realistically what you need and what you don’t, making it easier to plan for the associated expenses.

When you walk the property for the first time after purchase or at the beginning of your home improvements, you simply cross off things you don’t need, or the things that aren’t relevant to this particular project. It is much easier to remove things from your to-do list than it is to add them in after things have started rolling.

If your Scope of Work is written out thoroughly, you can also give it to contractors during the bidding process. We present it to the contractors for bid, then have them use it as a checklist during rehab. Since we use this as our guidelines for each project, we also include a Contractor Overview on the actual Scope. This is our way of having our expectations written out on paper and on the jobsite at all times.

Ours looks something like this:

Contractor Overview

  1. Job must be kept clean at all times
  2. All contractors shall be responsible for taking care of their own clean up. No dogs/loud music/kids or unauthorized people allowed on job site.
  3. All licensed contractors/subs/independent workers responsible for their own insurance/bonds/workers comp
  4. All tools/material etc. left on the job are the responsibility of the person leaving the items. NorCal Homes LLC will not be responsible for anything left on the job, no exception
  5. Contractor to meet all schedules
  6. Contractor to install temporary lighting on interior before starting
  7. Contractor will have house cleaned for staging


You’ll notice several of these things as also items that are/should be mentioned in your contract with the vendor. The way we see it, there’s no harm in reiterating some of the pertinent details.

Here’s a Hint:

PRE-PLAN! This is a little trick we learned after several Scope Walks were way harder than they need to be. Take your Master Doc and virtually walk the property. Whether this means going through a walk through in your head, from the front door to the back door, or sitting down with a floor plan and pretending to walk the house. From that point, lay out your scope in the same order as the rooms will “appear” when you physically walk through them. For example – Entry, Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen, Family Room, Hallway, Bathroom, etc. 

You can set-up your Master Scope in whatever way works best for you. We have ours split up by interior and exterior, keeping Demolition separate from installation, etc.

Finally, don’t forget to mention Pest Work, the Garage, Landscaping, and some of the other big ticket items that sometimes get lost in the shuffle.

A proper Scope of Work will serve as a cornerstone to your project, big or small. Do you have any tricks you’ve learned that have helped you during the Scope-Development process? We’d love to hear it! Share your tips, tricks, and stories with us in the comment section below!


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