What is a Construction Scope of Work and Why Do You Need One?

Because It’s Critical to Clear Communication, Whether You’re the Contractor or the Customer.

Last week Gene explained to John what project information needed to be gathered…

  • Project info (customer name, mailing address, project address if different than mailing, phone number, email address, project overview, budget, project deadline, any other relevant information that you need)
  • Measurements and dimensions, existing and new
  • Building materials, existing and new
  • Pictures of pertinent areas and existing construction
  • Customer’s design ideas and finishes

Overlooking or forgetting something is a sure way to lose money when doing a construction project.

This week they’re going to take the information gathered and turn it in to a scope of work. This will be the foundational form of communication between everyone involved in the process, i.e., customer, contractor, sub-contractors, employees, etc.

As they get started this week’s meeting Gene asks John if he had an opportunity to use the Bid Sheet this past week and if so, how it worked.

“Yes.” said John. “It was a little awkward in the beginning. By the time I was finished gathering the project information I was glad I had it, because there were a couple of things that it reminded me to do.”

Gene replied, “That’s great. Do you have any questions?” Not yet.” said John. Gene smiled, “You will before we’re done.”

Okay. Did you bring it with you? Asked Gene. “I did.” said John, “I’ve got it on my laptop.” Gene told him to open it up and follow along. “Today we’re going to work on the most important part of communication between contractor and customer.

The Scope of Work

What is a Scope of Work?

A Scope of Work clearly defines and explains the work to be done. It should describe what is included in each specific task in terminology that both the customer and the contractor understand. A scope of work describes the work to be done on a project, who is responsible for completing the work, how the work must be performed (techniques used), and what materials will be used. It helps in the smooth operation of a project, minimizing situations leading to disputes. It is the first step to building a mutually beneficial relationship between a contractor and customer.

Communication with the customer needs be simple and direct while explaining clearly and thoroughly.

After having gathered the information needed for the project using the Bid Sheet, write out in a few sentences, or less, of what each specific task is going to consist of. Explaining what you’re going to do in a way that a person with little or no construction knowledge can understand. Include as much detail and specifics as is needed to be clear on what is or is not included as a part of the project.

Once this process has been finished for each task included in the project, you have a Scope of Work ready to be transferred to a blank Proposal template.

Here’s an example of a Scope of Work using the information from the Bid Sheet we worked on last week.”

As they’re wrapping up this week’s training Gene tells John. “Next week we’ll get into the pricing of a project.”

The real value of this Proposal System is in the pricing.

Previous posts in this series –

What is “business clarity” and how do you find it?

Learning How to Get a Construction Project Started Out Right

It’s Time for the First Meeting

Being Aware of the Common Bid Mistakes is the Best Way to Avoid Them

Constructing a Building is Better with a Plan, a Proposal is No Different

A Good Construction Proposal Starts by Asking the Right Questions

Learning How to Get a Construction Project Started Out Right

John Gets Excited About His First Meeting with Gene

As usual John had been on the go, nonstop, trying to keep construction projects moving forward, collecting money, paying bills, meeting with new potential customers when he realized, he had six projects that needed proposals. As he thought about this, he realized it had been more than two weeks since he had talked with Gene about how to do proposals.

He picked up the phone and dialed Gene’s number. “Hey Gene, this is John, have you got a few minutes?” “Sure,” Gene said, “What can I do for you?” “I just realized that I’ve got six projects that need priced. This reminded me of our conversation a few weeks back when you offered to go through your bidding process with me. Does that offer still stand?”

“Sure,” said Gene, “when would you like to meet?” John thought for a minute realizing he wasn’t sure when he would have time to squeeze this in. “I don’t know Gene, as usual I’m booked pretty full.” Gene waited for a minute and then said, “I understand. Think back to what you said in our previous conversation. Do you remember how frustrated you were?”

“Your situation isn’t going to change until YOU decide to make it change.”

John rubbed his forehead. He knew Gene was right. “Okay”, John said, “I can squeeze in an hour or two Saturday. Would that work for you?” Gene shook his head and smiled, remembering what it was like to be where John is.

Then he said, “John I appreciate where you are, but the process of getting from where you are, to where I am, isn’t going to happen in an hour or two. I’ve been doing it for forty years. If you can commit to four hours Saturday, I will be glad to meet with you.”

“Realize, YOU are the only one that has the power to make this change.”

John sat there with all the things that needed done, bouncing around in his head. Then he thought about how tired he was of feeling out of control. Once again, he knew his mentor was right. Gene had taught him so much about construction and how to build things.

Now it was time to learn about the business part of construction.

“Okay,” said John, “How about we meet at noon on Saturday and I’ll bring the pizza.” Gene said, “That sounds great and we can get started, but that’s all this meeting will be…getting started. Like I said before I’ve being doing this for years. It takes work, it takes commitment, but the end result is worth it.”

“It’s more than just learning. It’s a lifestyle change.”

“John, most people in construction never learned the business side of operating a business. This is where they struggle until they get to a point where they give up. Bring an open mind and an open heart and be ready to have them both filled.”

“Nothing is going to change until you take action and do something.”

Now John was getting excited and looking forward to meeting with his friend and mentor and making some changes in his life. He was beginning to realize that a getting a construction project started out right, begins long before any construction takes place.

What is “Construction Clarity” and How Do I Find It?

Lack of Understanding is a Sure Way to Ruin a Construction Dream

It was Saturday morning and Jane was cutting some cloth for the dress she was making for her niece, when there was a knock at the door. She was surprised to find her friend and neighbor Connie when she answered it.

Connie said, “I was just out for a walk and thought I would stop by to see how things were going.” Jane had just made a pot of coffee, so she invited Connie in for a cup and a visit.

She offered Connie a chair at the table as she moved the material out of the way. As she brought the coffee to the table she said, “I sure wish I had a better place to do my sewing. The way it is now, I do my measuring, cutting and pinning here at the dining table. Then I carry it all downstairs to the sewing machine.”

“It sure would be nice if I had a separate room here on the main floor where I could do it all. For years I’ve dreamed of having a sewing room added onto the house. I just don’t have a clue where to even start. Hey, you had a room added on a few years ago, maybe I should get your contactor’s info and check into it?”

“Oh”, Connie said, “I don’t know if having a room built on is such a good idea. That construction project was the worst experience of my life!”

“What do you mean,” asked Jane. “Like you”, said Connie, “We had this dream project in mind…it turned out to be a nightmare. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. The contractor we hired was the brother-in-law of someone my husband works with. I just wish we’d never done it.”

“What happened that made it so bad?”, Jane asked. Then Connie started in, “You name it, if it could go wrong, it did. We were excited when we first met with the contractor and discussed our ideas. We had this vision of our beautiful new master bathroom. Shortly after that the problems began.”

“It started with waiting and waiting to get a price. Then the bid we got was a short brief description with a price that seemed kind of high. My husband I talked it over, we really want this new bathroom, so we decided to go ahead. Then the real problems started.”

“There was little to no communication from the contractor, we never knew when or if he was going to be there working. We never knew what we were being billed for. He would ask us questions using terminology that we didn’t understand. There were tools and construction material scattered everywhere throughout the project. Sometimes he was gone for weeks and nothing was done. His last bill pushed the project over our planned budget by 30%”, he said “it was the additional work we had him do.”

“The worst part of the whole thing…the finished project wasn’t anything like what our dream had been.

Jane sat there for a few minutes with a puzzled look on her face. Then she looked up at Connie, “Wow, I never knew. Maybe you’re right. Maybe my sewing situation as it is, isn’t so bad after all.”

A few days later Jane went to a book club meeting at Lucy’s house. When she pulled up in the drive, she noticed the new addition to Lucy’s house. Jane immediately started feeling bad about what Lucy had to go through.

After Lucy invited her in, Jane said, “I’m sorry that you had to go through this terrible construction ordeal.” Lucy asked her what she was talking about. Jane replied, “I was visiting with a neighbor Saturday and she told me how terrible construction projects are.”

With a puzzled look on her face Lucy said,

“I’m not sure what hers was like, but this has been the best experience of my life!”

“It’s like watching my dream turn into reality. Would you like to see it?”, Lucy asked. “Sure,” said Jane. They went into the addition and Jane was amazed. From the outside she assumed it was finished, inside she could see that it wasn’t.

Jane asked, “I assume the construction crew has taken a break between processes and haven’t been here for a while?” “Why would you assume that?”, asked Lucy. Because, Jane said, “According to Connie, builder’s leave everything scattered around, and everything is clean and organized here.” Lucy said, “No, the crew was here today, and they’ll be back again tomorrow. It’s been like this every day.”

Now Jane was really confused. What was the difference between these two projects? Maybe this one would still turn out to be a bad experience before it’s finished.

“Who’s doing your project?”, asked Jane. Lucy answered, “Gene with XYZ Construction. He’s been great to work with.” Then Jane had an idea and thinking out loud, “I’ve been thinking about adding on a sewing room. Would you be willing to visit with me more about Gene and your project?”

“Sure”, answered Lucy, “They’re scheduled to be done in a few weeks. Let’s set a date and we can meet here. That will give you a chance to see the finished project.”

Jane was looking forward to meeting with Lucy and finding out more about Gene and XYZ Construction.

How To Put The Pieces Of The Construction Proposal Together

The Last Piece Is Always the Most Fun

If you’ve ever done a jigsaw puzzle, you know how frustrating it is to get to the last piece…and you can’t find it anywhere. This is the same frustration a customer feels when they don’t have the full picture of what is to be included in their construction project.


Giving the customer a complete and thorough proposal gives them the full picture.


Doing puzzles growing up I remember when getting near the end of a puzzle the level of excitement would begin to amp up. In the accelerated push to get it finished more people would get involved, in the rush, often a piece would get lost. Finding the missing piece and putting it in made the picture complete.


There’s a real sense of accomplishment when the last piece of the puzzle is put in place.


It’s the same finishing a proposal…the final piece is now in place. The hard work of gathering the info, preparing the Scope of Work, and pricing are done. All that’s left is putting them together to provide a clear picture for the customer.


Jane Smith’s laundry/sewing room project.


Start with the Proposal template.

Insert the customer information in the open areas at the top of the first page as it pertains to the project.

To: This is the name of the person who requested the proposal or is responsible for the project organization.

Re: This is a name describing this specific construction project.

For: This is the party or organization for who the project is going to be done for.

At: This is the address of where the construction project is going to be performed.

Copy and paste the description of the work to be performed and material to be supplied from the Bid Sheet on to the Proposal template. (See below)

Next, take the prices from the Worksheet for each individual described action on the Proposal and place it on the right side of the page. At the end of each section put the total price for that section. (See below)

Now that the description of the work to be performed, the materials to be used, the prices for each action and the totals of each section have been placed on the Proposal template, it’s time for the project to be totaled. Complete the Proposal by defining the payment schedule, determining the date in which the Proposal will expire and the duration of time to complete the project. The only thing left is signing of the document.

Once the proposal is signed, I recommend following up with a Contract. Even though the signed Proposal serves as a legal and binding document, there is nothing in the Proposal about when the project will be started. The Contract also includes more detailed customer information, a list of any referenced documents, a place for construction funding information, property specifics and legal terms and conditions.


We’ll look at a Contract in the next post.

If you’ve found this series on the “Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal” helpful and you or someone you know would be interested in the templates for Building a Better Proposal, keep checking back. In the next few weeks we have a big announcement coming.

How To Price A Construction Project Proposal

Now It’s Time to Give the Project A Dollar Amount

 

The next step in the “Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal” is to determine the price for the project. We’ve talked a lot about the importance of communication to provide a clear description of the work to be performed. Now we’ll go through the process of determining consistent and accurate prices.


Poor communication will cause heartache, poor pricing will cost you money.


We’ve gathered the necessary information and prepared the Scope of Work so let’s put some numbers to the project.


 

Here we’ll combine the next two steps in the process; determining what pricing is needed for each specific construction tasks to be performed and quantities pertaining to each.

 

 

STEP 3 – PRICING THE PROJECT


This process uses two different Excel spreadsheets:


The Worksheet
An Excel spreadsheet with all the construction sections and tasks listed out with optional overhead and profit markup formulas inserted in the appropriate locations.

The Data Base
An Excel spreadsheet with prices for material and labor for a wide variety of specific construction tasks.


Based on the descriptions on the Bid Sheet, content from the Data Base will be copied and pasted into the correlating cells on the Worksheet.

EXAMPLE PROJECT:


Using Jane Smith’s Scope of Work for her laundry/sewing room addition we’ll determine the right information that needs to be copied from the Data Base and pasted to the Worksheet. Reference the Smith, Scope of Work here


Questions need to be answered like:


Which tasks need to be inserted into the Worksheet? Many of the tasks have options; which to use, will depend on the specifics of the project.


For example; How is the excavation, trenching and landscaping going to be done…with a skid loader, mini excavator, by hand or a combination?

Smith, Addition – Scope of Work, Sitework Section:

 

Data Base:
Copy pertinent cells to be pasted to the worksheet. (highlighted cells)

 

Smith Addition – Worksheet, Sitework Section:
Paste copied cells in worksheet template. (highlighted cells)

 


More questions that need to be answered:
Is the footing going to be formed with wood or poured in the ditch without any forms?

 

Smith, Addition – Scope of Work, Foundation Section:

 

Data Base:
Copy pertinent cells to be pasted to the worksheet. (highlighted cells)

 

Smith Addition – Worksheet, Foundation Section:

Paste copied cells in worksheet template. (highlighted cells)

 

 

After the pertinent information from the Data Base has been placed on the Worksheet it’s time to fill in the specific quantities. This will then provide the prices for the work to be done.

 


STEP 4 – QUANTITIES

On the Worksheet you will fill in the quantity needed to do the work on that line item. This may be lineal feet, square feet, square yards, cubic feet, cubic yards or numbers of pieces. Once this is completed you will now have prices for the Proposal.

 

Notice the highlighted cells in this spreadsheet. These are adjustments made due to the attributes of specific tasks on specific projects. In the case of this project the small size and location of the work in the back yard require some additional work and therefore additional cost.


I know this is a lot of content and information but it’s not as scary as it appears at first glance. The question that you need to ask yourself…


Do I want to be intentional at serving the customer’s needs at a profit or just guess and take a chance?

 


The next step is to bring all the pieces together in a thorough and accurate proposal that will give the customer a clear picture of what they’re getting and how much it’s going to cost. Check back next week for this part of the process.

 

 

How To Price A Construction Project Proposal

Now It’s Time to Give the Project A Dollar Amount

 

The next step in the “Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal” is to determine the price for the project. We’ve talked a lot about the importance of communication to provide a clear description of the work to be performed. Now we’ll go through the process of determining consistent and accurate prices.


Poor communication will cause heartache, poor pricing will cost you money.


We’ve gathered the necessary information and prepared the Scope of Work so let’s put some numbers to the project.


Best Price

 

Here we’ll combine the next two steps in the process; determining what pricing is needed for each specific construction tasks to be performed and quantities pertaining to each.

 

 

STEP 3 – PRICING THE PROJECT


This process uses two different Excel spreadsheets:


The Worksheet
An Excel spreadsheet with all the construction sections and tasks listed out with optional overhead and profit markup formulas inserted in the appropriate locations.

The Data Base
An Excel spreadsheet with prices for material and labor for a wide variety of specific construction tasks.


Based on the descriptions on the Bid Sheet, content from the Data Base will be copied and pasted into the correlating cells on the Worksheet.

EXAMPLE PROJECT:


Using Jane Smith’s Scope of Work for her laundry/sewing room addition we’ll determine the right information that needs to be copied from the Data Base and pasted to the Worksheet. Reference the Smith, Scope of Work here


Questions need to be answered like:


Which tasks need to be inserted into the Worksheet? Many of the tasks have options; which to use, will depend on the specifics of the project.


For example; How is the excavation, trenching and landscaping going to be done…with a skid loader, mini excavator, by hand or a combination?

Smith, Addition – Scope of Work, Sitework Section:

 

Data Base:
Copy pertinent cells to be pasted to the worksheet. (highlighted cells)

 

Smith Addition – Worksheet, Sitework Section:
Paste copied cells in worksheet template. (highlighted cells)

 


More questions that need to be answered:
Is the footing going to be formed with wood or poured in the ditch without any forms?

 

Smith, Addition – Scope of Work, Foundation Section:

 

Data Base:
Copy pertinent cells to be pasted to the worksheet. (highlighted cells)

 

Smith Addition – Worksheet, Foundation Section:

Paste copied cells in worksheet template. (highlighted cells)

 

 

After the pertinent information from the Data Base has been placed on the Worksheet it’s time to fill in the specific quantities. This will then provide the prices for the work to be done.

 


STEP 4 – QUANTITIES

On the Worksheet you will fill in the quantity needed to do the work on that line item. This may be lineal feet, square feet, square yards, cubic feet, cubic yards or numbers of pieces. Once this is completed you will now have prices for the Proposal.

 

Notice the highlighted cells in this spreadsheet. These are adjustments made due to the attributes of specific tasks on specific projects. In the case of this project the small size and location of the work in the back yard require some additional work and therefore additional cost.


I know this is a lot of content and information but it’s not as scary as it appears at first glance. The question that you need to ask yourself…


Do I want to be intentional at serving the customer’s needs at a profit or just guess and take a chance?

 


The next step is to bring all the pieces together in a thorough and accurate proposal that will give the customer a clear picture of what they’re getting and how much it’s going to cost. Check back next week for this part of the process.

 

 

How To Prepare A Scope Of Work For A Construction Proposal

 

 

 

 

This Is A Critical Part of Clear Communication

 

We began this “Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal” series with communication and the problems that occur when it’s done poorly or not at all. This is without a doubt the area where most contractors struggle. It doesn’t have to be this way.


Communication is the most important part of the proposal process.


Things that are unfamiliar seem overwhelming. This is true for both the customer and the contractor. The customer when not understanding what the contractor is talking about and contractor when not having a system for preparing proposals.


 

Our “Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal” system has specific pieces and steps for simplifying the process.

 


Last week we went through Step 1 – Gathering Information. This is where the customer’s why is uncovered, and the physical information is gathered and recorded. Here, we’ll breakdown Step 2 – Preparing the Scope of Work.


What is a Scope of Work?


A Scope of Work, …clearly defines the project requirements, milestones, deliverables, end products, documents and reports that are expected to be provided by the vendor. It helps in the smooth functioning of a project/work contract wherein both parties can avoid ambiguities and situations leading to dispute. It is the first step to building a mutually beneficial collaboration between a vendor and his customer. From a Udemy blog post written by Richa


According to Juan Rodriguez’s The Balance Small Business article, “Must-Have Items on a Construction Scope of Work”, the basic elements…of a scope of work document describes all of the work to be done on a project, who is responsible for completing the work, how the work must be performed (techniques used), and what materials will be used.


 

Communication needs be simple and direct while explaining clearly and thoroughly.

 


Writing out the description of work to be done in terminology that both the customer and the contractor understand is key to clarity. It needs to include enough specifics to be thorough without being too technical. Communication isn’t any good if it’s confusing.

 


EXAMPLE PROJECT:


When meeting with customer Jane Smith we found out that she wanted to add on a laundry/sewing room. She loved to sew and did a lot of it. Currently she used the table in the main floor dining room and the sewing machine in the basement. Her washer and dryer were in two separate closets in the master bathroom. This made for an inconvenience when sewing or doing laundry.


Once we’ve determined the why and gathered the pertinent information…

 

…it’s time to prepare the scope of the work.

 

 

Once this process has been finished for the complete project, we’ll have a Scope of Work ready to be transferred to the Proposal template.

 


Next, we’ll start figuring out the prices for individual items using the Worksheet and Data Base.

 

How To Prepare A Scope Of Work For A Construction Proposal

 

 

 

 

This Is A Critical Part of Clear Communication

 

We began this “Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal” series with communication and the problems that occur when it’s done poorly or not at all. This is without a doubt the area where most contractors struggle. It doesn’t have to be this way.


Communication is the most important part of the proposal process.


Things that are unfamiliar seem overwhelming. This is true for both the customer and the contractor. The customer when not understanding what the contractor is talking about and contractor when not having a system for preparing proposals.


 

Our “Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal” system has specific pieces and steps for simplifying the process.

 


Last week we went through Step 1 – Gathering Information. This is where the customer’s why is uncovered, and the physical information is gathered and recorded. Here, we’ll breakdown Step 2 – Preparing the Scope of Work.


What is a Scope of Work?


A Scope of Work, …clearly defines the project requirements, milestones, deliverables, end products, documents and reports that are expected to be provided by the vendor. It helps in the smooth functioning of a project/work contract wherein both parties can avoid ambiguities and situations leading to dispute. It is the first step to building a mutually beneficial collaboration between a vendor and his customer. From a Udemy blog post written by Richa


According to Juan Rodriguez’s The Balance Small Business article, “Must-Have Items on a Construction Scope of Work”, the basic elements…of a scope of work document describes all of the work to be done on a project, who is responsible for completing the work, how the work must be performed (techniques used), and what materials will be used.


 

Communication needs be simple and direct while explaining clearly and thoroughly.

 


Writing out the description of work to be done in terminology that both the customer and the contractor understand is key to clarity. It needs to include enough specifics to be thorough without being too technical. Communication isn’t any good if it’s confusing.

 


EXAMPLE PROJECT:


When meeting with customer Jane Smith we found out that she wanted to add on a laundry/sewing room. She loved to sew and did a lot of it. Currently she used the table in the main floor dining room and the sewing machine in the basement. Her washer and dryer were in two separate closets in the master bathroom. This made for an inconvenience when sewing or doing laundry.


Once we’ve determined the why and gathered the pertinent information…

 

…it’s time to prepare the scope of the work.

 

 

Once this process has been finished for the complete project, we’ll have a Scope of Work ready to be transferred to the Proposal template.

 


Next, we’ll start figuring out the prices for individual items using the Worksheet and Data Base.

 

How To Prevent Your Construction Project From Falling Apart

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emphasis on, “The Project”, Not the Construction

 

 

You or someone you know has had a construction project, ‘not go as planned’.

 


To get it back on track may have just required a little clarification or…it may have ended up in court. Clarity of the project up front is the most important and most overlooked part.

 


I’ve heard people say the worst experience of their life was a construction project gone bad. It doesn’t have to be this way!


This problem can, and should, be addressed before any actual construction begins. The underlying issue with any disagreement is, different people seeing things differently. A good contractor’s job is to sort through these differences and develop a clear picture of the project scope, design, schedule and price.


Most construction projects fall apart for one of these reasons:


• Misunderstandings due to poor or no communication
• Blindsided by cost overruns or hidden costs
• Completed project wasn’t what you wanted or expected
• Not understanding construction terminology
• Poor quality
• Cluttered and unorganized job site
• Left hanging part way through an unfinished project
• Lack of scheduling or poor time management

 

The number one foundational problem between customer and contractor is –


LACK OF or POOR COMMUNICATION.


The first four…half of the list, are communication related. Good communication takes time and effort. Time and effort translate into additional cost. Additional cost means your project’s price is higher. Price is important and often leads to choosing a lower bid. Full circle back to the importance of communication. If you are aware of the differences and are presented a clear plan, you can make the best decision for you and your project.


The next two on the list have to do with trade skills and a LACK of QUALITY WORKMANSHIP. The level of craftmanship expected has been decreasing for years. I believe this is the result of importance placed on price rather than quality.


The last two focus on the LACK of HONESTY AND INTEGRITY. This is another place where the bar has been lowered and needs to be raised back up. Contractors need to say what they do and do what they say.

 


This entire list of issues can be remedied with attention given to these three overarching areas –


Better Communication
Quality Workmanship
Honesty & Integrity

 

 

Next week’s solution will focus on the number one reason construction projects fall apart – LACK OF or POOR COMMUNICATION. We will look at things you should know and expect from your contractor before any construction begins and throughout the project

 

Share your worst construction experiences in the comments below.

What Is the Cost of Cheap?

The Importance of Knowing What You’re Getting, Before You Write the Check

 

Too often people decide to move forward with a construction project without asking the right questions. It is important to get the answers before you start. What is the purpose or reason for the project? Who is going to do the work? What is it going to cost? The answers to these questions will have significant impact to your satisfaction (or lack thereof).

The number of horror stories that I have heard from customers about previous construction experiences is unacceptable. A construction project is a big investment and should be a fun, exciting and dream fulfilling incident.

Just recently I served as a professional witness in a small claims trial between a home owner and a contractor. Both sides had valid arguments, but the whole problem could have been avoided with better communication. The project was started without any written agreement. It was destined for problems from the very beginning. The contractor didn’t get paid for some of the time they had spent working. The home owner had to hire someone else repair some work that had been poorly done. They both had to pay court costs and neither won their case. When the trial was over it cost both parties more money, more time and more heartache.

Cost is so much more than just dollars. It is also time, contentment, enjoyment, etc. Remember…ask the questions before rather than dealing with problems after.

 

  • How much is it going to cost? – It amazes me how often projects start without this question being answered. I understand that it requires time, experience, and commitment from a contractor to prepare this ahead of time. Just like in the situation above, starting a project with no agreement, no clarity of what the project consists of, just a verbal hourly rate, leaves too many unanswered questions.
  • What is the purpose of this project? – Why am I considering it? What is the reason or reasons I want to do it? It may be the need for extra space for a growing family. It might be to fix some problems or issues; leaking roof, sagging floor, unsafe wiring, lack of insulation. Maybe it’s just because you would enjoy a nice new kitchen, a man cave, a walk-in closet, an attached garage or a nice new deck. The list of reasons can go on and on. The important thing is to get clear on the reason(s) before you start.
  • What do I want in a contractor? – This is an answer that will be as different as the people asking questions. Your preferences might be quality, personality, integrity, price, etc. The important thing is for you to decide what is right for you before starting the project not after.

“Is there anyone here who, planning to build a new house, doesn’t first sit down and figure the cost so you’ll know if you can complete it? If you only get the foundation laid and then run out of money, you’re going to look pretty foolish.”

Luke 14:28-29, (MSG translation).

There are many factors to consider and questions to answer when doing a construction project. If you do it before, it will make the whole experience better.

What questions do you have that need asked before you start your project?

 

Here are a couple of other posts that you might find helpful

Six Ways To Find Your Right Builder

To Hire or Not to Hire, That Is the Question?