flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
catfish1 - bottom
Currently Reading

Sourcing your scope of work: The how and what

Sponsored Content

Sourcing your scope of work: The how and what

Rory Woolsey, MBA, CEP | April 25, 2019

When creating your scope of work, knowing the Who, What, When, Where and How is key to laying out the foundation of the project. Looking at each of these pieces in more detail, though, we know the information you include can make or break the long term plan being laid out. So how you do you source clear and accurate data while covering all the points you need to hit?

To outline the necessities in your SOW, you can break it down into nine pieces: purpose statement; contractor responsibilities; owner responsibilities; project execution requirements; quality, quantity, and means of execution; project timeline; payment and reporting schedules; related tasks; and contractor performance evaluations. These sections will help clearly lead the reader to one specific conclusion, leaving no room for interpretation and eliminating ambiguity.

In order to be clear and complete, you’ll have to gather a lot of supporting data. We did the leg work to identify exactly where you should source your information from:


Plans and Specs

Existing plans and specifications for identical or similar buildings should be a go-to resource. These documents (including those scopes of work) are an amazing source of information including drawings, details on the materials and products used, installation methods and quality of work.



Unexpected things happen on a job site, and contractors stray from even the best plans and specs from time to time. Studying as-built documents can explain why plans were deviated from and how. This will help owners prepare for changes or, ideally, prevent them.


Site Visits

For the Context Scope, there is no substitute for visiting a project site. A site visit will help inform challenges to equipment and material delivery, the conditions and operations of the existing facility and give a close-up look at potential security concerns. Walking the project area reveals ground-level knowledge owners can use to “build it before they build it.”



Trustworthy vendors have a wealth of experience and see projects through the lens of that experience. This sort of help and advice can help ensure scope is useful and complete.


Third-Party Data

A construction cost database is typically associated with estimating, but access to verified, impartial data is invaluable for scope development as well. A robust cost database can fill in knowledge gaps and account for details owners may not consider. For example, RSMeans data from Gordian includes assembly models where construction tasks are grouped together and square foot models that provide an early idea of overall costs. This includes all the components and labor associated with complex jobs and is invaluable in the early planning stages and for validating estimates.

There is no such thing as too much data. Knowing what information you need a how to use it in your scope will prove invaluable to you planning process. A Scope of Work sets the tone for the whole project, so make sure you leave no stone unturned and no question un-asked.


For more information on how to create clear budgets via Scope of Work, check out our eBook.

More from Author

| Sep 24, 2019

Estimating tips: Mastering the puzzle

Here are tips and tricks for three common methods of estimating.

| Sep 4, 2019

Costing a Construction Estimate: What You Need to Know

Budget miscues are entirely avoidable if building owners and reps stick to the basics and follow time-tested estimating methods. 

| Jul 24, 2019

Accurate cost data: A crucial tool for finding value

Architects and designers have a few different options for sourcing their cost data.

| Jun 27, 2019

Designing with value in mind

Everyone wants to cut costs, but not at the expense of the project’s functionality.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -
halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021