If you’re looking to get the most out of your landscaping, excavation, or construction project, it pays to plan ahead. One of the major parts of any project between a customer and a contractor is working out exactly what your project will be. This is known as a scope of work. By spending a little time working on this as a client, you’ll make the initial contact and consultation parts of working with a contractor much easier and make sure your contractor is the right fit for your project. While you can’t complete the entire scope of work alone, there are a few things to plan out in advance.
Scope of Work: Client Planning
While you’ve probably got a pretty good idea on the project you want done, it pays to commit it to writing. This will help you figure out exactly what the issue is, and what you’d like done about it. This will also help you become more informed about the issue and how big of a project your problem might require.
What is the Problem?
A large part of any company’s work is to find the “customer’s pain”. As the customer, it pays for you to take a long look at exactly what the issue is. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Why do I want the project done? What is the underlining issue(s)?
- What is the cause of the problem? Are there additional factors complicating it?
- What do I think is the best way to solve this problem?
What is the Goal?
This last question leads to the second stage: the goal. In some cases, you might find yourself thinking of the project before you completely take a hard look at the underlying problem (the point of the first part). In other cases, you might have a problem without any clear idea on the solution. Either way, you should think of the goal: what the solution could be to the problem. A few examples:
- You might have a persistent wet lawn. The cause might be unclear and you’re not sure what the project might entail, but you know what your goal is: to remove the wet patches.
- You might want a retaining wall. It’s time to look at the reasons behind the project: what is the goal of the retaining wall, what problem is it solving?
- You’re looking to build, but first you need to excavate a foundation. Working with your general contractor, figure out exactly what you’re looking for in an excavator.
Scope of Work: Contractor’s Work
The second half of the scope of work equation is on the contractor’s side. It’s our job to turn your problem into a project, and break that down into tasks we can deliver on. This is all part of the consultation process, where we come to site of the problem and talk to you in depth about your problem and goals for a solution. We then plan out the project and all the tasks it will entail.
Project Creation and Tasks
Our consultation process is extensive and allows us to create an entire plan for your project. A big part of the project is breaking it down into tasks. For the retaining wall example, the project would be broken down into several tasks, including site clearing, wall excavation, installation, and backfill. Depending on the project there could be additional landscaping including grading and lawn installation.
Producing an Estimate and Timeline
The second half of our process is figuring out the materials, manpower, and machinery the project will require, and how long it will take. This will allow us to produce an estimate. As we’ve mentioned in the Timeline of a Project article, planning ahead can help speed up this process, and being able to produce a budget for your project can be factored into our timeline and scope of work.
We hope that this article helps you understand what goes into a scope of work, and what you can do to be ready to talk about it. If you’re interested in learning more about the scope of work on a project with us, let us know. If you haven’t started the process yet, reach out to us by requesting a consultation.