135 – How To Write A Scope Of Work For Renovation

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The School of Renovating and She Renovates Podcast with Bernadette Janson

She Renovates Episode 135: How To Write A Scope Of Work For Renovation

A renovation scope of work is an essential tool for restoration project management. If you want to improve your home, here are some techniques and concrete ideas to give you an edge.

Podcast: Download (Duration 16:28 — 15MB)

How To Write A Scope Of Work For Renovation


  • [1:34] New feature release: What’s Your Reno Question?
  • [3:30] What is the renovation scope of work?
  • [4:25] Importance of the scope work checklist
  • [6:09] Three main sections to the renovation scope of work
  • [6:42] Outlining the renovation project
  • [7:49] Talking about the communication details
  • [8:40] Timeframe of the renovation project
  • [9:15] Setting the standard of renovation work on your project
  • [9:53] Documentation you need for the project
  • [10:29] How to deal with waste
  • [11:40] Work details that trades need to cover
  • [15:20] The Newcastle Class project update
The School of Renovating and She Renovates Podcast with Bernadette Janson

Preparing scopes of work is an important part of the renovation process. When we are renovating professionally, we need to operate in a way that reduces the risk of mistakes and makes our life easier, and our projects run smoothly…” ~ Bernadette Janson

When Do You Need To Write A Renovation Scope Of Work?

It is important to note that you only need to take responsibility for the scopes of work for If you are project managing trades directly as we do in our typical cosmetic plus renovation. If you are engaging a builder to manage your whole renovation then the scopes are the builders responsibility.

The School of Renovating and She Renovates Podcast with Bernadette Janson

What Is A Renovation Scope Of Work And Why Do You Need One?

A renovation scope of work is a written account of the tasks that you require each trade to complete on your project and an outline of your rules of engagement. It forms the basis of your tendering process and ensures that the majority work that needs to be done to complete the project is covered by the trade quotes.

If you write a renovation scope of work, it will help you to communicate clearly with your trades about what you are needing them to include in their quote. This will not only ensure that nothing is left out but It also enables you to make accurate comparisons of the quotes (compare apples with apples). It also serves as a written record of what has been quoted if you do have any disputes about variations further down the track of the project.

Maintaining The Accuracy Of Your Renovation Scope Of Work:

Technically the  scope of work should form part of the contract along with the specifications, plans and approval documents.  

In the course of your conversations with the trades during the tender process, you will need to update your scope of work. When that happens, it is important to upgrade the scope for all contractors quoting on that trade package.

The School of Renovating and She Renovates Podcast with Bernadette Janson

Checklist For Writing A Scope Of Work For Renovation

There’s three main sections to a scope of work:

  1. The project details
  2. The standards required for your project
  3. Description of work required from each trade

1.The Project Details

Provide the basic high-level detail of the project including the address and a description of the property.

You also want to provide an outline of the objectives of the project. If you are renovating for sale, make sure they know this so that they are aware that time and cost are a very high priority. Some renovators are concerned that it will encourage poor workmanship. We respond to that possibility in the next section where we spell out clearly the standards we expect on our project.

Make sure you include how the project will be accessed. For instance, if you have a key safe on-site, let them know so they know they have the ability to access the site when needed. Don’t share the security code until you have fully engaged the contractor. Also include the hours of work as per the requirements of your local council or owners corporation. You might also want to outline what parking is available for trades. While you are not obliged to provide parking, the easier you make it for your trades, the easier they will make it for you.

Lastly, outline the lines of communication. Inform them of who is managing the project and their contact details and emergency contact as well.

The School of Renovating and She Renovates Podcast with Bernadette Janson

2. The Standards Required For Your Project

This is where you establish ground rules for quality and compliance. Include a statement that they are expected to observe the relevant legislation in your location particularly in regards to the National Construction Code and Work health and safety legislation

In regards to compliance, you want to let them know in advance of the documentation you’ll need from them. More specifically Insurance certificates of currency, trade licensing documents, and ABN. Sometimes you may even need to sight a visa.

Some trades are really organised and they have it all available via a website link. Others are not so. If you let the trades know what you are needing at the tender stage, you can weed problems out rather than going down the road of having them price the project, and then find that they’re in a position to do the job due to not having adequate insurance cover, licence or the ability to work legally.

Something else you might include is how you would like them to deal with waste. Be clear about whose responsibility it is to remove and if it’s not theirs, how you will provide for waste removal.

3 . Description Of Work Required From Each Trade

Write a detailed description of the tasks they need to complete in each area of the project. Make it clear if they are supplying labour only or labour and materials. If when you start meeting the trades on site you discover from feedback that your scope is inadequate, don’t worry. Use their feedback to update the scope and make sure you relay the update to all other contractors quoting on that particular trade package. If the contractor is supplying materials, make sure you supply the specifications for anything visible such as roofing material, paint colours etc. DO NOT LEAVE ANY design decisions up to the contractor.

Lastly, you should supply a list and details of the materials that you will be supplying for the project as well.

The School of Renovating and She Renovates Podcast with Bernadette Janson

Wrapping it all up

It is important that when you write your scope of work for a renovation that you include a copy of the specifications, plans, program and approval documents and meet the trade on-site to discuss the details.

If you follow this process during your trade tender period, you will seriously reduce the number of problems you have in the course of your project and most importantly will elevate your performance as a renovation project manager significantly

She Renovates Facebook Group

If you’re sitting there thinking I wonder and have a question to ask head over to our free  She Renovates Facebook Group. You will find over a thousand crazy renovators who just love talking, renovating and would love to answer your question.

She Renovates Free Facebook Group

If you want to meet up with a group of savvy renovators. I would say come over and join She Renovates Facebook Group. It’s a completely FREE Facebook group and it is growing at the rate of knots. We hit over a thousand members just recently, and now it seems to have picked up momentum. They are all savvy renovating women and men working their little hearts out to live a better life through renovating.

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Bernadette Janson

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