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Clarity and Collaboration-The keys to a successful scope

When it comes to construction, people often have to make important decisions without the tools to do so. They may have watched HGTV or read articles at Houzz, Fine Homebuilding, or This Old House, but these entities address “construction,” when “contracting” is really the essential issue at hand. Contracting can broadly be described as the” business of construction”. Did you know that when contractors start work on a jobsite, the job is already half finished? Surprising when you consider they just arrived. But it becomes less surprising though, when you understand that before any work commences on a jobsite, the scope of work has already been developed, proposals have been reviewed, contractors have been vetted, schedules and estimates have been drafted, contracts have been signed, and permits have been pulled.  If these business procedures aren't done correctly, problems will likely arise. 

Construction projects are notorious for taking longer and costing more than expected. This is often due to an incomplete scope of work. To ensure all work is included on the construction documents (i.e. blueprints and specifications), the contractor, architect, and homeowner need to work together. Accurate and detailed communication between all the parties is key to getting a toward getting an accurate price quote. If the scope is developed by the architect and homeowner, and distributed to several contractors to bid, then the contractors need to clarify what is included, and what is not included in their proposed costs. Things like permit fees and soil engineering costs may not be included in the contractor’s bids if they were not addressed in the construction documents.  To assume that the homeowners know these things generally leads to misunderstandings.  Clarity and collaboration are key ingredients when it comes to working with homeowners because everyone is satisfied when projects are done correctly, on time, and on budget.

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