Understanding scope of work terms in a construction contract

Getting a construction project off the ground can take a lot of work and cooperation between different parties. In California, a contractor may work with a number of subcontractors to complete quality work in a timely manner to finish the overall project on time. One way that entities working on a construction project can stay on the same page with regard to their duties is through scope of work terms in their construction contracts.

Scope of work is an integral concept in construction and will be discussed generally in this post. No part of this post should be read as legal advice. All individuals with questions about construction contracts and project-specific terms should consult with California-based construction law attorneys.

What is scope of work?

Scope of work refers to the part of a project that a specific entity is responsible to complete. For example, the scope of work that an electrician must complete as a subcontractor on a commercial building project will be very different than the scope of work that a plumbing subcontractor on the same project must do. That is because each has a different expertise and skillset to bring to the construction site.

Establishing scope of work for contractors and subcontractors can require parties to look at the building project in full. The project management plan may be referenced as well as projected and mandated timelines for completion. Parts, materials, and labor needs may be included in the scope of work terms of a contract, as well as administrative and regulatory checks that must be completed to meet applicable building codes.

Why include scope of work in a contract?

Without scope of work terms in a subcontractor agreement, an entity may not have any standards or timelines to be held to for the production and completion of their work. Scope of work holds entities to the promises they contractually make and gives aggrieved parties the opportunity to seek redress if they are harmed. When contractual problems arise in construction agreements, injured parties can seek support from construction law lawyers in their communities.


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