Project scope is a term that you may hear people using when you’re beginning a home improvement project. The scope of your project is important! Knowing the scope, working with your contractor to establish scope, and then sticking to the project scope is important for ensuring that your home improvement project won’t break the bank. Before you get started with your Boston home renovation, this is what you need to know about the scope of work.
What is scope in construction?
Project scope is the total plan for your home improvement project. When you define the project scope, you define the parameters of the job to be performed. The scope of your home improvement project should be defined by your home remodeling contractor. You can think of the project scope as the what, where, when, why, and how of your project.
Does project scope ever change while the project is in place?
Project scope can change, sometimes in the middle of the project. Here’s a minor example of scope change:
You’re remodeling your laundry room and decide, midway through the project, to add a dog washing station. The dog washing station requires the contractor to tap into the existing plumbing into the room, and add a fixture that makes dog washing possible. It does not require a major change to the project itself for the dog washing station to be added.
Want another example of a scope change? This one is more substantial:
You’re in the middle of your kitchen remodel and have just discovered that the walls you were planning to remove can’t be removed as planned. You work with your contractor to make major changes to the original scope of the kitchen remodel.
What is scope creep?
Scope creep is a term that contractors use to describe what happens when the scope of the project keeps changing midway through the project. Scope creep often happens when the homeowner gets good ideas for how their project can be changed for the better, even though the project is already underway.
The problem with scope creep is that it can cause your project to go far over budget, and may also make your project take much longer than it should. In fact, often when a project changes midway through the construction, the length of time it takes to complete the project ends up being much longer than it would have been if the project had been designed with the changes upfront.
Fortunately, there are some ways to avoid scope creep:
- Make a list of must-haves versus nice-to-haves and keep these lists in mind while you’re planning your project.
- Do research in advance, so you know exactly what you want in your home remodeling project before the work gets started.
- Be upfront about your budget with your contractor.
- With a contractor that provides change orders every time the project scope changes. The change orders should include the cost of the changes, plus the new final cost of the project.
How can working with an architectural design-build firm control scope creep?
Working with a design-build firm can help control project scope. Your design-build contractor can adjust the scope of the work to fit into the initial budget. Architects sometimes design by the hour without as much concern for the final project costs.
This can lead to scope creep during the initial planning, as the architect offers more and more bonus features that don’t necessarily fit in the homeowner’s budget. Sometimes this happens because scope is not communicated properly. This can dramatically increase the budget or may lead to major features being cut.
When you work with a design-build firm, your designer can present your project in a simple form, to match your budget. The designs come with a contract that describes the project scope and the final cost of the project.
Work with the right contractor for your home improvement project.
When you work with an experienced contractor to make your home upgrade, you can expect your contractor to hold tightly to your budget. After all, that’s what good contractors do!
At New England Design & Construction, we work with homeowners to help them complete their Boston home renovation. We pay close attention to details like the scope of home renovation. We know how important it is to stick close to your budget, so we communicate with you at every step of the way.
When you ask to make a change to your project, we’ll be sure to tell you how that will affect the scope of your project. To find out more about completing your home improvement project without letting scope creep blow up your budget, call us today to make an appointment for an initial consultation.