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It’s fundamental to comprehensively check the work scope included in the contract. This might seem obvious, but this doesn’t just include the works to be undertaken. It can also include restrictions and constraints on how the works are to be undertaken.

A good starting point is to clearly define what you have included when pricing the project e.g. quantities, attendances, number of visits etc. Ideally, the work scope in the contract should match the wording in your quote, however, this is often not the case. It is important to check for discrepancies as the contract will supersede any quotation you have previously submitted. The works should be clearly defined with all dimensions and quantities stated to avoid ambiguity and prevent disputes over variations at a later date.

Are there any interfaces and is it clear where your scope finishes, and another contractor’s begins? Are you reliant on another party to complete your scope? This must be clearly documented along with the date by which you need the other party to deliver; otherwise, it will be difficult to claim an extension of time resulting from another party’s failure to satisfy their obligations.

Have all the relevant drawings & documentation been referenced? Are these the same revisions as those you priced? If not, you must highlight any discrepancies. If there are new revisions then you should request to see these and identify any changes that affect your price, prior to signing the contract.

With regards to constraints and restrictions, were you aware of these when pricing? Could any of these have an impact on your price? For example, does the work scope stipulate reduced working hours? Are there higher than normal requirements in terms of utilising sustainable materials? Are there weight restrictions for plant?

Anything that can affect your methodology, programme or resources must be considered and highlighted prior to signing. Once you have signed the contract, you lose any entitlement to additional payment or time associated with these changes.

You must also consider whether you have been assigned design responsibility under the contract, but I will cover this in a bit more detail in a separate post.

Have any of these tripped you up in the past? What is your process for reviewing the work scope in a new contract?

Please feel free to comment with your thoughts.

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