4 Common Scope of Work Issues

The scope of work, which is also known as a performance duties provision, is intended to provide everyone involved in a construction project with a description of the work being done, how it must be performed, and what materials are involved. This description typically includes:

  • Project requirements, including regulations, standards, and special conditions
  • Contract objectives, such as quality of work
  • The responsibilities of the contractor
  • Contracting method
  • Payment schedule

In addition, a scope of work may describe how the owner and contractor will handle unforeseen events, such as weather-related delays.

When this key overview is deficient in any way, it can cause significant problems with the construction project. Below is a list of 4 common scope of work issues and their impact on a building site.

  1. Incomplete Descriptions

When the descriptions in the scope of work are incomplete, it affects the integrity of the project. There are problems with coordinating responsibilities during construction, which in turn leads to defective work and disputes over quality. In some cases, litigation may be required to resolve the situation, which delays the project further and even permanently,

  1. Different Interpretations

When the scope of work is even slightly ambiguous, it can cause the different parties involved in the project to interpret the plans and specifications differently, especially if they are contradictory to one another.

Although there is generally an implied warranty on the owner’s part that these documents are correct and sustainable, exculpatory clauses in the contract often lead to the owner trying to place responsibility on the contractor. The outcome is a clash between the implied warranty and exculpatory clause enforcement.

  1. Scope of Work Between Contractor and Subcontractor

Scope of work issues between the contractor and subcontractor are common. The former will ask the latter for a bid by identifying a subtrade of work without going into detail about the applicable plans and specifications. The subcontractor will bid on a portion of the work, unaware that the contractor was expecting them to bid on a bigger scope.

  1. Change Orders

Change orders are modifications of the scope of work. Unless a sustainable system is in place for addressing change orders, they can increase the cost of the work and disrupt the project schedule.

These scope of work issues can be prevented or, at the very least, minimized by establishing a resolution process before work even begins. You can accomplish this by hiring an experienced New York construction law attorney to work with you and the contractor to develop a scope of work that is fair, thorough, and achievable.

The construction law team at Rosen Law LLC has an in-depth knowledge of building regulations in New York, the legalities involved in projects of all sizes, and the dynamics involved with a busy job site. We have successfully prepared and negotiated construction contracts with precise and detailed scopes of work and protected client interests if issues ever arose. To speak with an experienced construction attorney in New York, please call (516) 437-3400.

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