How To Use A Schedule Of Works During A Renovation

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Renovating a home can be an exciting and rewarding experience and a complex and challenging process. A renovation project can quickly become overwhelming and expensive without proper planning and coordination. That’s where a schedule of work comes in – it is a crucial tool for any renovation project, providing a roadmap for the project timeline and helping to manage resources, coordinate activities, manage risks and ensure quality control.

In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about scheduling a renovation project, including what a schedule of works is, why it is essential, what it should include and how to create one.

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What Is A Schedule Of Works?

A schedule of work is a detailed plan that outlines the tasks and timeline for a construction or renovation project. It is a list of all the work that needs to be done, broken down into specific tasks with scheduled deadlines.

The work schedule will include each task’s start and end dates, the materials needed and the expected duration. It’s an essential tool for project management as it allows contractors, project managers and other stakeholders to stay organised, track progress and ensure the project remains on schedule.

What Does A Schedule Of Works Look Like?

Typically a Schedule of Works can take many different forms, so there isn’t one universally accepted template, but generally, they are a written document with drawings to describe in detail the work that needs to be completed.

Usually, they are used alongside other project management tools like Gantt Charts and project timelines to provide a comprehensive overview of the project.

Many construction companies use the NBS (National Building Specifications) Scheduler tool to create and manage project schedules.

The NBS Scheduler allows users to create and modify schedules as needed quickly. It also includes various features to help users manage and calculate resources, track progress and identify potential issues.

Alternatively, some project managers will use straightforward tools like Monday or Asana to create Gantt charts and dependency tables. The perk of using a project management tool like Monday or Asana is that team members can easily share the project.

Why Do You Need A Schedule Of Works During A Renovation?

A Schedule of works is an essential tool for laying out a roadmap for all parties involved, helps manage resources effectively, facilitates communication between all parties involved, identifies potential problems early on and ensures that the work is completed to the required standard.

1. Providing A Clear Plan

A work schedule outlines all tasks that need to be completed, the order in which they need to be done, and the timeline for completion. This provides a clear renovation project plan that ensures everyone knows what needs to be done and when.

2. Managing Resources

A Schedule of Works can help manage resources effectively and prevent delays and cost overruns by outlining the necessary resources for each task, such as materials and labour.

3. Promotes Communication

A schedule of works serves as a communication tool between the project manager, contractors and subcontractors. By having a clear plan, everyone involved can coordinate their efforts, and any issues or delays can be addressed promptly.

4. Identifies Potential Problems

A work schedule can help identify problems early on, such as tasks that may take longer than expected or require additional resources. This allows for adjustments to the plan and prevents delays later in the project.

5. Ensures Quality

By outlining specific tasks and materials required for each phase of the project, a Schedule of work can help ensure that the work is completed to the required standard.

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What Should A Schedule Of Work Include?

A schedule of works is a detailed plan that outlines all the tasks needed during a construction or renovation project, the resources required, and the timeline for completion.

The schedule of work should include the following:

Project Summary

A project summary should be a brief overview, including the scope of work, project timeline and budget.

Tender Pack

A Tender Pack is a set of documents prepared by a chartered surveyor or project manager to invite contractor bids for a construction or house renovation project.

It usually includes a range of documents and information that help contractor bidders understand the scope of work and submit a competitive and accurate bid.

Some of the documents include:

  • Invitation to Tender.
  • Instructions to Bidders.
  • Scope of work.
  • Bill of Quantities.
  • Drawings and Specifications.
  • Contract Documents.
  • Health and Safety Information.
  • Site Visit Information.

The tender pack helps to ensure that the selected contractor can complete the project on time, to the required quality standards and within budget.

Work Breakdown Structure

The work breakdown structure should provide a detailed breakdown of all the tasks that need to be completed during the project and listed in the order in which they need to be done.

Task Description

Each task should be described in detail, including the materials, tools and equipment needed and the estimated time required to complete the job.

Resource Allocation

The schedule of works should specify the resources required for each task, including labour, materials and equipment. This should also include a pricing schedule for all the parties and products involved.


The timeline is essential and should include the deadlines for each task.


Some tasks in the project will need other tasks to be completed before they can begin, i.e. the kitchen can only be fitted with the plumbing being amended.

Risk Assessment

The chartered surveyor or project manager should conduct a risk assessment to ensure that potential risks or issues can be dealt with effectively and safely.

Quality Control

There should be a suggestion or description of the quality of standards that need to be met for each task and specify the inspection and testing requirements.

Communication Plan

The communication plan will outline the frequency and method of communication between the project team and stakeholders.

When Do You Need A Schedule Of Works?

A work schedule is ideal for small renovation projects as they offer a simpler alternative to the bill of quantities used in large construction projects.

The schedule of works can be used between yourself, the architect, contractors and designers from the initial instruction to the final stages of construction.

A schedule of works is created during the project’s planning phase before any renovation work begins, and it should be based on a thorough assessment of the scope of work and resources required to complete the project.

Once the schedule has been created, it should be reviewed by all parties involved and updated regularly to ensure that it remains accurate and up-to-date throughout the project.

Renovation Tender Stage

By using a work schedule when reaching out to contractors, you are aiding yourself in getting a more accurate quote. It is used at the tender stage for contractors bidding to understand the works required by the descriptions listed.

The tender stage is where a project manager or consultant will invite bids from contractors to undertake the building works. It is the stage where the project moves from the design phase to the construction phase.

During the tender stage, the project manager will prepare a tender pack or tender document that includes all the necessary information about the project. The tender pack is then sent to a select list of contractors capable of undertaking the work.

The contractors will review the tender pack and prepare bids, typically including a detailed project breakdown.

Once the bidding has been completed, the project manager will evaluate the bids and select the contractor who offers eBay value for money and is best suited for the project.

The contractor’s quantity surveyor will usually research the renovation project before converting this back to the schedule of works.

It’s also important to note that when you are searching for contractors to aid in your project, you should get at least three different contractor quotes, as this will ensure that you are getting a fair price.

A thorough tender pack will give the contractors enough information to provide you with an accurate price for the entire project and will accompany drawings to cover and outline all aspects of the project.

If you are using an architect, they will usually be able to provide the drawings for you.

Renovation Contract

When you have confirmed a contractor and agreed on a price, a schedule of works acts as a contract between you and the contractor. The price should only change later in the process if there are issues within the build.

Another way to protect yourself during this process is to put a JCT (Joint Contracts Tribunal) contract in place — which sets out the responsibilities of all parties involved and their obligations.

Renovation Checklist

The work schedule is a roadmap throughout the process, ensuring you can set deadlines and timelines.

If the schedule of work is created chronologically and logically, which reflects the construction process, it will form the basis of the programme of employment, which can be broken down into a weekly or daily schedule.

Renovation Progress

A schedule of works is used to express the value of the work that has been completed to date and the work that is currently in process, which can be helpful to present contract administration performed by an Architect, Building Surveyor or Quantity Surveyor.

Rolling Renovation Account Forecast

If the renovation works are subject to variation, these can be agreed upon and added to the work schedule, creating a rolling account forecast. As the building work is completed, there should be no outstanding tasks according to the schedule, enabling a timely resolution when the final account is made payable.

What Happens If You Don’t Have A Schedule of Work?

Not having a schedule of work in a house renovation may lead to a series of issues or challenges

  • Cost Overruns – With a clear plan in place, it may be easier to accurately estimate the cost of a renovation, which may lead to cost overruns, where the project costs more than anticipated.
  • Delays – A lack of planning and coordination can delay the project timeline, especially if you encounter unexpected issues like the discovery of Japanese knotweed or delays in obtaining permits and approvals.
  • Poor Quality of Work – With a work schedule, you may find it easier to monitor the work quality, resulting in poor finishes or the project being rushed and then redone at an additional cost.
  • Miscommunication – With a communication plan, you may find that misunderstandings between contractors, tradespeople, architects and designers will lead to clarity and delays in the project.
  • Safety Risks – A renovation project can be hazardous if not properly planned and executed. Without a schedule of work, there may be a higher risk of accidents and injuries on the job site.
  • Disputes – If there are any disputes at the end of the renovation project due to the poor finish of the project, with a JCT contract or schedule of work in place, it may be easier to argue the standard of quality that was initially promised.

It is essential to create a detailed schedule of work before beginning a renovation project to ensure that the project remains as safe and efficient as possible.

When Is A Schedule Of Works Not Needed?

While an exact schedule is a valuable tool for managing construction or renovation projects, there are some situations where it may not be needed or may not be practical to create.

If you are undertaking an emergency renovation like a burst pipe or damaged roof, a small-scale project or a DIY renovation like painting a room, replacing a single fixture or doing any work without the need for construction, then using a schedule of works may not be necessary.

However, it’s a free world, so you could still create a work schedule if you need to order products and want to have set deadlines for the home renovation work to be completed.

Some design-build projects may also not require a schedule of work as the design and construction process are integrated, and changes to the design can be made on the fly.

What Is A Bill Of Quantities?

A BOQ, BQ or Bill of Quantities is a document that provides a detailed breakdown of the quantities and cost of all the materials, labour and equipment needed to complete a construction or renovation project.

The Bill of Quantities is usually created by a Quantity Surveyor (QS).

It is a comprehensive list of all the items required for the project, including the quantities and prices. A Bill of Quantities typically includes:

  • Item Description – A list of all items required for the project, such as materials, equipment and labour.
  • Quantity – The specification of the amount of each item required for the project, usually measured in units such as metres, cubic metres or pieces.
  • Rate – The specification of the cost per unit for each item, including any additional fees such as delivery charges or taxes.
  • Amount – A calculation of the total cost of each item by multiplying the quantity by the rate.

Contractors and project managers use the Bill of Quantities to estimate the project’s total cost, compare bids from suppliers and contractors, and manage the procurement process.

There are two different types of Bills of Quantities:

Firm Bill of Quantities

A Firm Bill of Quantities measures and precisely describes the amount of work required, making it priced far more accurately.

Approximate Bill of Quantities

An Approximate Bill of Quantities is less accurate and used if there isn’t enough detail or information for the Firm BOQ when pricing the project.

How Does A Bill Of Quantities & Schedule of Works Differ?

A Schedule of Works provides a stage-based pricing structure, showing multiple totals for the various stages of the renovation project. In contrast, the Bill of Quantities is like an itemised bill.

Why Is Scheduling Important In Renovation?

Scheduling during a renovation is crucial to stay on track, coordinate all work and activities, control the quality of work, manage any risks, and efficiently use resources.

Using a work schedule also acts as a contract between you and the contractor, so if anything doesn’t meet your expectations, you can ask for amendments.

When It’s Time To Renovate, What Comes First?

The first thing you will need to do before you start any work on a renovation project, you will need to create a plan and design for all the work you wish to complete.

What Is The Correct Order To Renovate A House?

There is no correct order when renovating your home, as the order will depend on several factors, such as the property’s condition, the extent of the renovation and your budget.

However, you should always create a plan and design first; this could be by contacting an architect or surveyor to understand the scope of work that needs to be completed.

You can then go about any structural and exterior work, then plumbing and electrical work, insulation and drywall, painting and finishing and finally, any final touches.

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Tom is a Digital Content Writer passionate about sustainable property & property trends. Regardless of the subject, he will always write blogs of the best calibre. Read more about Tom here.

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About Tom Condon 127 Articles
Tom is a Digital Content Writer passionate about sustainable property & property trends. Regardless of the subject, he will always write blogs of the best calibre. Read more about Tom here.

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