Schedule of works is a contract agreement between two parties outlining the schedule and sequence of work required to be done versus the schedule of incremental payments within a project.
Planning is the key for successful accomplishment of every project.
Planning is only one aspect of successful accomplishment.
Implementation is the key; taking action based on the plan created is the key.
It’s easier said than done. Getting agreement from all team members involved and keeping communication transparent between all team members is a must.
The golden triangle of project management:
The three elements Scope, Time and cost whilst delivering a quality output there by quality outcome.
As a continuation to the previous theme I published on property refurbishment, this post is focused on schedule of works based on full refurbishment of few units we refurbished last 2 years.
What is Schedule Of Works?
In simple terms, it is a high-level agreement between the contractor and the landlord on timeline of
- What property refurbishment will be done?
- By when will it be done?
- What payments will be due based on the works carried out?
Estimate For Refurbishment:
An initial estimate by the contractor for the property refurbishment feeds into the schedule of works to be agreed by all parties.
Estimate includes the materials and labour.
You may want to buy materials from your preferred supplier LNPG, Benchmarx or anyone else.
It will be helpful, as a landlord to be aware of rough costs based on which part of the country you are based.
Costs up north are relatively bit cheaper than costs in the south of England.
An estimate should take the type of project as well into consideration, whether it is a Flip project or Buy to let project.
Once we have a complete list of works to be done and payments that we have to do, all that is left is to plan the sequence of works and payment structure.
It is a good idea and courtesy to inform neighbours regarding the property refurb and any possible disturbances.
On this property, we have done full refurbishment by stripping back to brick.
That simply involved
- Damp-proof course (DPC)
- New toilet
- Fix Dry rot
- New kitchen
- Full paint
Putting it together as a schedule…..
Schedule Of Works Week 1: Full Strip Out
Needless to say, when working with full refurb, it is important to go back to brick.
Top Tip: When viewing a property if the walls have wood chip, it could be difficult to take it off. Ensure you add additional amount to your budget.
For all the steps, if you have hired a project manager, they should be planning the team and additional resources required to accomplish the task.
For Full Strip out you need:
- Funds to kick off the project and initial payment to start the work.
- Skilled people to strip out the property and prepare for next steps.
- Skip may be more than one based on the size of the property.
- Skip license where needed, permission from the council if you want to put skip on public road. You could be fined up to £1000 if you don’t put required markings and lightings.
- Property is ready for next steps.
- Any issues underneath the plastering will show up, e.g. dry rot, wet rot, woodworm
Top Tip: After full strip check for any wet rot, dry rot or woodworm issues, so that they can be treated before rest of the activities start.
Damp can occur due to different reasons in the property. We have discussed quite a few reasons in our article The Ultimate Guide That Explains Damp In A Property.
Penetration damp can occur due to leaks in the roof.
While planning for a damp proof course, it is best to get any roof issues fixed as soon as possible to take care of penetration damp.
While on the roof, it is better to check gutters to ensure smooth flow of water. Clogged gutters will cause water to get into property and cause penetration damp.
- Fixed roof
- Cleaned gutters
- Materials ordered for week 2
- Damp proof course materials
- Wiring or materials required for prework of electrician.
Schedule Of Works Week 2 Electrical And Damp-Proof Course (DPC):
Engage electrician early in the process to check if there is any prework required for wiring the property.
It is good to identify the location for electric power points and complete wiring so that DPC or plastering can be planned.
It is a good idea to engage plumber as well to assess if there is any prework required from plumbing perspective before the DPC work begins.
Different types of DPC’s can be done to the property. We have used Damp proof injection in our properties where ever required.
At the end of DPC ensure you get the certificate of DPC from the contractor who did the DPC.
- Prework complete for electrical wiring
- Prework complete for plumbing
- DPC complete
- Prepare team and order materials for plastering of walls
Schedule Of Works Week 3 Plastering Walls:
Finish electrical work as much as possible so that plastering can start. In all our refurbed buy to let properties, we have wired smoke alarms.
We also install PVS(pressure ventilating system) to avoid and condensation problems in our properties.
A clean finish of the plastering of walls is very important for the look of the property. Both letting and especially flip properties, customers must be keen to take the property.
When DPC is completed, we could choose to plaster just the 1 meter high where DPC is done or do plastering for the entire wall.
For properties which needed DPC, we chose to plaster entire wall. It is easier, and the finish was clean.
While plaster walls in bedrooms and living rooms are relatively easy, you need to plan for kitchen and bathroom for specific enhancements.
Kitchen: Ensure there is proper plumbing in place for water and gas heating.
Bathroom: Ensure there is proper plumbing for water and plan for tiling on the walls and floor, depending on your choice.
Once plastering is complete, box the pipes where required. Boxing of pipework will improve presentation of the property instead of exposed pipes.
- Any electrical work pre-plastering is complete.
- Any plumbing work pre-plastering is complete.
- Plastering is complete.
- The kitchen is ready for fitting.
- Bathroom tiles fixed at wet area.
- Bathroom prepared for fitting.
Schedule Of Works Week 4 Drying Of plastering:
We plan for a minimum of 2 weeks of drying of plaster. As much as possible let the property dry naturally.
Forced drying using a heater or dehumidifier can result in:
- Cracks in the plastering within a year.
- In one of our property’s patches started forming, we had to paint again.
Schedule of works week five finish electricals, Fitting kitchen and bathroom:
Finish any pending electrical works like wiring to all power points and smoke alarms.
By now plastering should have dried unless the weather is really bad.
Second half of the week, fitting of kitchen and bathroom can be completed.
Agree with the builder if it is gas hob or electric based on the area.
We prefer gas hob, but it may be different based on the tenant profile or type of property.
Quality of kitchen plays an important role in the sale or rental of property.
Show a good kitchen and property could be sold or rented straight away.
I’m sure you all agree that this is one of the important parts of the refurbishment of property.
Not just the quality of the refurbishment, even location of the Bath matters.
In our property portfolio, one of the two-bed terraced properties took bit longer to get tenanted as bath is downstairs.
Property investment is not just location location location for the area; it is also location location location of different features within property.
Schedule Of Works Week 6 Painting, Blinds, Carpets, Clean-up And Certifications:
Yes, there are quite a few activities planned this week, but different teams do them so could be done in parallel.
We are almost towards the end of refurbishment, but critical part.
Inner quality of the property is completed so far.
Decoration can make or break a deal.
Choose the colours for painting, carpets based on a brand.
We have been following grey carpet, white walls and a white ceiling. Different people have different choices. You will have to pick one for yourself.
- Property is legally ready to be tenanted or ready to be sold.
- Required certifications for Gas and Electricity in place.
- Property is installed with CO detector if the boiler is in one of the bedrooms.
Who Should Create Schedule Of Works?
Many a times the party implementing the work should create and submit the schedule of works clearly summarising the sequence of work to be done.
The sequence of delivery of work has to also align with incremental payment schedule based on the delivery.
You will always come across build teams who do not adhere to any formal process in which case you are perfectly alright to create the schedule and agree with the build team.
What probably isn’t acceptable is start property refurbishment without having a schedule.
Can You Change The Schedule Once Agreed?
Its a living document and has to be mutually agreed and updated if there is a change required based on works done.
There is always going to be scenarios within the refurbishment process where the build team will uncover additional work required to make it safe for tenants.
In such a scenario, if the work is deemed as necessary then the agreed schedule of works and associated payments will have to be mutually discussed and re-baselined.
As simple as it looks, refurbishment is one of the key activities of property investments. If done right, you can save thousands of pounds.
The end product of property refurbishment will result in wonderful home for a loving family.