We want to talk about creating a ‘Scope of Work‘ before you start your search for the right contractor. Its important to give your contractors who are bidding on your project, a detailed scope of work. The reason for this, is, that all contractors have their own idea of how the job is going to be completed and which products are being used. If your project is not clearly defined, this leaves room for miss communication and possible extras that will surface, if the scope of work is unclear.

For example:

Contractor A, may bid on your bathroom reno, at a price of lets say $10,000. Seems good to you, but what is included in his bid?

What products are they using? Are they using proper materials like glue, cement, waterproofing? These materials are vital for a job well done and add up quickly.

For example; are tiles, fixtures, lighting, included in this estimate? Are the sub trades included, or is he/she doing the work themselves?

This contractor may have put a basic bid together of simply installation of your new fixtures & Floor, but your expectations are; tear down of existing bathroom, waste removal, paint,  installation of lighting, baseboard and trim, new door/frame, in floor heating etc… A bathroom renovation can be quite extensive.

These facts, can greatly change the cost of an estimate. Although the price may seem cheaper initially and it may seem like its saving you money,  you many find once you begin a contract with this business you may find there are several add ons that were not part of the initial estimate.

 i.e. most electrical must be done by a licensed electrician or it will void your homeowners insurance policy.

Contractor B, who’s price is higher, may be taking into consideration all facets of your building plan. They have taken into account the cost associated with hiring licensed professionals and has factored in all of the the details to complete the entire build. They may have factored in costs of obtaining a permit, for your protection.

Therefore when you are looking at price, as one determining factor, on which contractor you would like to work with, it’s important to remember these key elements in your decision making. At the end of the day it could save you a lot of money!!

What about their Guarantee?  

Does the contractor offer any type of guarantee on labour? This alone offers tremendous value and peace of mind. Ask your contractor what kind of after care service they provide and if they offer a warranty on labour.

An short, an example of a ‘Scope of Work‘ would look like this.


  • Gut of existing bathroom
  • Waste removal
  • Framing
  • Drywall
  • Sub contractors
  • Installation of fixtures
  • Painting/electrical/plumbing etc…

If these points are part of the expectations of your contractor, it should be made clear and then would be included in his estimate.


  • Purchase of fixtures
  • Purchase of tile
  • Storage of furnishings
  • Building permit (optional – most builders will include)

Note: as surprising as it may seem, some contractors will include fixtures/finishes in their estimate which is very desirable when negotiating which contractor to go with. Be sure to ask which brand/quality this includes and are they giving you options to choose from. i.e; size of tile, colour, quality.

Entry level fixtures/finishes are much cheaper than what most people are looking to install in their bathroom renovation, so be sure to ask for the specifics of what they are including.

As well, finishes such as  tile, lighting and other extras like in floor heating greatly influence price.

With a clear ‘Scope of Work‘, each contractor, will then have a fair bidding opportunity. Otherwise it leaves a lot to their own interpretation. It also gives you the opportunity, to make an informed decision.

We trust this information has been informative… and can be a great guide in helping you choose the right bid.

As always… helping you, in caring for your Total Home!



Cindy & Gilbert
Total Home

your total home