Here's How You Can Control Job-Site Quality 
with the Subcontractor Management Package

Terms and Conditions
"If you want to be a member of my team, this is how you will conduct yourself."

Scopes of Work
"If you want to work on my project, this is how you will build it."

Work Order
"If you do what I need done, this is how much you will be paid."

Inspection Report
"If you have done it the way I want it done, you may request payment."

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This construction contracting process,

Terms and Conditions ->Scope of Work ->Work Order ->Inspection Report 

is the only way I know of to achieve the construction quality you need to build an image you can rely on to sell more houses. It is as much a part of building your construction business as any other sales effort, contract negotiation, or design work.

It is also a blessing to have all the paperwork at hand if you need it for legal proceedings. You can demonstrate that reviews and walk-throughs were conducted following each work phase. You can prove that someone from your organization was invested in the project at all times.

It is the difference between allowing your business to control you and you controlling your business.

It can be the difference between failure and success of your construction business.

This discussion is presented as a matter of business management. Any action on your part should be discussed with your legal counsel. is not a legal advisor, and is not practicing law by discussing this business document. Please refer to the site disclaimer.

The first document in the construction contract process is the Terms and Conditions. The purpose of this document is to state, in a very general sense,

  • how the work on your jobsite will be accomplished;
  • what sub-contractor behavior is acceptable or not acceptable;
  • expected sub-contractor performance levels;
  • subcontractor responsibilities regarding its employees and safety practices;
  • sub-contractor insurance requirements; and
  • other general information.

This document tells the subcontractor:

"If you want to be a member of my team, this is how you will conduct yourself".

Scopes of Work

The second document in the construction contract process is the Scope of Work.

The Scope of Work should begin with a statement of the specific objective of the work that is to be done. In addition to elaborating upon the Terms and Conditions, it should reference any other documents in the process package relating to the work, including the Terms and Conditions, Purchase Order and Inspection Report, and how those documents relate to the Scope of Work.

The most important section of this document is a very detailed listing of what makes up acceptable performance for this trade or subcontractor. Get picky here. If you want all sinkers on the bottom interior wall plates to be driven into floor joists, and any brights to be clenched over from underneath to minimize squeaks, this is the place for your demand.

The Scope of Work is a dynamic document, meaning that it will be adapted as you become aware of new products or techniques. I recommend issuing a new scope of work for each project so that the subcontractor always has the latest version in its hands.

It is unfair to the subcontractor to assume that it will perform to some unknown performance level. Tell the subcontractor what you expect to have done, how you expect to have it done, and the consequences if the work is not done correctly. Don't leave any room for confusion.

This document tells the subcontractor: 

"If you want to work on my project, this is how you will build it".

Work Order

The third document in the contract process is the Work Order.

This is a contract detailing the "money" portion of your subcontractor relationship. Be sure to reference the other parts of the package -- Terms and Conditions, Scope of Work, and Inspection Reports. I generally reference the written proposal by the subcontractor, and note that its proposal is subject to the appropriate Scope of Work and Inspection Report. This document can be turned in as an invoice when the phase is completed, and contains the appropriate lien release information to protect you and your buyer.

This document tells the subcontractor:

"If you do what I need done, this is how much you will be paid".

Inspection Reports

The fourth document in the contract process is the Inspection Report.

This form is a checklist based on the Scope of Work detail. In the Scope of Work, you told the subcontractor what to do. The Inspection Report makes certain they followed your instructions.

In some cases, i.e. Excavation, HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical and other, you will have multiple Inspection Reports to cover Pushout/Backfill/Final Grade or Rough/Finish. The Scope of Work covers the entire accountability of the phase, and the Inspection Report breaks up the phase based on when the task needs to be completed.

Always have a pre-work inspection with the subcontractor. This step removes any questions about who broke the window or if the safety measures are in place or whether the project was ready for the subcontractor to start work or who scratched the bathtub.

The final inspection is conducted when the subcontractor reports that the work is completed. This walk-through must be conducted at the end of each phase as it verifies that all the work in the current phase is complete and that the project is ready for the next phase to begin. I like to have both the subcontractor just finishing the phase and the subcontractor just getting ready to start a phase on the site at the same time. If there is a problem, we can work it out right there.

Always have a post-work inspection. This final step demonstrates that you are serious about the check list and having the job done the way you want it done. The subcontractor will not take your efforts with the Terms and Conditions, the Scope of Work, or the Work Order seriously if you slip up on the Inspection Reports.

This document tells the subcontractor:

"If you have done it the way I want it done, I'll pay you".

Yes, it is a pain, but...

Here's a shortcut..

It is entirely possible for you to create any of these construction contract documents from scratch. But it is a lot of work. My file consists of:

If you would like to download a sample of the package to see how the pieces work together, you can do so by clicking on the links above. You will get the general idea of what the pieces look like in my file, and can use them as templates for your efforts.


Here's an even shorter short cut...


Subcontractor Management Package


This purchase includes a free one-year membership subscription to the online version of the Subcontractor Management System ($99.99 value)


Subscribe to the online version for just $4.00 for the first month and $9.99 per month after that.

or...Purchase a one-year membership subscription to the online version of the Subcontractor Management System($99.99)

You can purchase the subcontractor management package ready to go. You can have the Terms and Conditions, the complete Scopes of Work file, the complete Work Order file, and all the Inspection Reports. The files are in Word and Excel, so they can be amended or updated easily.

When you purchase the entire package, we also provide a dashboard for easy access so you have minimal input necessary to produce the documents.

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