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Scope of Work for Interior Design Projects

Today, human beings are hyper-conscious of their surroundings and how they look, such as their office and home décor. This sensitivity has led to the profession of interior designing finding a niche for itself and gaining massive traction over the last few decades.

The job profile of an interior designer not only limits itself to the designing aspect but also requires them to handle other facets, such as resource and time management

Further, their job requirements vary from one assignment to another, and so do their clientele expectations. While some interior design projects may demand a focus on aesthetics, others may want to optimize space planning.

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In addition, the spaces they require to work on vary too, such as from large corporate offices to lavish homes and from hotel lobbies to hospitals. Given the diversity involved, there is little doubt that it makes for an exciting career. 

Still, there is one fundamental thing that many interior design professionals struggle with – their scope of work (SOW). It requires them to at times restrict their creative sides and understand project management to ensure they meet all the requirements, but given the excitement and the thrill to develop something new, it can be a tough ask.

This article discusses the basics of interior design scope of work and its benefits.

Read also – How to Write An Interior Design Proposal to Win Your Clients?

What is an Interior Design Scope of Work?

Like most other assignment-based or project-based tasks, interior design scope of work is a thing too. It is a brief and self-explanatory document containing a simple description of work for the project team.

The document lays down the project goals and relevant design elements for the particular project. It includes features such as reports, procurement projections, milestones, deliverables, pricing, end products, time frame, and the scope of services to be provided to the client. These are also shared with the client so that they know the purported delivery deadline and how the interior design project will move forward.

Read also – A Guide To Client Process Document for Interior Designers

Types of Interior Design Scope of Work

Given the purpose it serves, the interior design scope of work is one of the vital construction documents for all scenarios. But professional interior designers often differentiate between the types of the scope of work they create depending on the technicalities involved, project management levels, and other criteria.

Listed below are the types of interior scope of work you are likely to come across in the designing industry.

1. Construction Scope of Work

The interior construction scope of work is a construction administration and planning document for new constructions. It is a document designed in collaboration with interior architects, engineers, lead interior designers, and other vital construction team members. 

It lays down the interior framework and the requisite features to suit the human use case the project will serve. The lead interior designer and the engineer lay down the vision on paper or digital renderings for the purported completed task. The construction team is then expected to give shape to the vision.

Read also – How To Create Interior Design Packages for Your Business?

2. Renovations Scope of Work

A renovation scope of work is used for interior and exterior renovation projects. It is very different from the construction scope of the work document as you have several bottlenecks present here, such as overall structure and other limitations. Here, the focus is to understand the reasons behind the renovation and the aim of the one who has requested it. 

Completeness and uniformity are often the most vital attributes here as interior designers have to keep in mind the existing parts of the structure and ensure the additional work is in alignment.

Read also – 20 Best Home Renovation Apps and Software

3. Designing Scope of Work

The very foundation of the interior design profession is designing capabilities. But given that the term ‘designing’ gets inspiration from a plethora of different entities, such as fine arts, society, and more, it is vital to bring them all under the same roof with the help of designing the scope of work. This document presents the different design elements of the task and explains how they will be executed, both to the design team and the client.

4. Finishing Project Scope of Work

A client prefers painting, while another may have an affinity for wood finishes. Each project is a different challenge for an interior design professional, and the finishing work is an integral part of them. A finishing project scope of work lays down the work required for the final finishing and ensures achieving the taste and personality the owner is targeting.

Read also – How To Create A Successful Interior Design Portfolio?

What should an Interior Design Scope of Work Contain?

While the interior design scope of work is a brief document, it is imperative for you to cover all the bases to ensure your team and the client understands how the entire process would move forward and other details they require with ease.

Here are the vital contents of a well-written interior design scope of work

1. Construction administration

If you are building something new or there is a significant renovation projection, suggestions from interior designers are vital for making it a success. The construction administration clause contains your replies to the recommendations from the contractor, revisions in the construction documents, and changes in design intent, if any, submitted within a suitable timeframe.

2. Day-to-day reporting

The interior design projects can continue for months. Being an interior designer, it is your responsibility to detail down the work undertaken by you during the project’s timespan. It contains details such as the final snag list and more.

3. Site representation

An interior designer is rarely required to stay on the site full-time throughout the project. But many professionals do offer it as an additional perk. So if you are doing it too, you can mention it explicitly in your scope of work and charge an additional fee, if necessary.

4. Ancillary services

The job profile of an interior designer is dynamic and often project-specific. So they can plug-in additional services if the current project demands and include details such as fee and timespan for the same. Once it gets the nod from the client, you can begin your work.

Read also – 20 Best Client Presentation Tips for Interior Designers

Importance of Creating Interior Design Scope of Work

The interior design scope of work is an integral part of every project. Here is why –

1. It covers all the bases, from design concept to design process to design development and execution

2. It lays down the work required across the design and execution process, especially pertaining to –

  • Concept design
  • Schematic design
  • Design development
  • Tendering
  • Execution

3. It helps in preventing miscommunication and waste management by documenting the needs, processes, and the execution

Benefits of Interior Design Scope of Work

The interior design scope of work is beneficial for the following reasons –

1. Helps focus on significant project goals

The document lays down all the essentials pertaining to a given project, such as project scope and project schedule. In addition, it also covers the technical part of it, such as describing floor plans, furniture layout, elevations, and other project goals based on client needs.

A practical interior design scope of work helps all the design team members understand their responsibilities with greater clarity and allows each individual to focus on achieving each project goal through effective planning and execution.

2. Gives the team a higher chance of succeeding

When your interior design team has a template that describes the task and how to go about it, they can figure out the easy and critical parts of the project. It allows them to undertake greater care while dealing with difficult or susceptible parts of the task and leverage their strengths during crucial times.

Therefore, a well-developed interior design scope of work is a critical enabler for determining the success rate of a project.

Read also – How To Build An Interior Design Team for Your Design Projects?

3. Helps embark on precise communication

When you have assigned the role of all the team members before the onset of the project, it helps get rid of ambiguity and paves the way for smooth project execution. With a scope of work, you can delegate the mandatory tasks and processes to each team member according to their areas of expertise.

In addition, if an assignment is critical or vital for the project’s success, the lead interior designer can also lay down the needs for the same. All of it allows the team to understand their role in the task and helps establish a clear communication path for execution.

10 Tips on How to Create an Interior Design Scope of Work

1. Keep it brief and add visual elements

The answer to how to write an interior design scope of work shouldn’t seem like an elaborate book in itself. While it is easy to go overboard while developing a scope of work, make sure you know the limits.

Spending time writing everything line-by-line will not only require your time but will also slow down the process during the execution phase. So make sure you keep it to the point and only include necessary things.

In addition, no one would like to read an elaborate document without any visual additions. Adding images and other visual elements would not only curtail your efforts while designing it, but it would also allow your team to visualize your planning and execution expectations better.

Read also – The Complete Guide To Prepare An Interior Design Contract

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2. Finalize the document at the early stages of the project

SOW is a document that finds usage throughout the project execution phase. Be it furniture layouts, light fixtures, or any other design element, preparing the document early would bring about greater clarity and allow the team to explore probable meaningful additions that would enhance the result they achieve.

Read also – Interior Design Client Questionnaire

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3. Take the help of an expert

You specialize in interior design work, but that doesn’t mean that you will also have expertise in the documentation part of it. So it is always wise to take the help of an expert, especially for the critical aspects of the project. It may require you to hire a technical writer with expertise in SOW to help you express your requirements and expectations with greater elan.

With Foyr Community, we are making it easier for you to meet interior design experts and take their help whenever necessary. It is a community where interior designers and clients meet to discuss ideas and suggestions for improved SOW preparation. You can join it for free and be a part of a community that thrives on helping each other.

Read also – 10 Tips for Interior Designers to Deal With Supply Delays

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4. Do not miss out on mentioning what the project won’t include

When it comes to interior design and other creative professions, there is a risk of going overboard, and you end up doing what was not asked of you. It is where SOW finds impeccable usage, and it is vital that you know how to create an interior design scope of work effectively. It helps jot down the paths that are not to be taken to ensure the team knows the directions to take during the execution phase.

Read also – How To Master Sourcing and Procurement For Interior Design?

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5. Keep the strengths and weaknesses of the team members in mind

Your team member X may specialize in space management, while team member Y can have expertise in the floor planning. So it is key for you to evaluate the skill sets of each of your team members beforehand and allot tasks accordingly.

Selecting the ideal person for each sub-task would help you save time and execute processes with a greater success rate. If you feel you need additional people for a specific task, preparing an SOW would showcase the need from the onset.

Read also – Editorial Calendar for Interior Design Marketing Plan

keep strength and weakness of team in mind for interior design scope of work

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6. Set realistic timelines

As an enthusiastic leader, you can often strive for optimum efficiency from your team throughout the project timeframe. While that showcases a positive approach, it is vital for you to be realistic too.

If your team sees every project as a routine job, they will start feeling monotonous, impacting their efficiency in the long run. So it is vital for you to break down every project into manageable subtasks with acceptable due dates to allow everyone to take their time and execute their responsibilities in the best way possible.

Read also – What Does An Interior Designer Do?

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7. Collaborate

As lead interior designers, we often feel that all of it is about ourselves. But a good manager understands each team member’s role and gets them on board from the onset of each project. In addition, using collaborative tools would allow you to undertake agile project management with utmost ease.

Read also – 35 Best Collaboration Tools for Interior Designers

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8. Communicate

As a leader, it is okay to feel vulnerable at times. If you are struggling with one or more aspects of SOW for a project, it is always better to communicate the same to your team members.

Inviting their suggestions and feedback would make you approachable and make the process feel a whole less technical. If you think someone has performed their task well, do not forget to communicate and also give regular tips to your team members for improving their efficiency and finesse.

Read also – A Guide for Interior Design Business Costs

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9. Acknowledge milestones

While the project completion deserves accolades, completing every milestone is no less so. If you start acknowledging and celebrating milestones as they happen, it will boost your team’s productivity and boost their morale, which will give them the strength to stay motivated throughout the project and keep up their intensity.

Read also – How To Create An Interior Design Website?

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10. Plan for contingency

When a project spans days or months, it would be detrimental if you do not plan for contingency. Given the variables at play, there will invariably be days when team productivity is down or when certain subtasks don’t go as planned. Instead of ruing the missed opportunity and fretting about your team, it is vital to acknowledge the presence of contingency and plan. It would help you stay prepared and keep the team motivated.  

Read also – 15 Best Client Retention Strategies For Interior Designers

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A well-thought-out and designed interior design SOW helps the team focus on project goals, understand milestones, improve success rates, and contribute to effortless communication.

It also enables effective work delegation and ensures that you allot tasks to people with the requisite expertise. It would also help save the energy otherwise wasted on performing redundant tasks and set your team’s limits.

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