What is a Schedule of Works?

What is a schedule of works

It can be difficult in the midst of a renovation project to understand all the legal and technical terms that are thrown at you and at Fifi McGee our mission is to make your life less difficult as you enter into your project for the first time. Today we’ll be answering your questions on What is a schedule of works? Does my project need one? We’ll explain what they are, when they are needed in a project, who writes them and what you should include in them. So let’s jump in!

What is a schedule of works?

A schedule of works is a list of instructions of all the works required in a project. It can take many different forms as there isn't one uniformly accepted template but generally, schedules of works are written documents that come alongside drawings to describe in detail the works needed for a project. 

Schedules of works are ideal for small renovation projects. They are a simpler alternative to the more rigorous bill of quantities and can be used throughout a project from the moment you ask a contractor to price your project to the final stages of construction. If you’re asking yourself ‘what is a bill of quantities?’ then we can explain that for you, too.

what is a schedule of works?

When is a schedule of works needed?


As you know, we always recommend to our community to contact at least three contractors for quotes to make sure you are getting a fair and complete price. When looking for a contractor, a schedule of works can be a useful tool to help different companies precisely price a project. A well written schedule of works should give enough information for contractors to provide you with an accurate price of the entire project. The schedule of works typically comes along and refers to drawings in order to cover and outline all aspects of the project. With drawings alone, a price quote has more chances of being inaccurate and ending up being too low down the line. 


Once you’ve found a contractor and agreed on a price, a schedule of works can form part of the contract documents between the two parties. That way, the price shouldn’t change down the line unless a variation comes up. You may also want to consider putting a JCT contract in place, read our ‘What is a JCT contract’ post which shares what they’re all about :)


Throughout the construction phase, the schedule of works can form a useful tracker of all the works yet to be done, too. As well as being a great document to finalise decisions on a lot of moving parts.

It can also be used towards the end of the work to check everything is built according to what was agreed in the contract.

What should be included in a schedule of works? 

In our home renovation course, we’re guiding students on what to include in their schedule of works to ensure their quotes come in with accuracy. It’s the information they’re preparing up front that’s contributing to their controlled costs and stress free projects. If you’d like access to the course visit the renovation course for details on our next enrolments.

Who writes a schedule of works?

A schedule of works is typically written by the person responsible for the design, whether that is an architect, a designer, or yourself. It is a great way to control the final quality of the works, the more details are included the less risk you take. 

Ultimately there is no right or wrong when writing a schedule of works, however we recommend you include everything that is important to you to ensure your project is exactly as you imagined it.