What should be included in construction schedules of values?

What should be included in construction schedules of values?

A construction schedule of values (SOV) is important for managing cash flow, a critical project component that becomes more crucial the larger the venture is. In addition to assisting with project progress tracking, an SOV can ensure that everyone is paid on time.

Even if you’ve managed to avoid creating one, the more your construction firm expands and takes on larger, complex projects, the more vital it is to have one. Lacking a schedule of values in construction (or alternatively, having one that isn’t completed correctly) can result in cash flow difficulties throughout the project’s life cycle, which can stall progress and cause significant delays.

Knowing what an SOV is, how to use it, and what to include is a necessity for the project’s success.

What is a construction schedule of values?

A schedule of values in construction is a central document used and accessed by key stakeholders (i.e., general contractors, subcontractors, and property owners) that functions as a comprehensive breakdown of contract costs and a way to track project progress.

It lists the expenses of every billable work item along a timeline, as well as the percentage of work that’s been assigned and performed.

Before construction begins, a general contractor creates a schedule of values, assigning costs for every item of work while listing the project phase in which the job will be performed. All parties must agree and sign the document to indicate that they understand and approve of the SOV’s details.

How to use a construction schedule of values on projects

Since a schedule of values in construction is used primarily to oversee progress and manage expenses and payments to contractors, there needs to be transparency in how it’s used. With the right amount of oversight, you can ensure your project stays on track, that no items are overlooked, and that contractors will be paid on time.

Not only is an SOV commonly used to plan and monitor cash flow, but it should state exactly how much contractors will be paid according to what they’ve done on the project. General contractors can use it to determine when they’ll need to send invoices, submitting the document as proof of their work.

Project owners often use the SOV to track the amount of work that’s been performed, and how much there is left to be completed. After verifying that the work has actually been done, they can then release payment.

how to run an effective workforce planning meeting cover

Think your workforce planning meetings could be more productive?

Download our ebook to learn how to run efficient, effective workforce planning meetings with your team.

Get your playbook→

Schedule of values tips: what to include, how to draft one, and what to use it for

A properly drafted schedule of values in construction can be the difference between a project’s success or failure. Here are some things to keep in mind when creating one.

1.   Tailor the SOV to the project

Since every project is unique, the amount of detail that needs to be added to an SOV will vary. It helps to work with the owner or an architect to determine what’s important to include and what can be left out to efficiently track payments and progress.

Some projects will have a designated limit on how much specific items of work can cost, and will require work to be broken down into the smallest possible components. Others will require less specificity in breaking down costs.

Ultimately, the main factor that determines how detailed an SOV will be is the property owner.

2.   Choose a template and adjust it as needed

Although there’s no set or traditional method for creating a schedule of values, and no template that’s necessarily ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, there are plenty of construction schedule of values templates online for you to choose from.

Most templates include the following:

  • A description of each work item (according to the contract, such as plumbing or electrical work)
  • How much each item costs
  • What percentage of work has been completed
  • Costs for the current billing period
  • How much has been paid from previous billing periods
  • How much remains until the job’s completion
  • Retainage costs

These general details are usually compiled in a spreadsheet or in charts. Depending on the scale of your project, you may choose to include more or less detail.

3.   Use the SOV to analyze costs

Once you’ve broken down work needed for every phase from pre-construction to completion, plus the associated costs, it helps to analyze and assess the costs you’ve entered into the construction schedule of values for labor, equipment, materials, and retainage. Doing a deep dive into expense details can help you identify excessive and unnecessary spending to cut back on, which helps with more efficient project money management.

4.   Avoid inflating costs and overbilling

You may think that it’s better to overvalue the amount you’ll need and ask for more money than required to cover costs, but this can actually end up being counterproductive. Inflating the value of project activities can cause problems in the long run when the amount of resources used doesn’t line up with what was signed off in the construction schedule of values.

Seeing payment discrepancies, project owners or architects may suspect fraud and put you at risk for liability regarding false claims, which could in turn damage your business’ reputation.

Construction schedules of values FAQ

What is SOV used for? 

A schedule of values (SOV) is used to manage and track the financial progress of your construction projects. You use the SOV to make sure all parties are aware of the cost distribution of work items, to facilitate accurate billing, and maintain cash flow throughout the project.

How to do a construction schedule of values? 

You can create a construction schedule of values by listing all work items and their corresponding goals. From there, organize the items into a logical sequence and align them with project phases. Next, assign values to each item based on the contract in a way that ensures all stakeholders can agree on the cost breakdown. You may want to use a standardized SOV template or software to format and track the SOV.

How is SOV calculated? 

You calculate SOV by  breaking down the total contract amount into individual work items and assigning a dollar value to each. This includes direct costs like labor and materials, as well as indirect costs such as overhead and profit margins.

Who prepares the schedule of values? 

The general contractor typically prepares the schedule of values before the construction begins. It is then reviewed and approved by the project owner and other key stakeholders.

How to build a schedule of values? 

To build a schedule of values, follow these steps:

  1. List all work items and phases.
  2. Assign a cost to each item based on the contract.
  3. Organize the items in a logical sequence.
  4. Review and adjust the values as needed with input from stakeholders.
  5. Use a template or software to format the SOV.
  6. Get approval from all relevant parties.

What is the difference between a construction schedule and a schedule of values? 

A construction schedule outlines the timeline for completing various tasks and milestones within your project. A schedule of values, on the other hand, breaks down the total contract amount into specific work items and their respective costs, used primarily for financial tracking and billing. A construction schedule and schedule of values can and should be used to keep your project on-time and within budget.

Life before & after Bridgit Bench

Watch how leading ENR 400 contractors have leveled up their workforce planning by leaving their spreadsheets behind.

See all of our customer stories →

Improve management with Bridgit

A schedule of values in construction is a necessity for managing costs for larger projects. For comprehensive workforce management, consider modernizing your process or adding to your existing tech stack with Bridgit Bench.

Bridgit Bench is a workforce management solution that allows users to track project progress and manage construction personnel in a cloud-based organizational dashboard. Utilize our platform’s people intelligence to plan your workforce strategically, grow and retain your top talent, and realize the full potential of your employees.

Plus, our software integrates with various project management platforms, including Salesforce, Procore, bambooHR, Autodesk, and HubSpot.

Choose Bridgit Bench for better workforce management today!

Michel Richer headshot

Michel Richer

Michel Richer is the Manager of Content and Product Marketing at Bridgit. He started in the construction industry early on with a local restoration company. Michel is driven to propel the construction industry forward by helping to eliminate outdated, ineffective processes.

Connect on LinkedIn →