Something to be aware of during the preparation of land development plans is whether or not a civil engineering service for which you are being charged is within scope or out of scope.
Scope of services refers to the extent to which services fall into the general area of work that should have been explained to you when you decided to hire your civil engineer to do this work. It is a collective term used to define what is expected from the civil engineer throughout your land development project.
Examples of Items That Are Out of Scope
If a particular engineering service or task is considered to be out of scope, this service or task is most likely something that was not originally listed in the original proposal for the project and would be an item for which you be charged extra. Extra charges like this would probably cause your total engineering costs to be higher than the original proposal assuming that everything else within the project stays at the budgeted amounts.
An example of an out of scope task would be the revising of the land development plans and associated design calculations due to a change in your proposed building or driveway layout per your directions.
Another example of an out of scope task would be the application for the obtaining of special permitting that is due to a reviewer comment and that was not anticipated during the preparation of the original proposal.
How to Recognize Out of Scope Items
In general, engineering services that you or your civil engineer think are not included in what should be a detailed list within the original proposal would probably be considered out of scope items.
The civil engineer designing your project should let you know about any out of scope of items as your project progresses.
Your project invoices might also have an itemized breakdown of all the engineering costs charged to you with notes regarding which costs are due to out of scopes services.
Read the Proposal Carefully
Land development projects can be complex and extra out of scope costs showing up out of nowhere are common. A good way to prepare for this is to read through the engineering proposal carefully so that you know what all of the expected costs are supposed to be.