MBA Softech Wala

Difference between Work Order and Contract Agreement in Construction

When it comes to construction projects, there are many documents involved that help ensure the project runs smoothly. Two of the most important documents are work orders and contract agreements. While both documents are crucial in any construction project, they serve different purposes that every construction professional must understand.

What is a Work Order?

A work order is a document that outlines the specific work that needs to be done on a construction project. This document is typically created by the project manager or superintendent and is usually given to a specific contractor or subcontractor. It includes key details such as the scope of work, the materials needed, the timeline, and the location of the work. Work orders often serve as a request to complete a specific task within the scope of a larger project.

What is a Contract Agreement?

On the other hand, a contract agreement is a legal document that outlines the overall agreement between the owner of the project and the contractor. This document often includes details such as the scope of work, the timeframe for the project, the payment terms, and the responsibilities of both parties. Contract agreements are legally binding and serve as a framework for the construction project.

The Main Differences

The main difference between work orders and contract agreements is the scope of each document. While work orders are more specific and focus on a particular task, contract agreements are more comprehensive and address the entire project. Another significant difference is that work orders are typically issued for specific jobs, while contract agreements outline the entire project.

Contract agreements also establish the legal framework for the project and are often signed before any work has begun. Work orders, however, are often issued after the contract agreement has been signed and the project is underway. Overall, contract agreements are more formal and have legal implications, while work orders are more informal and focus on specific tasks.


In summary, work orders and contract agreements are two essential documents in the construction industry that serve different purposes. While both documents are necessary for a successful construction project, understanding the differences between them is critical. Ultimately, these documents work together to ensure the project runs smoothly and is completed on time and within budget.

Scroll to Top