How to Make a Good Construction Schedule

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Making a builders schedule or construction schedule for your construction project takes time. However, we think you’ll find that you will reap the rewards in both time and money in the long run, by taking some time and making an accurate schedule.

While it’s easy to talk about the benefits of a construction schedule (which we already talked about in a previous blog) it’s not as easy to create one.  So, today, we are going to devote a little time to help you get started with your builders schedule.

Importance of Construction/Builders Schedules

A flawless construction schedule is a blueprint for success. Companies use them to stay on track and periodically assess whether the projected completion date is still realistic. They also make it easier to keep on top of the multiple details involved. Labor and materials costs, design approval, and obtaining all necessary permits are only the tip of the iceberg. By creating a project management schedule, you put together a clear plan that can be shared with everyone on the team.

Functions of Construction/Builders Schedule

 

  •         Asset management.

    Proper scheduling ensures that labor, materials, and equipment are properly managed, minimizing the risk of downtime due to shortages.
  •         Minimizing downtime.

    The delays due to downtime can be costly. According to one study, the financial loss represented by a piece of inoperable construction equipment could be up to $2,800 per eight-hour workday.
  •         Keeping things within budget.

    Inaccurate project estimates are a leading cause of cost overruns. A well-planned schedule can detect deficiencies in initial estimates and prevent problems before they occur. It can also inform financial decisions by accurately forecasting project completion.

Understanding the basics of construction scheduling is a critical part of the development and management of construction projects. When you put together a well-planned schedule for your client, it specifies how the work will get done and outlines the pace of delivery for each milestone. Other benefits include:

  •         Greater project stability.

    When you outline everything in detail, your client is not as likely to encounter unwelcome surprises down the road. There is greater control over the project outcome and all the details can be planned down to the lowest level.
  •         Better quality control.

    When you sequence the work properly and ensure that the right construction materials are available in the right quantity at each step, project quality improves- along with client satisfaction!
  •         Better resource planning.

    We find scheduling to be indispensable when we’re helping to plan resources like labor, equipment, and building materials. Clients can purchase the right materials at the right time and make sure that they engage subcontractors for all necessary roles, which helps them complete the project on time.
  •         Easier activity planning.

    Everyone involved in the project, from the general contractor to architects, subcontractors, laborers, and suppliers can use the project timeline to better plan their activities.
  •         A safer project.

    Safety is a major concern in any construction project, and using a schedule to lay out all the activities allows you to identify when protective measures like earplugs, goggles, and hard hats will be needed at the construction site. 

We would also argue that a sound schedule will help your client save money, as you can identify the activities that may have to be done during cooler weather and apply pricing protection measures. Whichever way you look at it, the right scheduling system will support team efficiency and make it possible to complete the project on time.

Now, let’s take a look at how to build and schedule construction projects. It starts with the documentation of key project data, which can then be migrated into a scheduling tool to generate a timeline.

Creating a Construction/Builders Schedule

All construction schedules should include the following information:

  •         The schedule creation date, so that you can track versions if necessary.
  •         The names of the project owner and the construction firm that will be carrying out the work.
  •         The names of everyone on the team, from the project owner and general contractor to all subcontractors and suppliers.
  •         The tasks that need to be carried out, from the planning phase up until the final steps before completion.
  •         The dates that individual tasks are expected to begin and end.
  •         The projected completion date.

Once you’ve listed all these details, it’s time to:

  •         Create a timeline that maps out how long each activity (e.g. pouring concrete for the foundation, laying the wall brickwork) should take to complete.
  •         Identify which team member is responsible for each activity
  •         Assign tasks accordingly.

There are many tools available that allow you to build a schedule from scratch or modify a template to meet your client’s project type and its needs. Whichever one you go with, you’ll want to ensure that it provides a long-term overview, supports instant updates, and can speedily convey updates to everyone on the team.

One of the best you can find is Pro Crew Schedule.

Creating Builders Schedule in Pro Crew Schedule

Pro Crew Schedule is a cloud-based construction project management tool that’s easy to use but powerful enough to build complex project timelines and construction schedules. I’ve used it to build schedules for residential and commercial contractors, construction companies, and even interior designers who wanted to add surface touches to completed projects.

While other construction management software uses Gantt charts to plot tasks and their due dates, Pro Crew Schedule uses a calendar-style of schedule presentation where activities are listed with their corresponding time allotment. This way, task dissemination becomes direct to the point so each member won’t have to guess what tasks are assigned to them for the day and how long they should be doing it. This may be time-consuming for construction managers but this little sacrifice could mean more productivity and task organization for the crew members.

Furthermore, Pro Crew Schedule’s scheduling feature allows crew members to input their daily accomplishments under their assigned tasks, this makes it easier for construction managers to see what each one finished and which points should be adjusted. 

Pro Crew Schedule has a free demo. Unlike some project management software, the free version is not a pale shadow of the paid program. It has all the features and versatility you need to smoothly build a construction schedule. So you can really test it out and find out for yourself if it is the best tool for your construction business.

Other important features include:

  •         Unlimited cloud storage to keep all important construction documents from start to end of your projects.
  •         Uninterrupted communication between field and office, allowing each area to send updates with attachments in real-time.
  •         Reporting and time tracking to gauge the team’s true productivity rate.
  •         Automated invoicing, estimating, etc.

Conclusion

Proper scheduling is critical to the success of every construction project. Fortunately, there are several quality construction schedule templates and software available to help you prepare a timeline that covers all the necessary activities like Pro Crew Schedule. Once you find one that works for you and your client, get ready to take your business to the next level.

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