Having a construction schedule that sequences the activities necessary to complete your project could be very beneficial for your construction firm. This plan involves the making of a comprehensive schedule that lays down the chronological order of the activities you need to undertake throughout the construction process.
Construction Schedule Templates
What is a construction schedule?
One of the most important elements of construction management is maintaining an effective construction schedule. When you have a well-organized schedule, you can reduce downtime and ensure that all of the phases of your project will get accomplished on time.
In most cases, the lifecycle of a construction project starts when the owner identifies a need and ends when you complete the project and turn it over to the same owner. A well-planned and well-executed schedule must outline each step of the process and provide the completion dates.
What is the purpose of a construction schedule?
Although many assume that the creation of a construction timeline for a project doesn’t matter, it is still important to help you organize the project and all of the steps involved in it. Here are the most important reasons for having a construction schedule:
- Building scheduling gives you an idea of the time you got from the client to complete the project and if you can achieve this. If you believe you can’t meet the deadline set by the client, you need to propose or submit a revised schedule.
- You can create a rough estimate of initial supervision, management, and running costs of your project based on the schedule.
- You can make early estimations which allows you to see if there is a need to make any adjustments. You can provide your client with an estimated budget attached to the schedule. This way, the client gains a better understanding of your project.
- You can use the schedule to inform your client of the responsibilities that they must fulfill. For instance, the client might need to provide you with access or information sometime during the course of your project.
- You can use the document to determine beforehand your cash flow as the project’s contractor. Many contractors end up having a difficult time completing projects because of insufficient cash flow. Some possible reasons for this are:
Your project has been gradually losing money
The activities involved in your project are financially draining
The payment conditions of your project aren’t favorable.
- Finally, you can use the schedule as a way to communicate between you and the client. Having such an efficient document means that both you and your client are always on the same page as you have agreed on all of the document’s contents beforehand.
Residential Construction Schedules
How do I create a construction schedule?
You may cover all of the main points that you need to address when making a construction schedule provided you can follow these steps:
- Gather the information and tools you need
You can start by making a list of all the subcontractors you need for your project. With big projects like when you need a commercial construction schedule, there will be many subcontractors to involve.
Once you have completed the list, you should try to contact them to ask how much time they need to procure the required materials and how long their part in the project will take.
Such information can be the key to accurate time estimation on your part. Try to find a project management tool that can help you out. If you cannot build your own plan and commercial construction schedule from scratch, you can always use a template. Just go online and search for the best one.
- Write down the tasks and prioritize them
The next thing to do is to step up your project by breaking it down into steps that will lead your project to completion. These broken-down parts will make up the tasks of your project. You cannot write an accurate commercial or residential construction schedule until you have made a complete list of each task that you must accomplish for successful construction.
After you have completed the tasks list, the next thing to do is to put these tasks in order according to importance. The work breakdown will serve as your guide as it takes your difficult project and breaks it down into its basic parts and when you need to work on them.
- Add timeframes
Each task in your list should have a start date and an end date. You can use this information to create a Gantt or bar chart that will represent the task’s duration. Remember that you should make these determinations realistic.
In many cases, construction is often affected by climate. Weather forecasts are only so accurate, especially for long-term projects. For this, you need to look at the historical data regarding the weather so that you can make an educated estimation of how climate might affect your work.
- Allocate tasks and execute them
But allocating such work to teams might get confusing, especially when there are so many subcontractors to monitor. A good idea is to color-code your tasks. If you can do this, it will be much easier for you to differentiate the different work and teams. Now you can identify who should work on what once your project goes into its execution phase.
As soon as you have assigned the people to work on their specific tasks, your schedule is now ready for execution. Make sure that all of your resources are completely balanced. You don’t want to over-allocate resources to one team while others fall short in terms of the resources they need. You can use workload calendars to help you with this process.
- Go through your schedule again and again
Remember that schedules aren’t written in stone. Throughout the duration of your project, things can change. If you forget to keep track of and make reviews throughout your project, these changes might send you off-track, or even worse, they might bring your project to a halt.
It is, therefore, essential to always look at your schedule throughout all the different phases of your project. This ensures that your progress is in line with your schedule. Make it a point to look at your schedule every day and update it frequently.