How to make a construction schedule
“Well begun is half done” is often said. This is of course no different in construction. This is why you create a construction schedule at the start of a construction project. Yet, unexpected things can always happen, and people can make mistakes.
Why do you make a construction schedule?
You should create a construction schedule, precisely because so many things can happen. With a construction schedule, you’ll always know what needs to be done and how these activities relate to each other. There are more reasons to make a construction schedule.
- Offers insight and assurance: by making a construction schedule, you clearly define what work has to be done to bring the construction project to a successful end. Additionally, you’ll also know the order in which the activities should be done and how long these will roughly take.
- Prevents delay: the construction schedule shows which tasks can only be started once other activities have finished. By taking this into account when you order your materials, you can ensure they’ll never arrive too late. The construction schedule also prevents you from starting a task, only to find out that another task needs to be done first.
- Prevents (unnecessary) high costs: just like avoiding delays, with a construction schedule you won’t run into the situation where the painter comes in to start while the concrete is still wet. Prevent hired parties from charging additional work just because there is no construction schedule.
- Improves the quality of the result: if the schedule is not in order, conflicts or problems can arise. In some cases, you can choose to have the hired party carry out the work, which is at the expense of quality. Good scheduling is therefore a simple way to improve the quality of the delivered work.
How do you make a construction schedule?
So, it is important to schedule for several reasons. The next question is then: how do you make a construction schedule? In order to get a good picture of the entire building project, it is good to go through all the steps of a construction schedule.
Not all of these steps are important to everyone, but it does make it clear what goes into a construction project from start to finish. You can start with the step with which the process begins for you and stop at the step with which your schedule is completed.
The steps of a construction schedule
A construction schedule is derived from the building process. This makes sense, because you have to include all the steps of the building process in your schedule. The advantage of this is that it gives you a clear structure for your schedule.
Step 1: prepare
Every building plan starts with a good preparation. Ask yourself questions such as: what is the goal of the building project? What must be achieved at the end of the project? For commercial projects, this step is often already determined before the project reaches the person developing the construction schedule.
Step 2: define
Now that the goal is clear, the Schedule of Requirements must be defined. These are often determined by the client, after which the architect can design the building based on the requirements and wishes set.
Step 3: design
This is the phase in which the architect starts to translate the goal of the project and the specified wishes and requirements into a design. The architect takes various factors into account (for example, the available space).
Step 4: implement
In this step, the actual construction planning takes place. It is clear what has to be built and what requirements it has to meet. The architect has converted this into a design, often in the form of a BIM model. With this, the project is clear.
Making a construction schedule is then done in a few steps:
- Start by determining the activities for actually building the model.
- When you’re doing that, put the project activities in the right order. Keep in mind that certain tasks can only begin after others have been completed.
- Calculate how many resources you will need and determine when you will need them.
- Estimate how long the implementation tasks will take.
- Set start and finish dates for the various tasks you have identified.
To go a step further, you can then put these in an easy-to-understand format. For example, you can choose to make a Gantt chart. There are also tools that can help you with this. The KYP Project construction scheduling software is one such tool that enables you to keep track of your construction schedule easily on your computer or telephone.
Tips for making your construction schedule
When creating your construction schedule, we have a few more tips to help the schedule, and therefore the project, run more smoothly.
- Take into account tasks that block other tasks: we already mentioned it briefly, but keep in mind that if a certain task has to be finished before you can start another task, this first task gets priority.
- Take your time when deciding how long a task will take: if you don’t plan enough time to complete a task, it can affect you right up until the end of the construction project. On the other hand, if you schedule too much time for a task, you could be at a standstill because you have to wait for materials or work from others. Therefore, you should take the time to estimate your tasks as accurately as you can. This becomes easier when you have made more project schedules.
- Think about waiting time and the schedule of others: permit applications, delivery times, and other factors can all affect your schedule. Take this into account so that you do not have to wait for others.
With the above steps and tips, you can easily create a construction schedule yourself. Our construction project management software can make it even easier for you. Simply put all tasks into one online schedule and communicate changes directly to project partners. You can even try our tool for free! Sign up for a demo or contact us and see how project management can be made easier.