General Contractors Strategic Planning Blueprint for Better Construction Management

Aspiring general contractors must develop good construction management skills to succeed in today's competitive building industry. And become a more competent general contractor; efficiently overseeing each aspect of the new construction plan, large or small. Effective strategic planning is a key factor.

A good strategic plan will include some type record management. Written documentation that outlines new construction plan requirements; utilizing an easy to refer to format, such as checklists. Containing pertinent information; construction specifics, safety plan, building materials, construction materials price list, work schedule, budget worksheet, details of contractor contracts, proof of general contractor, employee and sub contractors insurance and licensing, and more.

Another important strategic planning aspect is a sound safety plan. One that includes the Association of General Contractors (AGC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and similar federal government agency health and safety requirements.

A written new construction plan isn't just for project development and documentation purposes. It is a strategic plan that serves as a convenient visual aid and helpful reference. A valuable “at-a-glance” resource for general contractors. So he/she can concentrate on tasks at hand and more effectively design, coordinate, and oversee the project without missing a beat.

Each general contractor will utilize his/her own time-tested method of new construction plan development. However, the following advice may be helpful when developing a good strategic plan:

The best contractors insurance against occupational safety hazards and work strategy errors is for the general contractor to “think small.” That is, break project needs down into well thought-out segments. By splitting up project needs and then developing each aspect individually, even large, intricate construction management jobs are more easily and capably planned. With less room for oversight and error.

General contractors should develop a step-by-step strategic plan for safety that includes the Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA form 300 course of action, for instance. This can help eliminate confusion and chaos should a catastrophe arise. And ensure Association of General Contractors (AGC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and similar agency guidelines and procedures are met.

Formulating a distinct construction materials list that includes type, quality, and quantity of building materials, pre-approved substitute materials (which should also be included in contractor contracts), construction materials price list, and budget worksheet provides a concise point of reference. Easier and quicker for the general contractor to access for a quick scan than a construction materials section buried within a lengthy building plan.

The 10 aspects of strategic planning listed below are designed specifically for general contractors; outlining the various areas of new construction plan development. A good strategic plan will help hone construction management skills and reduce the risk of job site hazards. And make it easier for a conscientious general contractor to build a reputation as a skillful, highly-desired professional.

Construction Management Services Simplified; 10 Aspects of Good General Contractor Project Planning

A construction management service provider with the benefit of general contractor schooling will understand the importance of good strategic planning. While there are many variances, the following can be used as a strategic plan blueprint; sufficient for most projects.

1.) Budget Worksheet - projected estimations made by the general contractor. The budget worksheet should include expected costs for construction materials, management services, crew and subcontractor labor, permits, miscellaneous renovation and building materials, and other expenses associated with the new construction plan.

2.) Work Site - preliminary efforts required before work for the actual new construction plan begins. Usually involving the landscape; leveling, excavation, filling, etc. General contractors must predict many of the preliminary details; weather, gas lines, broken sewage, etc. can all cause delays. Or effect other aspects of the project; labor, type/quantity of construction materials and price, work schedule, etc.

3.) General Costs - a catch-all for various job related expenses. Including permits (usually acquired by the general contractor), insurance (including contractors insurance, if applicable), dumpster and trailer rentals, clerical, and all other miscellaneous costs associated with the job - excluding building materials.

4.) Construction Materials - include a construction materials price list. This category can be further broken down, using related sub-headings for the various building materials:

  • Concrete (foundation, floor, walkways, pool, etc.)
  • Masonry (including stone, brick, granite, etc.)
  • Metal
  • Wood
  • Plastics
  • Paper (wall paper, tar paper, etc.)
  • Flooring (or specific floor material type)
  • Insulation/moisture protection
  • Finishes (including paint, veneer, etc.)
  • Miscellaneous (items not related to an above category)

Note: building materials under each subheading can be further broken down; categorized according to its purpose. For instance, “plumbing” or “bathroom”. General contractors should be specific as to the type (i.e. green or treated), series, grade, or size of each item.

5.) Special accessories - including kitchen and bathroom fixtures and accessories; features for the handicapped; aesthetic features; built-in wall units; and other “extras”, such as mailboxes.

6.) Doors and windows - to which general contractors can also include any related costs.

7.) Equipment - including items like garage door openers, appliances, a built-in sound system, etc.

8.) Furnishings - interior components, decorative in nature. Usually consisting of elements not permanently attached to the structure.

9.) Unique construction - usually not attached to the main structure. A separate project that requires the general contractor to develop an independent new construction plan. For instance, a green house, garage, gazebo, or pool.

10.) Systems - listed as individual entities, such as a wheel-chair elevator, solar, fan, furnace, air conditioner, etc. Or by category; conveying, handicapped, heating/cooling, filtering, mechanical, electrical, manual, etc.

Electrical systems require a separate category, usually with multiple subheadings. General contractors know electrical systems represent a structure's central nervous system, and can be extremely complex. In addition to electrical wiring, outlets, and thermostats or other controls, there may be communication and computer systems. As well as home safety and monitoring systems. Including a sophisticated home alarm system, exterior motion detection systems, fire and smoke alarm systems, security camera and/or video monitoring systems, etc.

Of course, general contractors should also keep an outline of the work schedule, agreed upon wages, and accumulated work hours for construction management services, laborers, and subcontractors. As well as detailed contractor contracts; drawn up and signed. Copies should be supplied to the general contractor, developer, and construction management supervisor - if one exists.

Documents should be kept together in a folder. Including contractor contracts, management services agreement, building permits, code requirements, scheduled inspections, and construction safety procedures (i.e. Association of General Contractors - AGC, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration - OSHA guidelines; copies of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration - OSHA form 300.) General contractors should also keep copies of contractors insurance and licensing certification. The budget worksheet should be kept handy, for easy referral.

In fact, good general contractors will take the initiative to validate each employee's contractors insurance and licensing information. And then check routinely to ensure both are kept up-to-date for the duration of the project. Protecting the interests of both general contractor and developer in the process.

Posted by: TrustedPros
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