The construction schedule is the heart of a housing business. The success of the home and ultimately the business that builds the home is dependent on planning and implementing the schedule. Financing, billing, construction draws, closing, move in, warranty and even quality all flow from a successful schedule. In a series of articles we will try and take you from start to finish on designing a repeatable process of scheduling a home. We will assume that the reader knows little about the construction process so those of you who have some level of expertise may jump around.
In these articles we will be concerned with the physical onsite construction of a 2,500 to 3000 sf semi-custom home. In this particular article we will discuss making a list of work items to be included in the schedule. In latter articles we will add preplanning and the closing process.
The first step in preparing a construction schedule is determining the work items to be included. Start with your list of trades (subcontractors.) Make sure you include any items you do with your own employees to the list. The following is the list we used in our estimates and invoices, Your may vary depending on your area and how you contract your work.
507 Carpentry Labor
507 Trim Carp
510 Millwork and doors
523 Garage door
525 Kitchen top
525 Marble top
532 Sewer Water
Next look at each trade and divide the trade into trips to the project. For example; in our case our Excavation contractor would clear the site and dig the basement foundation in one trip. He would make a second to backfill the foundation and rough grade the site and a third to final grad the site for landscaping. Try and keep the divisions of work to no less than a day and no more than a week. For example, if you let all the carpentry as on contract and you only break it down into rough and finish the rough may take more than a week. You can breakdown the rough carpentry into frame first floor and walls, second floor and wall and roof framing and sheeting. Breaking down the longer items helps you better manage the project and understand where you are on any given date.
You should also look at how your trade contractors perform their work. We used several different concrete contractors. One would install the footings, the stone for the basement and draintile with one crew and then the walls with a second. Another concrete contractor installed the footing and foundation walls with one crew then come back with a conveyor he owned to install the stone and draintile. The total time was the same but the sequence was different.
Now that you have identified the work items you need to identify activities that also require time that are not actual work items. Make a list of required inspections. These will vary from municipality to municipality. Typical in our area was footing inspection after form but before pour, backfill inspection, completed foundation survey, rough framing, rough plumbing, rough electrical, occupancy and final grading, final plumbing and final electrical. The final inspection often required a final survey from a licensed surveyor certifying the location of the house was as planned and that the drainage was properly completed. Each of these items should be treated as a work item.
You now have a complete list of work items which is the first step in creating a simple schedule. In the next article Creating a Flow Chart we will discuss using the work items list into a flow chart to plan your work.