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Developing a construction schedule for a building project


One of the cornerstones of a construction project that runs smoothly has to be the schedule. It is absolutely indispensable, given the variants that come into play in any building project and the number of different parties and moving parts involved.  Investing time up front to create a detailed, realistic timeline will pay back many times over, so it’s important to ensure it is done well, right from the start. Whatever system or software you use, even if it is a simple XL spreadsheet, it should map out every single step, thinking about which elements can go ahead autonomously and which have a clear sequence or link to other steps, whether in terms of cost, time or sequence.

The schedule is absolutely indispensable

The starting point should be the list of tasks itemised in the project estimate, which should then be allocated to broader categories or steps.

Typical examples are:

  • Site preparation
  • Demolition and removal
  • Superstructure
  • Any internal platforms or raised floor structures
  • Waterproofing
  • Internal and external stud wall frames
  • Plumbing, electrics, heating pipes etc
  • External cladding, e.g. plasterwork
  • Floor laying and interior walls
  • Joinery, fixtures and decoration
  • Handover

The most effective tools tend to be in a chart form where you have both a macro and micro view of the project. This allows you to plan, coordinate and keep tabs on specific tasks or activities without losing sight of the big picture, together with timing, resources and costs.