As a contractor, you will use numerous construction documents within the life of a project. As big and complex your projects are, documents tend to increase, and disorder will happen. In construction, chaos in every aspect of the business seems to be a norm, particularly in documents. With many records split between digital and paper, office and field, workers and stakeholders, it is no wonder there exist so many errors and costly reworks.
You do not want chaos, right? But you are facing so much of it as more teams are added to the project, while work becomes more complicated and everyone gets busier. So, what is the solution to this standard but crazy costly construction challenge? The answer – is reasonable construction document control.
In this blog, we will share the twelve common construction documents contractors used to deal with. In addition, we will define in this blog what it means to have a good grip on your documents using the eight expert tips that are crucial to success. Read and learn more.
Construction Documents Every Contractor Needs
While various construction projects might require specialized documents, there are twelve documents every contractor must use when creating construction contracts.
- Bidding documents: These documents are not legally binding. But, they give you the ability to state your intentions, conditions, and expectations while also working through some of the most important questions during the initial stage of the bidding process.
- Construction contract agreement: This document is the principal agreement between all parties involved in the project. This is a crucial document and must include a detailed description of your project, the price of the contract, and how the payments should be made. Also, it covers the scope of your project and the scheduling.
- Scope of the work: Defining the project’s scope is critical during the bidding process. Not only will this scope of work states what is to be done during the project, but it also includes various tactics you can use to complete the job and other essential details.
- Construction Schedule: A construction schedule is primarily used to keep the project on track and manage timeline expectations. This document also includes reasons why the schedule can be modified or what happens if there is an inevitable delay.
- General conditions: This document states every contractor’s obligations throughout the project. The conditions most commonly include the paying party, determining when payments will be made, sourcing policies, deadlines, and where work will be performed.
- Special conditions: This is one of the few documents included in the list that might not be necessary. However, if you do pick to use special conditions, they could be included as an extension in the general conditions section.
- Specifications: This document details the technical requirements of the project. This also lists the initial requirements. Any changes to the technical requirements will be stated under the scope of work section. This specification document commonly includes:
- Bill of Quantities: A bill of quantities includes all tools and materials any contractor would need to complete for the project. Furthermore, you would have an itemized list of materials, tools, labor, and miscellaneous parts and pricing for each item.
- Cost estimates: This document provides you a statement of all materials, tools, and labor that you will need to complete a job as well as their corresponding prices.
- Drawings: Architectural drawings must be included since they represent the final designs of the project and give you and your clients something tangible to agree upon. Apart from these drawings, you must also keep and submit all records of the project’s scope, aesthetics, and the extent to be completed.
- Work orders: When receiving or submitting a work order, you must save this document as you might need to reference it later in the project. Work orders commonly include order numbers, you and your client’s information, expected completion date, and authorizing signatures.
- List of Construction Insurance Coverage: Insurance, particularly liability insurance, is something every contractor must submit even before starting a construction project. By keeping your insurance documentation, you can avoid any legal issues, protect your people, and avoid being charged for accidental worksite damage.
Take Control Over Your Documentation with These Tips
1. Start with Your Culture
It is impossible to take control of your documents if you do not get all your staff on board about the importance of construction document control. This makes a massive difference between completing the project within time and running way over. In other words, it is all the difference.
2. Find the right people to take over the system
As part of the cultural transition to proper construction document control, it is crucial that each of your employees feels authorized and empowered for the success of document management. And while everybody on your team is participating in making the document control a success, having the critical contract to make all changes and oversights is important.
3. Evaluate your existing system
If you think your deployed software for construction document control is robust, you can start asking yourself the following questions:
- Is it accessible anywhere? High-above and underground, remote or trailer-side?
- Is it easy and fast to use? Can everybody track down information instantly upon using it?
- Is it cloud-based? Is this system work across mobile applications?
- Can it downsize with you if necessary?
- Is it scalable? Will it grow with your construction team as you get on more work?
- Can you quickly add new stakeholders and take out others?
- Does it value your customer support?
- Is it secure? Is it only exclusive to your team, clients, and stakeholders?
If you hardly answer “Yes” to the above-cited questions, it is time to thoroughly evaluate your construction document management and place a much better system in place. Deploy Pro Crew Schedule, a connected, cloud-based construction project software suitable for your documentation processes. It has all you ever need in one centralized platform. It is cloud-based, scalable, and can be accessed anywhere and anytime. All Yesses for the questions above!
4. Out with the Old and In with the New
First and foremost – make sure to get rid of the paper. It is nearly impossible to run through construction document control with sheaves of printer paper and loose leaves, memos, and blueprints. You may have a heavy reliance on emails and systems like Excel. You have to stop that. Disjointed email chains are not very helpful for your document management, with attachments that are harder to track down and not even the correct version.
Dependence on emails is probably doing an increasing number on your productivity. Same with Excel. Going digital with the right project management software is the only way to achieve robust document management.
5. Establish your workflows
A standardized and streamlined workflow is crucial to construction document control. So, establish what works best for your projects and construction company in terms of workflows by asking the following questions:
- How must changes be updated?
- Who gets notifications on changes?
- Who needs to review and approve?
There is no right and direct answer for one company – it depends entirely on your existing structure. While workflows must be structured and controlled, it is also crucial to keep a touch of flexibility, allowing you to address issues and changes more efficiently, should they occur.
Once you already have a system, stick to it and train your people where necessary.
6. Find Your New System and Standardize
It is vital that you have the best construction management software for overall document control to centralize all your construction documents effectively. When evaluating your software options, you must ask yourself first if it fits the criteria above. If you are still uncertain, do not do it.
Once you have deployed the right software that fits the criteria, try to achieve standardization. This may be a slow process compared to what is anticipated as you gain buy-ins. However, it is well worth it over time to have your whole project and company working from the same system with the same templates – no exceptions.
7. Create a single source of truth
Crafting a single source of truth is vital to and the most significant benefit when taking control of your construction documents. This means that if your people need the latest set of documents, they can always feel assured whenever they search for it within your deployed construction scheduling software.
Everybody can see these changes and know precisely what these changes entail. Even access to historical documents is always still available. However, it is clear what is new and what is old.
8. Rely on Automation
For you to take control of your documents more effectively, you only do not need all info, but you also have to be equipped with correct information. While it might feel safer to input things manually, this opens plans and documents for errors. Always look for sophisticated solutions that can automate things for you and your team, whether it is a simple solution to sort your existing construction documents or a complicated process like making a specification book into construction submittals in just minutes.
Take More Control of Your Documents with Pro Crew Schedule
A centralized, reliable document controlling solution like Pro Crew Schedule enables solid collaboration for everybody working on your projects while giving you more control over your documentation. You will not have to worry about the existence of inaccurate data that often leads to mistakes and errors.
Once you connect your document workflows and data in real-time, you will be really surprised how Pro Crew Schedule works. Everything is just easier to navigate and track. You and your team’s tasks are easy to complete, and projects are flawless to go. More than anything else, this cloud-based system can make your company profitable in the long run.