Each construction project should come to an end. So, what happens next? You have to take the last final steps to ensure everything is already complete and that you can safely hand it over to the project owner. This is precisely where project closeout comes in.
If you know much about handling project closeout, you may be wrestling against your best interests. So, in this blog, learn more about the detailed process of project closeout in construction and some of the key components you need to consider. By the end of this blog, we expect you to apply what you have learned, helping you finish your construction projects much faster while growing your business.
What is Project Closeout Anyway?
The final phase in the project management process in construction is called project closeout. It happens right after the physical building has finally been completed, even before handing it over to the project owner. Also, any problems or issues you encounter must be resolved immediately before the project owner takes over.
This phase is often seen as a complex process because it covers a lot of physical work, administration, and finances. But, how long does a project closeout takes? You can anticipate an equal amount of time spent on project closeout as you did on the physical completion of the whole project.
Why Is Successful Project Closeout Crucial?
It is simple. Successful closeout is equal to successful project completion. Therefore, any inefficiencies require extra paperwork, which prolongs and complicate project closeout. Therefore, you are now experiencing overspending and project delays. But there are more concrete reasons and essential things you need to know more about:
- First, you are obligated to conduct a comprehensive project closeout process. Public and private contracts will have more details about such a process, and you must stick to them.
- Project closeout is a very time-sensitive process. It requires so much dedication and time to do it right. Thus, you must start it as soon as possible.
- Lastly, you cannot overstate the significance of the financial benefits of the successful project closeout.
The bottom line here is that if it is your goal to make your construction business successful, you must ensure successful project completion on any project you undertake.
Types of Construction Closeouts
We already mentioned previously that construction project closeout is a very complex process. It covers various aspects you should tackle to achieve successful project completion. Approach each of these aspects correctly if you want to solve all existing problems you are facing during the phase. This also ensures that your clients are satisfied with the final results.
1. Project Closeout
In this step, you are handling the many documents, confirming you have met all the necessary project requirements. In this phase, you must check all change requests and comprehensively review your initial documentation. In this way, you can be reassured all work has already been completed and you have fulfilled your obligations.
When starting this process, you need to invest in contractor management software that will optimize your overall workflow and help track down all essential files and data.
2. Client Closeout
This is an excellent opportunity to present yourself as a reliable, organized, and customer-focused contractor. In this step, you must give your clients all necessary paperwork, including records of project changes, warranties, and equipment information. Giving a comprehensive overview of the project will impact the satisfaction levels of your clients.
3. Organizational closeout
This closeout part requires removing your employees and equipment from the worksite. So, always notify your subs and employees when they need to leave the site and assign them to the other projects. Only with a construction scheduling software tool can you and your team get real-time updates. You can observe the progress of every task and update any changes in real-time.
Moreover, this closeout phase is the right time to do inventory for your tools and equipment to make sure every single asset is accounted for. You do not want to risk project delays and client complaints at the last minute just because you did not remove any excavator from the site. Again, ensure that your entire workforce and equipment are removed before your client can see the final project.
4. Subcontractor closeout
Even before you pay your subs, you should verify that their work was already being completed and has already met the required quality standards. Also, if there are any change orders, always ensure they are completed before releasing your subs. Once reviewing their work and you are satisfied with it, cover the invoices and the payment amounts you owe them.
You may also provide them with feedback for the job and create a list of subs you would like to work with soon in your following projects.
5. Team Closeout
The final step will be consulting your team and assessing the success of your project. What have you known and learned during the construction? Are there any issues you can avoid and resolve on your future projects? How can you fully optimize your upcoming project operations?
Having excellent communication with your construction team can guarantee that you are not making the same mistakes in the future. In addition, it helps to showcase appreciation for their solid contribution to your project. But how can you effectively communicate with your team? A lot of techs right now are emerging and have been the core of the construction industry.
As a matter of fact, project management tools are proven to improve overall communication and collaboration. It acts as a central platform where you and your team can communicate more effectively and seamlessly.
Steps to a Successful Project Closeout
1. Collect necessary documents
Construction projects must follow a plan to adhere to a certain schedule, budget, and scope as much as possible. Make sure to create a punch list. This helps you keep track of all ongoing tasks so you can know the status of every action item. This list is beneficial in determining whether you should address any loose ends even before looping in the client to review.
More documents you need are the following:
- Design approvals
- Requests for information
- Certificate of Occupancy
- Certificate of Substantial completion
- Pay submittals for contractors
2. Review all change orders and modifications
Change orders are alteration requests submitted by a party working on your construction projects in response to a delay or new addition. Always note that these requests are written down immediately so that keeping track of them is much easier. And when it comes to wrapping up, review all your change orders to confirm the completion and indicate why they might remain incomplete.
3. Make sure order specifications are met
Before turning over your construction project to the rightful owner, you must conduct walkthroughs to check the overall construction by testing systems and specifications that the client might have ordered. This step is when you will verify for one last time that the building has a good and effective safety plan.
4. Use a managing tool
Even during project closeout, insights and overview of the projects still matter. Using sophisticated construction software can help you get real-time insights and data. As a contractor or project manager, you can achieve efficient decision-making to track resource allocations and other important aspects with the help of this tool.
5. Present to the Client
Once you have made sure that your deliverables meet your client’s expectations, it is time for you to deliver the goods. This step hinges on your client’s pre-established understanding of the project timelines and goals. And if your project is running over your budget, do not stress. Just make sure to document all occasions where project estimates were inaccurate and keep your change orders to take note of the cost of new additions that changed the project scope.
6. Address all customer feedback
It is most likely that your construction project requires client sign-off, approval, or satisfaction to move forward with the closeout. Your walkthrough presentations must be comprehensive and should address all your clients’ requests. Use your prepared documents to answer any questions about the completion and the scope, and note any final requests alongside the timeline of project completion of these requests.
Put Pro Crew Schedule in Place
Remember that construction projects involve a lot of complexities. Expect a lot of people involved, a pile of documents and files, and regular inspections to ensure you are adhering to the standard codes. If everybody is on the same page from the start, this last phase will be easier to manage.
But really, the key to a successful construction project closeout is the implementation of Pro Crew Schedule – a sophisticated software for project planning. In fact, this cutting-edge tech should be carried out at the very start, during the initial planning process. If you do not want to make your initial project phase and project closeouts get complicated or cause unnecessary details, make sure to put Pro Crew Schedule in place.
Expect a more streamlined and standardized workflow using this top-notch software.
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