The construction plan

A construction plan sets out the timing and sequence of all construction work.

When supervising a renovation project, having a documented plan that outlines critical milestones throughout the project will assist in determining whether the construction and budget is on track, ahead or behind. 

A written plan can also be a crucial help in ensuring that the work complies with Building Code and standards requirements and that different stages of work are properly sequenced.

The construction plan should be supplied by the builder (when under a full contract) and can be drafted on a computer, a whiteboard or on paper – a portable version is needed as a key reference when determining progress at site and/or client meetings. 

Where a project is done on a labour-only basis, the owner will either have to do the planning and day-to-day management themselves or employ a specialist project manager as their agent. 

The construction plan should cover the following:

  • all the different activities and trades involved in the renovation.
  • the critical tasks that need to be completed before the next stage of work starts.
  • when material deliveries are required (including items being supplied or tasks undertaken by the owner). Orders may need to go out – even for things that are not required until the very end of the project such as carpet or landscaping (depending on lead times) – before work starts.
  • when specific trades such as the electrician, plumber or painter are required to be on site and should be contacted to ensure they will arrive on site when required. For example, the electrician and plumber should be contacted at an early stage and then two weeks before, one week before and two days before they are required.

It is a good idea to assess progress against the plan at least weekly to work out what should be done the following week, identify any challenges that might put the progress at risk or changes that need to be made to the plan and work out how to deal with them.

It is also a good idea to bring in the client at key milestones so they can see the work completed at each stage. This will allow any misunderstandings or problems to be identified early. It will almost always be cheaper, faster and more convenient to identify and resolve issues early than to wait until the whole project has been completed.