Organization: The Key to a Successful Construction Project
But where does one begin to bring reason to the madness? It begins with organization. Being organized through the exploration, bidding, and construction process
will help you manage the project. Start by keeping a series of folders dedicated to specific phases of your project. For example, have a “loan folder” to keep track of financial documents required by the bank. Make copies of any W2’s, statements, or verifications for your personal records. Make another folder dedicated to the labor aspect of your project. File bids into this folder for easy access when it comes time to review the quotes. Write any questions on the bids supplied by the contractor. That way, when you speak with them, you can reference specific areas of the quote. When pricing materials, create another folder for quotes on lumber, cabinets, flooring, etc. The idea behind the folders is to establish hard copies of everything pertaining to your project. Undoubtedly, all this information would get lost if you tried to remember it. However, if it is kept on paper, you can quickly and efficiently find it.
Once you have completed the “exploration” process of gathering pricing, you will transition into construction. By this time, you will have selected contractors
and suppliers for your project. Take their bids and quotes and put them into a “construction notebook.” This notebook should be organized into phases with important names, phone numbers, and quotes for:
1. Permits and/or fees (if applicable)
2. Site work
13. Finish and décor items
14. Finish carpentry (installing doors, molding, cabinets, etc.)
It may seem tedious to file all of this information. However, the goal is to keep a multitude of information located in an easy place to find. When problems or questions arise, you can quickly go to the folder and find the answer.
Another technique is to develop a Rolodex with the contact information for those involved in your project. The names and phone numbers to building department officials, contractors, material suppliers, construction Loan officer etc., can all be entered into your cell phone or PDA. When you have questions – which you will during construction – you can quickly find their phone numbers. This is much more efficient than thumbing through a pile of papers. Also, make sure to distribute your cell or work number to your contractors. If problems arise on the job site, you will want to provide direction to your builders. Allowing them to get in touch with you during the day can save many headaches before they begin.
Construction brings together dozens of people from government entities to your local hardware store. Each entity will be intimately involved in your project, so it makes sense to organize the information they provide. Develop a filing system to keep track of the paperwork. This will allow you to reference specific aspects of the project when questions arise. Enter the names and phone numbers of your contractors into your cell phone so you can call them when the need presents itself. Also, make sure to provide builders and suppliers with the best number to reach you during the day. If you follow these steps, you can keep your project organized and flowing smoothly to success!