Managing Your Own Small Construction Site
So you’re ready to get on with your new home build – congratulations. Working with your builder will be your most important relationship and even more so if is also your project manager. Whether you choose to manage your new build or elect your Architect, builder, someone is needed on a small construction site to comply with Health and Safety requirements. Ignorance is not an excuse, especially in the Construction industry where injuries can and do happen.
Construction whatever the size is hazardous and that’s why there are strict construction site safety rules to prevent injuries that could lead to a fatality. In the USA there’s the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) which operates under the Occupational Safety and Health Act and your construction site will need to run by the rules. If you believe you’re up to the task of managing your small construction site read the OSH Act thoroughly so you’re on the right side of the law and to assist you during your build here are a few useful tips:
Use Project Management Software
It doesn’t matter when it’s a single-family home or a whole apartment complex, being able to stay organized through software is key to keeping control of everyone, and their business without losing it! Start using a project management software package that you’re familiar with like Microsoft Project. Alternatively, there are open-source alternatives that are highly recommended, like Write.com. A project management app will enable you to essentially micro-manage the deliverables, staffing or supplier issues and of course sign off on milestones reached in each stage of development. A GANTT chart is often the best way to visually see what’s happening on the build at any given time. Setting up multiple checklists and To-Do lists also help avoid missing deadlines.
On Site Communication
The role of the project manager requires good interpersonal skills and keenness for small talk, rapport building and communication. Construction and building require strong leadership, verbal communication and clear direction and instruction. While you’ll be on your computer a lot managing the project make sure you can take a tablet onsite as you will be required there most days to get updates and fight any fires (not actual fires)!
Provide The Appropriate Facilities
Once again, we refer back to the OSHA and what’s required onsite for the comfort, health and safety of all onsite workers.
Construction sites don’t usually come with restroom facilities, and yes they are a must of course so thankfully an On Site porta potty rental does the job. With one unit for every ten workers onsite at a given time, it’s a no-brainer. Choose either fixed location models or fully mobile, which can be easily moved from area to area for bigger work sites.
Automatic Information Flow
Back onto using technology for managing your small home build project….use cloud-based solutions that allow you to keep update and sync data on the move. Tools like Trello, Wunderlist, and Slack are some of the better-known products allowing seamless collaboration and shared task lists etc. There are quite a few products available; some are free, others are subscription-based depending on the team size.
Managing construction site flow and staying on schedule is not an easy task. But, when using the right tools, approaching people the right way and being accessible, it makes the job so much easier than it would otherwise be.
In summary, use tools for automation workflow and project management and think health and safety first. Lessen the risks associated with the build to avoid a wrong move that may lead to litigation with employees who seek out a personal injury lawyer to file claims against you or even worse, an onsite fatality. Now with all that sorted, you can get back to enjoying the experience of building a new home.