Best Laid Construction Plans

Association of Construction and Development
August 31, 2012 — 1,434 views  

The famous poet Robert Burns once wrote "The best laid schemes of mice and men, go often awry, and leave us nothing but grief and pain, for promised joy!" While modern-day construction has challenges unlike any in the poem "To a Mouse," foremans and managers still need to plan accordingly for the worst-case scenario.

If you are a working professional who needs to create the best laid construction plans, consider the following overview of how to develop effective planning strategies.

Anticipated costs

The most important aspect of a construction project to keep in mind is how much money it is going to actually cost. This includes the prices of any desired materials as well as the labor necessary to put them to use.

A proper construction expense guide should be divided into two sections - direct and indirect costs. Direct costs are items like lumber that can be easily expensed and accounted for. Indirect costs are the possible red zones that can result from trickle-down expenses. For example, if inclement weather delays construction for a week, you will still be responsible for that week's wages, bills and other responsibilities.


As with any long-term project, you will need a time frame for certain critical aspects. For example, if you are building a residential home, you'll need to stagger specific tasks so that others can be accomplished. The foundation has to be completed by this date, then the wooden framework, then the drywall and so on and so forth - all the way down to the final tile work in the bathroom.

Again, a proper construction plan will be listed in three separate sections - tasks affected by time, work affected by resources and those sensitive to both factors.

For instance, tile work is affected by both. The mason needs to be supplied with the proper tile, which falls under the resource category. Any shipping delays will push back the project. However, if the respective contractor has all the relevant materials and doesn't finish work within a specific time frame, this will result in an unsatisfied customer.

Identifying tasks

As you'll most likely be managing a team of construction professionals, you need to delegate specific responsibilities so no one gets confused. Subcontractors are the safest bet when it comes to specialties, because while they may be slightly more expensive than in-house workers, these people are experts in detail and niche work.

Association of Construction and Development