Construction Project Administration: Popular Tips & Resources

Construction projects aren’t just about building — there’s plenty of paperwork and documentation that needs to be completed for each job. This is where the topic of construction project administration comes in. Companies can handle this task in a variety of different ways, such as:

  • Having the owner or manager complete all the behind-the-scenes work
  • Hiring a construction project administrator
  • Using an administration software or construction app to create, complete, and store important documents and files

No matter how the job gets done, it’s important that businesses have a plan to help them stay organized. Why? Because construction project administration errors can lead to high costs down the road — in a significant number of ways.

The following table shares a bit about the effects of construction delays and project damages — which are often caused administration errors.

Losses for subcontractors (when builders make an administration mistake)

  • Overhead

  • Lost profits

  • Insurance costs

Losses for builders (when subcontractor teams make an administration mistake)

  • Supervision costs

  • Rental costs (trailers, equipment, etc.)

  • Material costs

  • Liability insurance

Disputes are commonly caused by construction administration errors, too. And the construction industry’s guide to dispute avoidance and resolution is strong administration. After all, almost every dispute can be stopped in its tracks with a solid contract. On the other hand, if there are gaps or mistakes in the formal project documentation, the responsible company can be left in loads of trouble.

These are just a few prices builders and subcontractors pay, but they show the importance of solid administration in construction processes. The fewer errors in material orders, client relations, worker time sheets, or other administrative tasks, the smoother (and more cost-efficient) projects will be.

That’s why it’s important to have a course of action, and why we’ve created this resource to help you create a plan of your own.

Below, you’ll find the ins and outs of construction project administration — what it is, the pieces it entails, and tips to get the job done well. Read on to ease the burden on construction project administration yourself:

What is Construction Project Administration?

Construction project administration is just about everything that takes place behind the scenes of a job. It includes finances, billing, paperwork, contracts, schedule creation, client relations, subcontractor team supervision, and so much more. If a task has to be done for the hands-on work to take place, there’s a good chance it falls into the administration category.

Forms make up a big part of construction project administration, so understanding them can give you a deeper feel for this space. Some of the most common types of documents for every construction project include:

  1. Change Order — This form lists and explains changes that are agreed upon by all parties, including the homeowner and the construction company. It serves as a legal document, in addition to the contract, to show that every party was involved in the change decision at the time it was completed.
  2. RFI — The Request for Information form asks for clarification on project specifics if they are not provided beforehand.
  3. Submittal — These are written versions of project plans, material information, and other work requirements that may not have been documented just yet.
  4. Scope of Work — This simply describes the work that is to be done on a project. It can help to prevent companies from receiving poor feedback for work they were not meant to take on.
  5. Bill of Quantities — This breaks down the total cost of projects — labor, supplies, and other assets included.
  6. Bid Request —  This form makes it easy to track deposits received, documents sent, and documents returned by each individual bidder.
  7. Work Request —  This outlines the work that is to be completed. It may also go over start and end dates of the work for the task at hand.
  8. Daily Report This is filled out at the end of each day to show what was done within work hours. It helps projects stay on task and planners to have realistic expectations for jobs that come up in the future.
  9. Weekly Report — This is just like the daily report but covers an entire week’s worth of work.

Oftentimes this work is done by a designated person called a construction administrator. This role includes a vast number of duties, all of which can fall under the administrative and management tasks of construction projects if we are speaking in a broad fashion.

Specifically, this person:

  • Works close to the construction site — either physically or a quick phone call away, with visits taking place whenever necessary
  • Covers the paperwork — schedules, expenses, profits, payments, contracts, etc.
  • Keeps communication moving — client questions, new prospect calls, follow ups, team member/subcontractor communication, and more

Other job responsibilities of construction administrators may include:

  • Coordinating conversations between various company departments — or subcontractor teams for smaller businesses
  • Monitoring compliance
  • Reviewing project documents for mistakes or deficiencies
  • Evaluating punch lists and other construction project close out documents
  • Ensuring safety guidelines are enforced by all project participants at all times

Construction project managers play a critical role, but it’s important to note that there’s not always an extra body to dedicate to these tasks alone. Sometimes, the company owner works overtime to ensure everything stays organized.

Other times, construction management software is used to aid in the administration process. But no matter who performs the work, it stays important throughout the process of managing the construction process.

Tips for Smooth Construction Project Administration

Now that we have a clear understanding of all the tasks that construction project administration entails, we’ll share some of the top construction project administration tips to make sure your construction projects run as smoothly as possible.

To make sure we are supporting companies and contractors of all styles and sizes, we’ll assume you’re working without the help of designated administration personnel on your team.

These are all attributes of strong construction project administrators, but there’s one trick to smooth sailing in this area that’s far more important than the rest — having a plan. When you dedicate yourself to a specific construction project administration plan, you’ll have the time, tools, and motivation to get everything done as error-free as possible.

Communication’s Effect on Construction Project Administration

Something that is more than essential in the world of construction project administration is construction communication. Strong communication skills in construction can cause fewer disputes, errors, and smoother projects.

Looking into disputes and their effect on construction projects is a simple way to make the importance of solid communication in the administrative area of construction projects stand out.

Some of the most common contract disputes and construction disagreements include:

  • Work that is not completed on time
  • Plans and specific details that are not followed
  • Original plans that are changed without approval from the homeowner — or when the need for changes is brought up too late

Each of these disputes can take significant profits away from the company, and they’re almost always preventable with solid communication and construction administration. How can this be? Because they all revolve around the details of the project.

For example, let’s say a project deadline is September 1st. The client is likely wanting to move into —or begin to use again— the space your teams have been working on. But somewhere down the line, September 10th has been written on project paperwork or told to workers, so the work isn’t completed when the client needs it to be.

Here lies a dispute that the homeowner will be upset about — and rightly so. It would have been avoided if “Project Finish Date: September 1st” had been clearly written on all documents and communicated to every worker and subcontractor team on the project.

Even though this is a simple example, similar stories take place every day in this line of work. And they come with consequences, too — with the most common consequence of construction project disputes being lost wages for the business owner involved in the project.

How can you avoid disputes and other common construction challenges? The following construction communication tips may make an impact when applied to your administrative tasks:

  • Include everyone in the conversation (and documentation) — When every member of the project, including employees, subcontractor teams, clients, and suppliers, is kept in the conversation, the project is much more likely to run smoothly. In terms of construction project administration, ensure everyone has access to proper paperwork and documentation. When everyone knows every detail, the end result is almost sure to be positive and free of disputes or disagreements.
  • Record everything — Voice conversations don’t hold up in court. You’ll need to have all project details documented — and organized — to keep your administrative details in the best possible shape.
  • Use layman’s terms — Even if your contracts are fairly complicated, make sure your clients understand every piece by talking them through each page in everyday terms. This will protect you, as every piece of the project is communicated with care.

If you’re looking for a simple tool to aid in the construction project administration process,we at Rivet can help.

We understand that construction has tons of steps and moving parts, so you may need more than one app to get everything organized. At Rivet, our role is to help construction communication be as efficient as possible.

We are a construction communication app that centralizes all your information. We’ve built tools to house all of your work-related conversations, ensuring you’ll never have to go searching through multiple platforms to find that quote or client request again.

On Rivet, you’ll be able to centralize messages, photos, documents, and information in one project hub. The hub is also configurable, so you can link out to Google Drive or other apps to help your team and members of the project know where to go to find or document information.

You also have the ability to pull in personal text messages, so you can organize and save conversations with anyone — even if they haven’t yet downloaded the Rivet app.

In addition to pulling in personal text messages, we support in-app translation so anyone, no matter what language they speak, can communicate. This can be very effective to make sure everyone knows what is going on and does not have to interpret what is needed through a game of telephone.

What other tools and features does Rivet offer to support your construction project administration efforts?

  1. Document storage — Rivet offers the ability to send, receive, and store forms, making it easy to perform many of the administrative tasks you or your team is responsible for. It makes them easy to access and find, too, when the time to reference old paperwork pops up in the future.
  2. Centralized contact hub — No more calling each other for client contacts — Rivet offers the ability to store all project phone numbers, email addresses, etc., in one place. This saves you time and serves as an organizational tool, taking away the need to perform one of the most important administrative tasks.
  3. An easy and accessible platform — Rivet is offered on devices your team is likely to already own. It’s also extremely easy to use, so you can spend more time working and less time learning to use the software that will keep your administrative tasks and team talks more organized than ever before.

If you’re ready to ease the burden of construction project administration, feel free to download the Rivet app or contact us today. We’re excited to help you on your journey toward simplicity, organization, and smooth-running in the construction administrative field.

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