Regarding long-running construction projects, few of us remember how they started, but we all remember how they ended. The final impression you leave on an owner is just as important as your first impression—especially when you hope to earn repeat business. A smooth and successful project closeout should be the goal from day one. You can speed up the project closeout by taking a few simple steps.
Project closeout tasks
The closeout stage of a construction project involves tying up a lot of loose ends. Some of the key steps of this stage:
- Make sure all change orders and punch lists have been completed
- Confirm that you satisfied all legal requirements and statutory claims
- Complete all inspections to obtain your certificate of occupancy
- Document that all work outlined in the contract documents has been completed and conforms to the plans and specifications
- Review any final client notes, making sure you have completed all requests
- Compile all guarantees / warranties, owner’s manuals and cut sheets
- Complete the final pay app
These are deceptively complex steps. Their success relies on forethought and daily attention throughout the course of the project. Doing so will speed up the closeout process, and increase your profitability.
Setting up a successful project closeout
The most important effort you can make to make sure an effective project closeout is to have your eye on the finish line from day one. Gathering the financials, finalizing documentation, resolving change orders, and other related closeout tasks can be hugely time consuming. Many contractors wait until they are in the final phases of their project to start thinking about, and planning for, the closeout steps. Using construction management software to track and manage your projects will greatly reduce the time your team spends closing out a project. If you start planning for your closeout at the beginning of your project, you’ll avoid delays and overages.
Creating a project closeout checklist before you even break ground can be very helpful. Include details like targeted dates for specific actions (such as returning machinery and equipment, site clean-up, inspections, billing, etc) and identify people in charge of specific closeout action tasks. This way, everybody knows from the beginning what the expectations are for the closeout process — and their part in getting it done. Use the document to inform your team throughout the project, and maintain accountability for each person’s tasks along the way. When the profit margins are realized, you’ll be able to track that the steps you took at the start of your project directly impacted the efficiency of your closeout process.
Boost jobsite efficiency to improve your closeout
Routine actions taken daily, at the jobsite, will speed up your closeout and save you money. Well organized steps such as having enough receptacles for waste (and getting them hauled off regularly) or scheduling extra labor for the days you need to remove equipment will keep you from losing time at the end of your project and overpaying to get things done at the last minute.
Most importantly, save time throughout the project by using field-first technology to:
- Track employee time and expenses
- View plans and specifications
- Create, view and respond to RFIs
- Create and view daily progress reports, checklists, punchlists, submittals
- Communicate in real-time using posts and immediate push notifications
Having those critical items at your fingertips in one central location, available to all project team members and partners for easy access and collaboration, will save you time throughout the project and during the closeout process. No more scrambling for contracts or plans that you haven’t seen in weeks, or even months. RedTeam’s construction management and field management solutions provide all of these features for you.
A smooth project closeout will impress project owners
Impressing your owners at the handoff not only feels really great, it also increases your company’s chances of repeat business with this owner. With the right tools, a well-documented closeout is simple and efficient and leaves everybody with a positive impression of the overall project. Watch a demo from RedTeam to learn how a construction management solution and / or a field management solution can improve your closeout process, impress your clients and see your profits grow.