Pro Tips
4 Things to Know Before Using a Construction Schedule Template
BuildBook Team
December 21, 2020

Discover the three types of construction schedule templates, which one is right for you, and how to find or create one of your own

In order to understand construction schedule templates and knowing which one is best for your business and project, you first need to know the basics of a construction schedule. 

What is a construction schedule? 

During projects, you want to stay organized and make sure your clients are happy, right? Of course you do, that’s the goal of every construction company. 

The best way to accomplish that is to make sure that every project begins with a construction schedule. In a nutshell, a construction schedule is used to help establish project timelines, keep you and your team organized, layout tasks and responsibilities, track progress, change orders and payments, and help keep you on time and budget.

A construction schedule helps you do that by laying out — in order — everything it will take to complete a project from start to finish. It’s like Lego instructions for how to make it to the end of the project with as few missing pieces as possible. It allows you to see how long it will take to get materials and carry out each task. It even allows you to assign who will be responsible for completing each project task and in what order. 

Having a complete construction schedule helps you manage the flow of your projects and clients expectations with minimal stress.  

What is a construction schedule template?

Simply put, a construction schedule template is a pre-built construction schedule in spreadsheet format (Excel or Google Sheets) designed to save you the time of creating it from scratch. 

If you’d like to build your own construction schedule from scratch, you may want to first check out our in-depth article, How to Create a Construction Schedule

Before creating your own however, construction schedule templates can save you more than just time. They are pre-built to allow you to manage a project with more accuracy and insight. They might include a broad amount of information, but their purpose is to increase quality and keep your team on task, on budget, and on time. You will have a complete picture of how the project is running at any given time.

Most construction schedule templates provide you with the foundation for the success of your project by offering:

  • A blueprint for each step of the project
  • Helping make sure team members understand the scope of a project
  • Tracking milestones
  • Keeping sub-contractors information organized
  • Allowing you to insert state, county and city code information
  • Knowing the timelines for materials
  • Tracking the progress of each task
  • Tracking the progress of the payment schedule 
  • Coordinating tasks and other responsibilities

Note: BuildBook has a construction Gantt chart template that offers everything above and is completely free to download and use as your own.

The 3 types of construction schedule templates

Most construction schedule templates fall into three categories:

  1. Construction project templates
  2. Construction project timeline templates
  3. Construction Gantt chart templates

Each of these types can be used and broken down further based on the type of construction they’re being created for:

  • Commercial construction project templates, commercial construction project timeline templates, and commercial construction Gantt chart templates
  • Residential construction schedule templates, residential construction project timeline templates, and residential construction Gantt chart templates

Even further, you might find them categorized based on the type of project. For example, residential remodeling construction schedule templates, or residential home construction schedule templates. 

When deciding which one you should use for your project, it’s important to know that a construction schedule, construction Gantt chart, and construction project timeline all work together as one or each can be used independently on their own. Each one will have similar elements but focus on slightly different information.

How to build a construction schedule template

As we mentioned previously, there are many free templates already available that you can use to save time, such as our free construction Gantt chart. 

If you choose to build your own construction schedule template, the steps will differ based on the software you choose to use. We’ve outlined the steps on how to find a basic template and start creating your schedule in both Excel and Google Sheets in the following two articles:

How to create a construction schedule template in Excel

How to create a construction schedule template in Google Sheets

But actually creating the schedule is just the first step. Laying out the details is just as important as the layout and template you choose. 

Here is a checklist of what you’ll need to know:

  1. Know the scope of work

    Is this a kitchen remodel or a new home build? The scope of work will depend on the complexity of the project. It is up to you how detailed you want to get, but in this case less is not always more.
  1. Identify project milestones

    Making sure you’re on schedule is much easier if you have all the major project milestones laid out. This will allow you to see if you're off track and what you can move in order to make up for any lost time.
  1. Get your project information together

    Making time to get all your project information pulled together in the beginning will save you time, frustration, and money in the long run. It’s best to get organized up front and keep it that way.
  1. Build your construction schedule template (or use our free construction Gantt chart template)

    You only need to take the time to build your schedule template one time. After that, you might need to make them project specific, but the bulk of the work is already done.
  1. Enter the complete project details from tasks to budgets — be thorough.

    Each job has a bunch of tasks, and budget information. Again, keeping all this in one place allows you to view all aspects of the project to make sure nothing gets missed… especially a progress payment when it’s due.
  1. Check codes and enter important information

    Having each task and milestone laid out is important, but so is checking codes. Entering codes information into your chart lets you know you have completed this step and you won’t waste time doing it twice… and you won’t miss something.
  1. Update the construction project template daily

    Updating your schedule daily, is like updating the homeowner at the end of each day. Rest easy, it keeps you in the know at all times. And if your client has a question, you have an immediate answer, now that's professionalism at its finest.

If you'd like to learn more, read our article, How to Create a Construction Schedule.

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