Basic Construction Management: The Superintendent's Job 5th Edition


This perennial NAHB bestseller, now in its fifth edition, addresses the issues facing today's construction manager including: tips for recruiting and keeping the best trade contractors, scheduling practices that makes sense, and how to implement quality practices on all your jobs. It offers a roadmap to excellence for all construction superintendents.

Weight 1.2600
ISBN 978-0-86718-645-1
Page Count 264
Author Leon Rogers
Publisher National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)
Dimensions 6 x 9

Today's construction projects are more complex than ever. Managing these projects has also become more complex.

Here you'll find tips for recruiting and keeping the best trade contractors, you learn scheduling that makes sense, and developing and implementing quality practices on all your jobs. This new edition guides you step-by-step from construction planning through warranty work. It offers a roadmap to excellence for all construction superintendents. Includes a companion Website with quality checklists and tools to help you manage your construction projects.

This perennial NAHB bestseller, now in its fifth edition, addresses the issues facing today's construction manager. New managers can use this as a great training tool. More experienced superintendents can brush up on the latest techniques and technologies.

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Preface, xi
Acknowledgments, xiii
About the Author, xv

Chapter 1. Hiring and Training Superintendents, 1
Hiring a New Superintendent, 1
The Hiring Process, 2
Training New Superintendents, 7
The Process, 7

Chapter 2. The Superintendent's Role, 9
The Superintendent's Authority, 11
The Superintendent as the Company's Agent, 11
The Superintendent as Leader, 12
Leadership Basics, 12
Leadership Styles, 13
The Superintendent as Manager, 15
Planning, 15
Organizing, 18
Directing and Coordinating, 18
Controlling, 18
Construction Activities, 20
Estimating, 20
Scheduling, 20
Staffing, 20
Evaluating, 22

Chapter 3. Project Start-Up, 23
Starting Off Right, 23
Planning, 24
Construction Documents, 25
Preconstruction Planning, 26
Resolve Lot Issues, 26
Hold a Site Meeting, 27
Consider Project and Site Logistics, 30
Hold Home Owner Preconstruction Meetings, 31
Establish Schedules, 34
Understand and Follow Building Regulations, 35
Define Trade Contractor Responsibilities, 35
Document Construction, 36
Recording and Formatting, 36
Types of Reports, 37

Chapter 4. Quality Control and Inspections, 43
Reasons for Quality Problems, 43
The Superintendent's Responsibility for Quality, 45
Total Quality Management (TQM), 46
Obstacles to Total Quality, 47
Creating an Atmosphere of High Quality, 48
Written Performance Standards, 49
Training, 50
Measuring Performance, 50
Internal Inspections, 51
Inspection Points, 52
Inspection Checklists, 52
Correcting Mistakes, 53
Code Inspections, 54
Logging Inspections, 55
Final Inspection, 55
Home Owner Walk-Through and Orientation, 55

Chapter 5. Cost Control, 57
Establishing the Budget, 57
Material Control, 58
Value Engineering, 58
Complete Specifications, 60
Accurate Contracts, 61
Negotiating Skills, 61
Sound Purchasing Procedures, 62
Handling Budget Variances, 63
Variance Analysis, 66
Material Delivery Strategies, 66
Location, 66
Inspection, 66
Proper Storage and Care, 67
Avoiding Material Waste and Misuse, 68
Labor Cost Control, 68

Chapter 6. Scheduling, 71
The Written Schedule, 71
Scheduling Methods, 72
Bar Chart Schedules, 72
Critical Activities, 74
The Critical Path Method, 74
Scheduling Phases, 76
Sequencing Activities, 76
Determining Activity Duration, 77
Scheduling Trade Contractors, 78
Monitoring and Updating the Schedule, 79
Using Technology, 79

Chapter 7. Managing Trade Contractors and Employees, 81
Advantages of Using Trade Contractors, 81
Challenges of Using Trade Contractors, 82
Who Is a Trade Contractor?, 83
Multitiered Trade Contractors, 84
Thinking Win-Win, 85
Partnering with Trade Contractors, 86
Keys to Success, 86
Single Sourcing, 88
Avoiding Pitfalls, 89
Trade Contractor Management, 90
Hiring Trade Contractors, 90
The Trade Contractor-Superintendent Relationship, 91
Locating Trade Contractors, 91
Evaluating Potential Trade Contractors, 94
Professionalism, 95
Competence, 95
Price, 97
Written Contracts, 97
Plans and Specifications, 99
Scope of Work, 99
Quality of Work, 99
Scheduling, 99
Change Orders, 99
Inspection Policies and Procedures, 100
Payment and Discount Provisions, 100
Safety, 100
Cleanup, 101
Communication with the Home Owner, 101
Warranties and Customer Service, 101
Failure to Perform and Terminating Contracts, 102
Policies and Procedures, 102
Other Provisions, 103
Training Trade Contractors, 103
Group Training, 105
Managing Trade Contractors, 105
Providing a Comfort Zone, 106
Superintendent Strategies, 107
Measure Performance, 109
Be Open to Suggestions, 109
Hiring Employees, 109
Preparing Job Descriptions, 110
Assessing Employees, 111
Training Employees, 112
Induction, 112
Orientation, 112
Training Methods, 113

Chapter 8. Working with Home Owners, 115
The Superintendent's Role in Home Owner Relations, 115
Various Levels of Contact, 116
Buyer's Remorse, 117
Policies and Procedures, 117
Increasing Buyer Understanding, 117
The Importance of Contracts, 118
Buyer-Requested Changes, 119
Home Owner Visits and Company Contacts, 119
Preparing for Visits, 120
Walk-Throughs, 120
Positive Communication, 121
Fixing Home Owner Concerns, 121
Conflict Resolution, 122
Daily Job Log, 123
Home Completion, 123
Written Warranties, 124
Scheduling Service Calls, 125
Trade Contractors and Customer Service, 125
Warranty Service Voucher System, 126
Chapter 9. Safety Management, 127
Three Reasons for Safety, 128
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 130
Employee Rights and Duties, 131
Inspections, 131
Violations, Citations, Penalties, and Appeal Process, 133
Types of Violations and Severity of Penalties, 133
OSHA Focused Inspection Program, 134
What to Do in an OSHA Inspection, 135
Appeals, 136
Affirmative Defenses, 136
Multiple-Employer Worksites, 137
The Superintendent's Role in Safety, 137
Implementing a Safety Program, 138
Training for a Safe Jobsite, 138
Safety Awards Program, 141
Safety Inspections, 142
Record Keeping, 142
Reporting Requirements, 144
Hazard Communication Guidelines, 144
Accident Investigation, 145
Trade Contractor Safety, 148
Enforcement and Discipline, 149
The Emergency Action Plan, 150
Notes, 151
Resources, 153
How to Use The Tools and Checklists, 155
Appendix 1 Management Tools, 157
Blueprint Checklist, 157
Call Log, 159
Change Order Form, 160
Completion and Closing Checklist, 161
Daily Report Form, 162
General Outline of Major Construction Phases, 163
Materials Management Guidelines, 164
Sample Job Description, 166
Self-Evaluation, 170
Site Meeting Checklist, 174
Superintendent Training Program Outline, 177

Appendix 2 Quality Control Checklists, 181
Brick, 181
Cabinets, 183
Exterior Concrete Flatwork, 185
Garage Concrete Flatwork, 187
Interior Concrete Flatwork, 188
Dampproofing, 189
Drywall, 190
Electrical, 192
Final Walk-through, 194
Floor Covering, 198
Footing, 200
Block Foundation, 202
Poured Concrete Foundations, 204
Framing, 206
Framing Nailing, 213
Framing Punch Out, 214
Initial Grading, 216
Gutters and Downspouts, 217
HVAC Finish, 218
HVAC Rough, 219
Insulation, 221
Interior Trim, 223
Mirror, Shelves, and Bath Accessories, 225
Paint, 226
Plumbing, 228
Porches and Decks, 230
Roofing, 232
Vinyl Siding, 234
Stucco/Parging, 236
Windows and Exterior Doors, 237

Appendix 3 Comfort Zone Checklists, 239
All Trades, 240
Excavators, 241
Footer Crew, 242
Foundation Crew, 243
Concrete Prep Flatwork Crew, 244
Framers, 245
Roofers, 246
Siding, 247
HVAC, 248
Plumbers, 249
Electricians, 250
Insulators, 251
Drywallers, 252
Cabinet Installer, 253
Trim Carpenters, 254

Index, 255

I saw a hand-drawn set of house plans the other day and had to laugh. Indeed, when the first edition of this book was written in 1981, the construction world was a very different place. The manuscript was typed on a then state-of-the-art IBM Selectric, which cost more than today's personal computers. PCs were unheard of, cellular phones had not been invented, construction scheduling was just in its infancy, and Total Quality Management (TQM) was a Japanese phenomenon. We were beginning to apply business management principles to residential construction projects, but construction management still was largely "by the seat of your pants."

Much has happened in 28 years. Most residential builders are almost completely computerized. Home buyers have become increasingly sophisticated and demanding, and construction project management is more complex, Cost control and analysis of cost overruns and variances are now standard practices. Formal safety programs are more common. Computerized scheduling is widely accepted. TQM and continuous improvement have been successfully implemented in many companies. Thanks to the educational efforts of NAHB's Home Builders Institute, industry consultants, and educators in college construction management programs, today's builders are more highly educated and better prepared. But so are their competitors. Those who have survived the ups and downs of the housing cycle have done so by managing better and applying basic principles to their day-to-day work.

Through all of the changes-perhaps because of them-residential building today remains a dynamic, exciting, and challenging business, one in which the construction superintendent plays a large and important role.

However, today's superintendents face a host of demands. Construction typically includes greater customization of standard designs. The designs themselves are more innovative and complex, resulting in more construction challenges. Materials and methods are continually changing. Superintendents now use computers on a daily basis for cost control, scheduling, and overall project management.

Still, the feeling you get from successfully organizing people, materials, and equipment to create a beautiful and functional home is uniquely satisfying. When

you pass by a home that you helped to build years earlier, you look upon it with pride and think, "I built that!" This pride in workmanship is essential for success in the construction business, because the truly successful in any endeavor are often not those who are wealthy or brilliant, but those who are genuinely good at what they do and who take pleasure in it.

Most people who are good at what they do apply simple rules and goals to their tasks. This book attempts to teach the rules of construction management that have helped countless construction professionals and aspiring professionals like you to maintain a budget, comply with a schedule, and establish quality control. These three keys to successful project management are the foundation of long-term success in home building.

Effective construction management can dramatically improve your bottom line.

Learn essentials of managing projects well and within budget, from scheduling and jobsite safety to quality and customer service in this long-anticipated revision of Basic Construction Management.

Leon Rogers, an experienced builder, author, and educator, offers proven practices for

  • recruiting and keeping the best trade contractors
  • scheduling that makes sense
  • developing and implementing quality practices
  • This book guides you step-by-step from construction planning through warranty work, blending proven practices with the experiences of builders in the field. It offers a roadmap to excellence for new construction superintendents and for veterans who want to brush up their skills for managing people and projects.

    A companion Web page includes updated quality checklists and other customizable tools to help you manage your construction projects.

    Leon Rogers has been a builder for more than 35 years, gaining nationwide popularity as a speaker and trainer on construction management, operations, and safety. A professor emeritus at Brigham Young University, he has developed a number of widely regarded superintendent training programs for home builders, and has authored several books, manuals, and articles. Mr. Rogers is president of Construction Management Associates.