The Complete Construction Project Planning Checklist

A construction project planning checklist is a resourceful guide for project managers to facilitate a project from start to finish. Project construction is extensive, complex, and varies in size and type. They can range from agricultural, civil, commercial, environmental, and industrial projects. It is crucial to have a Project Management Plan (PMP) because it defines the completion and process of the project. From project to project, different plans will deal with various projects. In this guide to construction project planning, it is essential to remember that the PMs manage and execute these steps from start to finish.

Article highlights:

Business Plans that can help you reach your long-term goals

Documentation entails the drawings and proper paperwork concerning a project

Permit, Fees, & Licenses authorize building by city or county

Work Breakdown Structure is beneficial in the physical building processes

Availability & Resources for time maximization and efficiency

Checkout the Construction Project Planning Checklist:

What is a Construction Project Plan?

A construction project plan is a map that guides the steps to complete a project. Though, before starting a project plan, PM’s must look into the result before incorporating the levels of action to yield this result. PMs must keep the client’s requirements and wishes in mind so that their plan stays aligned with the project.

Construction Project Planning Checklist

Business Plan

Starting with a business plan at the beginning of a construction project is important in project management. Business benefits are determinants for the project’s return on investment (ROI), and they enable the stakeholders to evaluate the successes or failures of the project. In a business plan, project descriptions draft what the project is and outline the execution plan. Additionally, the business plan details team member assignments, and more importantly, the PM. Construction bidding, also known as Bid and Contract, is crucial in the business plan step because it determines their success (or losses) on a project.


Documentation is advantageous in the planning phase of construction projects because it provides a representation of what is going to be constructed. Some examples of construction planning documentation are:

Blueprint Drawings and Specifications

Blueprint drawings are two-dimensional drawings that detail the needed items for a project. With the rise of technology and digital platforms, digital blueprints are growing in popularity because of real-time updates that can allow people to communicate more efficiently.

Submittals and Approvals 

Submittals are essential documents that require a response and accompany important elements like specifications, materials, drawings, and instructions for what workers will build. Subcontractors, Architects, and Engineers use submittals to ensure that the right materials and work are needed to complete an assignment within the project.  Large construction projects will have hundreds and sometimes thousands of submittals being handled between the project stakeholders.

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Scope Documentation 

The scope document is an outline for a project’s business needs which comprises of deadlines, deliverables, functions, goals, and tasks. Scope documentation is beneficial in tracking milestones and breakthroughs. The scope contains feedback from stakeholders and gives a brief financial timeline for the project. It also determines cost estimates for the project. These costs should be estimated as realistically as possible so the project can continue on schedule.

Testing, Inspection & Risk Management 

Construction has life-threatening risks, and testing and control ensure that buildings and projects meet the required quality standards and technical specifications. OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Administration is an agency under the United States Department of Labor, and they adopted the construction work and safety standards. They have inspection and prevention resources that are useful for the construction industry. Construction is a hazardous industry. In 2016, According to the US Today, construction supervisors and extraction workers were listed as the 9th most dangerous job in America, and construction laborers are listed as the 13th. Safety is vital in the construction industry; it is crucial to follow construction safety guidelines from OSHA that regard self-protection, equipment, surroundings, and electricity.

Communications Plan

An effective communication plan can improve scheduling and working relationships. The project manager should develop a construction communication plan in a deliverable way so that the project team will understand. In construction management, efficient communication between office and field is essential for smooth processes in the workplace. There is software that allows the sharing of field notes, photos through the cloud, and it enables the collaboration between field and office regardless of location. Communication is a two-way road; team members need to share changes and updates effectively. Management can enforce team meetings weekly or biweekly, depending on progress and scheduling.

Permit, Fees, & Licenses

Before the building process can begin, permits, fees, and licenses must be documented to ensure that the legal requirements are met. For every project, you need to get these documents from either the city or state. Physical documentation proves to clients that you’re responsible and qualified to do the job. Not only is it for quality assurance purposes, but depending on what city or county, if you do not have the appropriate documentation, you can get fined. Licenses are awarded to construction businesses that demonstrate the company is experienced and knowledgeable about what they are doing. Sometimes tests may be administered to receive licenses. Different contractors are required to have different permits; here are some examples:

— Electricians
— Roofers
— HVAC installers
— Drywall installer etc

Preparator Breakdown Structure

The plan set forth by the manager is the roadmap that the team will use to determine what needs to be completed. Construction projects range in size and completion time.  Developing a breakdown structure in the construction plan will help allow for smoother transitions in different stages of the project. The breakdown structure is composed of:

— Constraining dates
— Delivery
— Fabrication requirements
— Installation
— Major types of work involved
— Major equipment, materials, and systems
— Testing and inspection

Additionally, costs are included in the breakdown structure. Common expenditures that go beyond the budget include safety equipment costs, material supply, machinery, payroll, and project budgets. Hiring a bookkeeper or keeping track of job costs, daily transactions, and expenditures can keep your business in the black.

Site/Access Availability & Resources

Resource management’s objective is to have an adequate and timely supply of resources as well as maximizing utilization time between projects. The ability to allocate resources efficiently can ensure that you meet deadlines and satisfy customers. In terms of accessibility, construction resources to be mindful of might include:

— Product and materials
— Construction tools and equipment
— Space, location, and facilities
— Workers and employees
— Budget and finances
— Utilities

In a successful project, it is crucial to be able to identify the required, location, and availability of all resources. With resource management, you can resource and reschedule the necessary items to keep the project on time and under budget.


This construction project planning checklist should be a guideline for a manager’s planning process. Planning is the first phase of every construction project; it should be carefully examined and reviewed to ensure that it fits the client’s requirements. A great plan is rooted in the management team; the use of a construction project planning checklist can help as a roadmap to the end. Proper planning and scheduling are needed for a project to be completed on time and budget.