7 Tips for Better Construction Daily Reports & Daily Logs

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Documentation is required in any project, but even more so when it comes to construction project management. Construction projects demand regular, detailed reporting during execution, so you can review and analyze your progress. This data is delivered in the form of a construction daily report.

This is daily construction log is usually handled by the site manager and will be repeatedly created and delivered over the course of a project. It’s an important aspect of construction project management, so you’ll want to make sure you’re doing it correctly!

A screenshot of a status report generation screen in ProjectManager.com, with different filter settings that affect the generated report

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What Is a Construction Daily Report?

A construction daily report is a list of everything that happened on the job site of your construction project over the course of a workday, including tasks that have started and their statuses by day’s end. A daily report also details the materials and equipment on site and the remaining inventory.

This construction report must collect pertinent information about the job site—from the weather conditions to a list of visitors that day to the site. It is therefore a complete record of the day’s work that provides a log of everything that has transpired.

Why Submit a Construction Daily Report?

As you can imagine, the construction daily report is essential to getting work started quickly and accurately for the next day. It lets subcontractors know where their tasks left off and if they have the equipment and supplies necessary to continue the next day. This is critical for keeping your construction project on schedule.

Additionally, a construction daily log protects workers and managers on the site. If there’s a delay, for example, that is captured in the report and explained. That paper trail prevents blame from falling on an undeserving party. This is important if there are any legal issues, as you have a record to support your defense.

Better Reporting for Practical Results

Keeping a record of the day’s events offers insight into what is going on in the project, and thereby allows you to tweak resources to get things done more effectively. Construction sites are complex, with lots of activities taking place at once. Reporting keeps everyone aware of what’s going on, so workers and subcontractors can do their jobs better, without getting in the way of others.

Finally, the daily report also communicates the status of the project, so it updates all those with a vested interest in the construction and keeps them informed.

How to Create a Construction Daily Report

Creating a construction daily log can seem intimidating. There is so much to cover, and you don’t want to overlook anything that might be crucial to proper documentation. But daily reports have been a normal staple of construction sites for almost as long as there have been construction sites, so there’s a roadmap you can follow.

Use a Template

Since the report is daily, it’s good to have a template with all the information you need to capture already built in. This way all the vital data is already laid out and you just have to fill in the details.

ProjectManager.com has dozens of free project management templates, including a construction daily report that you can download and customize as needed.

Construction Daily Report Excel template
ProjectManager.com’s Construction Daily Report Template

Identify the Person Responsible

The first thing you’ll want to do is identify the person on your team who is responsible for making the daily report and filling it in each day. This is usually a foreman or the site manager.

Include Everything

Print out a copy of the template to save time and make the task of filling it in easier. If you’re creating your own, it’s basically a list of items. Make sure you include considerations such as the weather that day, what work was done, the crew on-site, how long they worked and if there were any visitors. These people should be identified by name and title.

Also, list the equipment on-site and if it’s in use, idle or out of order. Write down how many hours the equipment was in use if it was used. Note all materials used that day, how much and what is remaining in your inventory. If there were any delays, explain them, same as if there was a safety inspection that day. If you were cited by the safety inspector for an infraction, note it here.

Related: A Quick Guide to Punch Lists

Best Practices When Keeping a Construction Daily Log

As useful as a construction daily report is, creating one is not without its challenges. The first thing is to be consistent. Don’t do a daily report every other day: it loses its purpose. These daily reports are called that for a reason, and need to be filled out at the end of every workday.

Keep good records, too, because taking the time and effort to fill out a daily report is wasted if you can’t find it when you need it. Make it part of the process to file away the work. Keeping good records is critical for any project, especially in construction, which is another reason to look into project management software that can store your digital files.

7 Tips to Make Better Construction Daily Reports

To make the best construction daily log possible, here are some tips to apply when going through the process.

  1. Be Detailed: You need to find the right balance, not too broad as to make the daily report unusable, but also know when to go into detail, say when there’s a stoppage or incident.
  2. Be Timely: The reports need to be filed as early as possible. If you wait until the next morning to fill out the daily report for the previous day, much of the detail will be lost.
  3. Be Simple: While you need to be detailed in your reporting, it should also be clear and concise. A lot of people will read this, and you don’t want to lose them in jargon.
  4. Be Open to Input: As it’s the site manager (a position not privy to everything that has occurred on the worksite) who usually fills these out, it’s good to be open to participation from the crew. Just a brief chat before they leave can help you fill in the report more accurately.
  5. Be Transparent: The daily report is a communication tool and should deliver information to a wide variety of project team members to identify any problems and to keep a record of progress.
  6. Be in Compliance: The daily report is a good way to make sure you’re meeting the standards outlined in the construction contract. Take the necessary steps each day to make sure you’re in compliance with your contract, code and other regulations.
  7. Be Efficient: The best way to save time and money is by incorporating your daily reports into a larger construction project management software. With this tool, you’ll file reports faster and be able to use that data when managing your plan and schedule.

How ProjectManager.com Creates Construction Daily Reports

ProjectManager.com is an award-winning project management software that reports in real time and organizes all your tasks to keep you on track. If you’re looking to get rid of the paper construction daily report and move to a dynamic software tool that can let you better manage and report on your construction project, then you need project management software.

Create Reports in Seconds

Much of what you have to track on the construction daily log can be generated with one click of your keyboard with our reporting feature. The project status report gives you an overview of the health of your whole project and tasks. You can see which tasks are overdue. Other reports include the project plan, tasks, timesheets, availability of your crew, their workload and the project variance to see if your actual progress is aligned with your schedule.

filter a status report to get the information you want

Maintain a High-Level View

You can get an instant status report by using our real-time dashboard. The dashboard collects data from your team’s status updates and automatically calculates that information and displays it in easy-to-read charts and graphs. Anytime you need to see if you’re on schedule or keeping to your budget, it’s available immediately.

dashboard showing project metrics in real-time

ProjectManager.com is a cloud-based project management tool that organizes tasks, teams and projects with real-time reporting tools, so you always know where you are and what you’re spending on your project. Join the tens of thousands of teams and organizations that use our tool to run successful projects. Take our free 30-day trial today.

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