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How To Create A Great Daily Construction Report

The daily construction report can be a headache, right? It so quickly becomes an unmanageable mess, there’s little wonder you’re here to get some help fixing it up or even recreating it. 

You’re in the right place. 

In this post, we’ll be exploring ways to create a better daily construction report from A to Z. So whether you’re here to fix the mess a predecessor made, or you’re just looking to add order to your own reports, roll up those sleeves and let’s do some great work. 🏆

Why Improve Your Daily Construction Report? 

A daily site report can cause real admin headaches for your site managers or supervisors. So you’ll want to ensure you strike the perfect balance between admin time and the level of detail you need. 

You don’t have to document every little thing that happened on the site – but you do need detailed data for a multitude of reasons: communicating with stakeholders, making better decisions, rapidly responding to any safety issues, and filing legitimate insurance claims (to name just a few). 

 As if these reasons weren’t enough, you can also look forward to better productivity with a leaner, more efficient process. The better question to ask is whether there’s any reason not to improve your daily report.

How Your Daily Construction Report Should Be Used

You probably don’t need to be told, but your daily report helps get information across fast. It gives you a bird’s eye view of where your projects are, what delays have arisen, and when you can expect to finish and take on more work. 

This is how a daily construction report should be used – to know everything there is to know about your site. Furthermore, it shouldn’t take hours to digest this information. You’ll want a quick yet detailed report. 

At the end of the day, you’ll be able to use your report to make key decisions going forward, to keep your employees and subcontractors safe, and you’ll be able to manage time and cost budgets more effectively. 

But how do you create such a ‘perfect’ document? It’s actually easier than you might think. 

Creating A Daily Construction Report

Daily construction report image 1 - a crane and scaffolding before a beautiful sunrise

These reports can be lengthy. So we’ll break it out as much as we can – take a scan through the below items to see what your report may be missing. 

Naturally, your report doesn’t need to contain every single item – but you may want to add whatever you deem important enough. 

1. Basic Information

Here you’ll simply want to capture information about your project. This includes date and time, project id, site number, etc. 

You may want to include more information as applicable, such as tender id, company name, report number, inspector name or site manager name, etc. As long as you have what you need right up top, you’re good to go. 

2. Weather Information

We all know the weather can have a major impact on construction projects. So it’s wise to add a section where you can note down what the weather has been like on a given day. You don’t need to be too granular here – a simple comment box and expected delay time could suffice. 

If you’d like to get specific, though, we’ve seen daily construction reports contain everything from wind speed (very applicable to working at heights) to temperature and forecasts. 

Keep it as simple as you need it. 

3. Completed Projects

From here on out, things get pretty fluid. You can re-order these next points however you wish – as long as the general information in points 1 and 2 is covered, the rest is up to you. 

For this point, we’ll be adding in our completed projects or jobs. A column would probably be best, complete with the project or job id, subcontractor name, start and end date, and a section for comments. 

This is a great way to show your stakeholders how well you’ve been progressing, which is why we opt for this point at number three on the list. 

4. Projects In Progress

The next logical step is to document what you’re working on on the given day. Similar to the above, you’ll have mostly the same information displayed – except you may want to add a column for delay time and change the end date to an expected end date. 

Simple enough to just pencil in and move on. 

5. Labour Force On Site

Here you’ll want to capture who is on-site on your day of reporting. This could prove important should a serious incident occur, or you’re forced to investigate a case of theft (let’s hope not!). 

You could simply create a table documenting the number of staff members per role here, or you could create a detailed log of every person along with their company id and/or subcontractor name. 

Given the nature of large construction projects, we’re partial to the detailed approach – even though this can cause a drain on resources with all the admin involved. If you’ve ever open to automation, this is the kind of thing that should be first in the queue. More on that later. 

6. Equipment Log

Obviously, you need to keep track of expensive or rented equipment. Paired with this, consider implementing mandatory daily inspections on these items (on a separate document, of course). This way, you can fix what’s broken before it’s unsalvagable.

Keeping your equipment log on the daily report is easy. Simply capture the serial number and nature of use for each piece of equipment on a simple table. Make sure to do a visual check before marking a piece of equipment as on-site, however. It could land you or your site manager in unnecessary trouble otherwise. 

7. Delay Register

Here’s where we’ll want to provide as much detail as we can. Delays hurt. They hurt site managers and employees, and in the worst of cases, they hurt reputations. So whenever a delay occurs, document in detail exactly what led up to the delay. 

A table would work well here too. It should include the number of days or hours delayed, what caused the delay, all the detail surrounding the delay and, most importantly of all, what corrective measures were put in place to prevent a reoccurrence. 

Putting corrective measures in place with delays is what separates the amateur from the professional – your clients will respect your proactive attitude.

8. List Of Materials

To ensure your construction materials don’t mysteriously disappear overnight (or, at least, to know when they do), you’ll need a place to document what you have on-site. 

Not just that, but you’ll also want to keep a register of materials yet to be delivered as well as materials used. 

If you want to go the extra mile, make sure the delivery of materials is followed up on a day or two before the delivery takes place. That way, should there be any delays, you’ll know about it beforehand and be able to shuffle your schedule accordingly. 

After all, the best way to deal with delays is to prevent them in the first place! 

9. Safety Observations And Incidents

Second-last and also probably most important point… we’ll need to document any safety-related issues. Again, the table format is great for this. Simply add columns such as date and time, nature of the incident and corrective action taken (or to be taken). 

Note down the names of the parties involved and when corrective measures should be or were put in place. Try to include photographs as well if you can.

10. Signatures And Attachments

Finally, you’ll want to leave some room for any additional attachments that you didn’t attach to the above items (if you’re using a spreadsheet). 

After that, leave space for the name and signature of the responsible person. Date fields are also a good idea. 

And there you have it, a fully functional daily construction report. We could add more items – and you most likely will in time, but this is a great start. If your report already contains all of this, well done! 

This does lead us to the next point… your report is never exactly ‘complete.’

The Living Daily Construction Report

Daily construction report image 2 - a man uses a device to gather data from the construction site

Always treat your report as a living document. This can be a proper challenge if you’re still using paper to compile your report. It’ll still be a challenge when using spreadsheets, though. It is, however, crucial that your report is able to adapt to change. 

Whether these are changes brought on by legislation or improvements made by you, keep improving it. And don’t hesitate to roll back a change that hasn’t worked – our goal here is efficiency. 

Collecting The Data

Getting hold of all of the data needed to compile your report can require some serious leg work. That’s why we’d advise making your responsible persons come to you. 

A good way to do this is by creating smaller individual reports for each relevant team. Your site supervisors will report back on their specific projects; your safety personnel will have their own reports, etc. 

This does raise another issue… who’s expected to do all this admin to get it onto one sheet? Surely not the site manager! 

Here’s where clerical workers come in. The thing is, do you really need them? 

Through automation, one of our past construction clients eliminated the need to hire clerical workers. You can see the case study here, but we will expand on this a little more in just a moment. 

What Does Automation Look Like In Construction? 

Daily construction report image 3 - a man uses construction apps to conduct work on the construction site

If you’re picturing robots building structures, that’s not quite where we’re at. 😉

One way to put it is that Appenate replaces the transportation of paper documents. Your supervisor, after conducting an inspection, needs to bring his findings all the way back to you. Instead, he could do it digitally and just send it over automatically. It goes deeper, though. 

Appenate replaces filing cabinets too. It replaces jumbled folders on computers. We can replace manual task tracking and eliminate the need to send manual emails. 

You’ve probably heard all of this before. So what truly makes Appenate different?

It’s the ability to adapt. 

The magic behind Appenate is that it allows you to build mobile applications specific to your company. Your processes. Your preferences. And all without touching any programming or coding. 

It’s all set up in a simple-to-learn drag-n-drop app builder. So you get to create your paper forms or spreadsheets word-by-word in Appenate. No adapting to some clunky software. 

What’s more, you can embrace a powerful task management system in Appenate, and also automate many things by using the connectors we have available. For example, you could auto-generate a pdf report using Appenate, and through our email Connectors you could have the report send on to relevant stakeholders without lifting a finger.

We even have an existing app example of the daily construction report in our catalogue already.

All of this said, Appenate is best suited to those who actually have the time to learn the platform and utilize it to its full potential. 

So what happens if you don’t have the time? 

Outsource Your Apps

You can still get tailor-made apps for your business at a fraction of the cost of developing something from scratch. We have a host of partners who build forms for time-strapped companies – and some of them have been super innovative as well! 

We’ve seen some of our partners produce solutions we never even thought of. So if you’d like to go this route, simply sign up. You’ll be contacted by our amazing sales department – let them know that you’re interested in our solution providers, and they’ll sort you out with someone who is a fit both geographically and technically. 

Next: Optimize Your Entire Business

It’s common for us to see companies use us for just one thing, and then start to experiment down paths that surprise even the Appenate veterans amongst us. 

That said, automation isn’t for everyone – and that’s okay. If you’ve learned anything from this post, let it be that your daily construction report can work for you, and not against you. Take another look at your report and ask yourself, is it as good as it can be?

Your Digital Report Awaits