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Your Guide to Creating a Foolproof Construction Plan


A robust construction plan is an essential part of every project proposal. It lays the groundwork for accurate budget and timeline estimates that make all the difference when it comes to satisfying customers and delivering high-quality work.

For home building professionals who want to make more sales and build trust with customers, creating a solid construction plan is a necessary skill. That’s why we made this guide to creating flawless, reliable plans for construction projects. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is a Construction Plan?

A construction plan is an outline of details that guides the execution of a construction project. It should include specifications about the schedule, team members, activities, and anything else required to complete the project seamlessly.

A well-developed construction plan will include the following:

  • Scope Documentation: This includes the planned approach for executing the project and what methods will be used to complete each phase. This should also highlight the proposed budget, timeline, goals, and deliverables.
  • Work Breakdown Structure (WBS): A comprehensive and organized list of all stages and activities necessary to complete the project. This list should be structured to make clear how each stage works toward the completed project.
  • Communication Plan: A clear plan for how the construction manager will communicate with the client and other stakeholders about the progress and any potential disruptions.
  • Risk Management Plan: Details about safety management and how compliance will be upheld during the project including information about permits, assessments, and emergency procedures.
  • Visual Plans and Renderings: A variety of visualizations of the project to help the client understand the purpose and intended results. These can include site plans, floor plans, blueprints, and layouts as well as photorealistic 3D renderings of the finished structure.

Construction professionals who want to complete the design stage in-house use Cedreo, a drafting and 3D design software that saves them time and money. Sign up and start using the free version of Cedreo to design your next construction project today.

Who Should be Involved in the Construction Plans?

Depending on the scope or type of project, there are three main groups that should be involved in the drafting of a construction plan. 

Each of the following groups will be interested in unique information about the project and will have specific questions that should be addressed in the plan.

  • Clients: Clients will require a complete map of all stages of the project, including a budget, schedule, and 3D renderings of the finished product.
  • Contractors: Subcontractors or employees will need a plan for the phase of the project they are involved in. They will need precise details about the timeline and deliverables in order to carry out work as efficiently as possible.
  • The municipality: Municipalities will require information regarding the processes in place to obtain the required permits. They may also require details about how the manager intended to maintain compliance with local regulations and building codes. Other useful information for municipalities could include an outline of safety protocols and details about how the new structure will fit into the existing neighborhood or environment.
3D rendering of a craftsman house designed with Cedreo

The 5 Phases of a Construction Plan

When drafting a construction plan, it’s important, to begin with, the end in mind. That means every aspect of a schedule and each activity should move the project closer to its goals.

For that reason, construction plans should include sections that outline each phase of the project. The main phases are as follows:

  • Initiation: In this stage, management should determine the scope and general goals of the project. They should also establish an ideal schedule, and create an outline of resources and stakeholders.
  • Planning: During this step, managers develop detailed plans and calculate precise figures for the schedule, methodology, and budget of the project. They establish measurable deliverables and a communication plan.
  • Execution: During the execution of a project, the team follows the schedule laid out in the planning phase.
  • Monitor and Control: In tandem with the execution phase, the management team assesses the quality and keeps the project on schedule and within budget.
  • Control: Upon completion of the project, management assesses the performance and evaluates outcomes using the metrics established in the planning phase.
Construction plan illustration

How to Create a Construction Plan in 8 Steps

Now that we’ve determined what a construction plan is, it’s time to begin drafting one. Here are the basic steps for creating a winning plan for construction projects.

Step 1. Define the Project

In this step, it’s important to determine the scope and goals of the project. What is the purpose and who is the project for? Deciding who the plan is intended for will ensure that all the audience-specific information is included in the final draft.

During this step, consider including the following details.

  • The context for the project: This should include the stakeholders involved, the purpose, and any information regarding the neighborhood or community in which the property is located.
  • A general outline for execution: A general outline includes plans for obtaining permits, hiring contractors, and communicating with the stakeholders. It should estimate the number of workers needed to complete the project as well as the general type of professionals that should be hired. Information about the required resources such as building materials, the customer’s ideal budget, and all the necessary permits should also be included in order to provide a complete picture of the work required to resolve each task.
  • Broader goals and deliverables: This includes the objectives as well as metrics to measure the success of the project.

At the end of this step, construction managers should have a solid understanding of the project to proceed with more detailed plans targeted to meet the project goals.

Step 2. Determine the Business Benefits

This phase is intended to help the business owner determine the value of the project to their business.

First, calculate the return on investment to get a better understanding of the financial benefit of completing the project. Then consider the bigger picture. Additional benefits of completing a project can include:

  • Improved reputation through high-profile clients or properties
  • Enhanced industry connections
  • Opportunities for exposure or portfolio projects

The purpose of this step is for the construction manager to determine if a project is a right fit for their business before they put in the work to draft a detailed plan.

If the project is a good fit, they can proceed with the next step with both the customer’s and business’s needs in mind.

Step 3. Estimate the Project Activities

Once the scope and business benefits have been determined, the next step is to create specific goals and detailed estimates that will be used as a guide for executing the project smoothly.

Project managers use S.M.A.R.T. goals to ensure all objectives fall within the scope of the project.

S.M.A.R.T. goals and objectives should be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

S.M.A.R.T. goals can include the project’s overall budget, timeline and stages. Once established, these objectives will direct the rest of the planning process as every choice should be aimed at meeting these deliverables.

Step 4. Define the Resource Requirements

Every well-developed construction plan must include details about resources and materials. This list should include estimates for the materials, contractors, and the hours needed for each stage of the project.

Taking the time to estimate resource requirements as accurately as possible will be very helpful in the budgeting stage.

Step 5. Create a Budget

Creating a budget that is as accurate as possible is a critically important step in the construction planning process. Estimates that are too high could confuse customers and cost contractors the job, whereas estimates that are too low could result in customer dissatisfaction or a loss in revenue for the business owner.

For that reason, it’s important to take the time to craft a detailed budget for every stage of the project. Some common costs to include are as follows:

A detailed budget can make or break a project, so be sure to take the time to calculate all the costs associated with the work.

Step 6. Create a Schedule

The detailed schedule for work can be created simultaneously with, or even before, the budget, as it relies on the same amount of information.

A construction schedule should be as accurate and realistic as possible. It should break the project into manageable sections that end in specific deliverables. In addition to deadlines, it should also outline processes for managing disruptions and communicating delays with stakeholders.

Step 7. Identify Construction Permissions

Once the estimate, budget, and schedule are complete, it’s time to obtain permits and approvals from the local government and municipalities.

Depending on the scope of work being completed, this process can be either incredibly lengthy or brief. However, it’s important to not skip or take shortcuts in this step as it could cause future delays that can disrupt the entire project.

Step 8. Select the Team

Assigning roles and responsibilities to a team is the final step in the planning process and the first step in the execution process. A few critical roles that must be assigned with careful consideration include:

  • The project manager
  • Engineers or architects
  • The sub-contractors

Presenting a professional and competent team to the client will help solidify their trust in you and their confidence in the project.


Making a construction plan that is well thought out and accurate will lead to improved performance, more efficiency, and better relationships with clients. A plan complete with precise drawings and stunning 3D visualizations of the completed product has the ability to impress clients and help differentiate your business from competitors.

Cedreo is a 100 percent cloud-based and user-friendly design software that allows home building professionals to complete the planning stage in-house, instead of outsourcing to expensive professionals. Sign up to start using the free version today and create precise visual plans and gorgeous 3D renderings in under two hours.

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