Small Construction Projects Part 2 – During and After the Work

by Mateusz Kuczera

Published July 17, 2023

“How is this still happening?!” shouts Gerald as soon as Laurelyn picks up the phone. “Why is Conpro calling me again asking why Billy is still not on Main Street? It’s friggin noon!!”

Shaken, Laurelyn stays silent a few seconds while thinking of what to say. But as soon as she opened her mouth, Gerald burst in frustration again.

“This is not acceptable! It’s the third time this month we tell clients we’ll send people and we don’t! What’s going on Laurelyn? What’s the issue?!”

“Uhm,” starts Laurelyn, “Billy was starting the rough on 9th avenue this morning.”

“Laurelyn,” says Gerald, suddenly eerily calm. “Who was supposed to go to Main Street?”

“Well, uhm, I wasn’t aware of—”

“Laurelyn,” interrupts Gerald, “we talked about this a month ago…”

Laurelyn starts thinking of the conversations that happened over the last several weeks, then says “I… I think I forgot…”

“Right,” says Gerald as he shakes his head. “You have to do something about this Laurelyn, this cannot continue. Think about is and we’ll talk later.”

“Sorry,” says Laurelyn.

Gerald hangs up the phone in silence, his head continuously shaking left to right in front of his computer screen.

In part 1, most of the discussion was centered around preparing the project. It included the implementation of a project management software, as well as scoping, quoting, preparing the materials and scheduling the work. In part 2, the focus will be on the project execution and will include aspects like safety, execution management, how to document the work, invoice and close.

Work Site Safety

The most important aspect when executing a project job is to ensure the job site is safe for workers. Several hazards can be found on a job site and it is important to mitigate the risk for each one of them. A few of them are listed below.

  • Falling
  • Slipping & Tripping
  • Airborne & Material Exposure
  • Struck-By Incidents
  • Excessive Noise
  • Vibration-Related Injury
  • Scaffold-Related Injury
  • Electrical Incidents
  • Burns
  • Material Handling

For safety on job sites in Quebec, read more on the CNESST website. For nation-wide information on safety in Canada, please refer to the CCOHS.

Preparing the Site and the Workers

When safety hazards have been mitigated appropriately, it is time to prepare the job site and train the workers if needed. Before even bringing materials, it is strongly recommended to verify that the job site is ready, especially if subcontracting for a general contractor. If pipes need to be installed in walls and the walls aren’t open, nothing will happen.

After confirming the site is ready, it is recommended to bring materials and tools near the execution site while ensuring that material and tools placement will not create additional hazard for the workers. Tables should be stable, unused tools disconnected from outlets, and no open flames should be left unattended, to name a few. If too many materials and tools are necessary, it is recommended to deliver them to the job site when needed.

When all materials and tools are ready, the project manager should ensure that the worker or workers are aware of the scope of work. The project manager should explain what needs to be done providing enough details to mitigate mistakes and omissions, and should spend some time explaining a few of the best execution best practices to ensure the workers understand the need for quality execution. At no time should workers be sent alone on a job site – a project manager should always be there with them before the work is started.

Managing the Execution

Once workers begin the work, the project manager should stick around and assist workers as needed. If the workers are executing without issues, the project manager has the option to provide workers space and autonomy and attend other duties. However, it is strongly recommended that the project manager remains at the workers’ disposition should anything unexpected be required.

Unexpected situations impacting the scope of work or the final product should be immediately discussed with the client or general contractor. Regularly communicating the advancement of the work with all the stakeholders is also strongly recommended. If significant scope changes are requested during the execution, they should be managed through a change process ensuring all possible implications are considered.

As work progresses, the project manager should regularly take pictures, verify that the work being done is per the applicable standards and codes, and that the scope remains as agreed with the client.

Managing Extras

Should scope creep (extras) be requested, the project manager should communicate with the involved stakeholders to make them aware that extras are requested and get an agreement of how to proceed. Whether a time and material or a quoted extra, getting written approval from the client or contractor is mandatory before beginning the work. Too often are invoices reduced or outright void, creating losses for the company, only because there was a verbal communication breakdown. Avoid losing money by getting written commitments.

Documenting the Work

As each phase is complete, and possibly even more frequently, the work that is being executed should be thoroughly documented. Pictures should be attached to the project file, any extras recorded as comments, work orders and invoices, and any scope changes written into the records. This is especially true for companies managing several projects concurrently.

Invoicing Best Practices

It is recommended to separate invoices per phase, and create specific invoices for any time and material extras that were completed. Within invoices for quoted jobs, write a very detailed description of what has been done and including a rough summary of the materials used. Time and material jobs may also be invoiced with a detailed summary but if the client asks for pricing details, the information should be readily provided to them.


Before the final invoice, it is strongly recommended to get a written confirmation from the client that the work is in fact finished. And only after the final invoice has been paid should the project be considered closed.


Although this article is a good overview of project management, it is highly recommended to get training from a professional project manager who will be able to adapt best-in-class project management knowledge to the needs of your company. Whether construction or business projects, certified Project Management Professionals (PMP®) at Mondro will be able to guide you towards flawless execution.

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