The Building Blocks of a Professional Daily Site Report
We all know that drafting daily site reports is a time consuming administrative activity.
As a result, very often, daily reports are skipped.
That’s a shame, because in the end, daily construction reports are all about maintaining quality and managing risk.
When you make daily reporting a priority, you’ll reduce unplanned costs, lower safety risks, and keep your project on the right track.
A daily site report is an important document for foremen and supervisors to keep a construction project going without interruptions, incidents or delays. Construction daily reports document all on-site work done for a construction project in a given day: weather conditions, number of working hours, type of work performed, safety observations, potential delays, completed tasks …
In our previous article on daily reports, we explained why daily reports are essential, together with best practices and examples.
Daily construction site reports will help you:
- Detect small problems before they become big problems that require expensive solutions.
- Improve the communication with the other parties involved, avoiding misunderstandings and delays.
- Detect and fix safety issues in time.
- Allow you to demonstrate your progress to the customer, and help them understand your process, which will cause them to have more patience.
- Settle discussions and disputes: daily reports are providing a log of the number of hours worked, the materials used, supplier delays, or weather conditions.
The long-term consequences of not doing proper site inspections and daily reports can be dire: costly accidents, delays, miscommunications, lawsuits, and more. All of which will have a significant impact on your bottom line.
In this article, we’ll focus on how to structure daily reports and what information should into it.
Use a Checklist for Your Daily Reports
If you’re looking for a foolproof method for any repetitive multi-step process: you should use a checklist.
Checklists reduce the risk of mistakes while increasing the likelihood everything will get documented. This frees up your mental space because you don’t need to think about what should still be reviewed.
Creating daily site reports is a process that’s repeated every day. To make sure that every single inspection covers all elements that need to be reviewed and that nothing is overseen, a checklist can be an essential tool.
Without using a checklist, our human brain will easily forget things.
When using a checklist you will see exactly which items have already been reviewed and you can resume the site inspection from there.
During your daily site inspections, you can review the checklist, and complete the items to review with text and pictures. The result of such a site inspection is your daily site report that you can send to all parties involved.
What Should go into Your Daily Report Checklist?
The main items that should go into your daily site report checklist:
- Weather conditions
- Labor time spent
- Tasks in progress and tasks completed
- Equipment used and received
- Potential delays
- Safety observations and accidents
Here’s a sample daily report checklist (excel).
Below you see an example of a checklist based daily report generated with ArchiSnapper.
This screenshot shows the checklist element of the daily report, more elements of the field report will be discussed below in this article.
Other Elements that go into the Daily Reports
Next to the actual checklist it’s helpful to include other elements into the reports to make the report clear, well structured and – worst-case – admissible in court.
Information to be included in the header of the daily report:
- Company name
- Official address and contact details
2. Report Title
The title of the report should be short and clear, so everyone knows what it’s about.
Example: “Daily report for Project ABC”
3. Project Details
When someone gets your daily report, they’ll want to know which project it is about, without having to spend time figuring it out. Often the report will also be sent to the client, and it shows courtesy and respect by putting their name and project description clearly at the beginning of the report.
Things to include:
- Name of the project and customer
- Full address of the projects
4. Date and Time of the Site Inspection
Note the exact date and time of the daily inspection. This date can be pivotal in case of discussions or disputes.
5. People Present
Include a list of the people (subcontractors, clients, and so on,) that are present on the site at the time of the daily site inspection.
Also, include a distribution column that shows to whom the daily report has been distributed.
This is crucial: protect yourself from possible lawsuits. Including some standard boilerplate language in each daily site report might save you lots of trouble, time and money sooner or later.
If you don’t know where to start, here is a standard text that you could use:
“ Information contained in this Daily Report by [firm name] has been prepared to the best of our knowledge according to observable conditions at the site. This information will be approved record unless written notice to the contrary is received within seven (7) calendar days of the issue date of this document. Written corrections shall be reported to [observer] at [firm name]. Oral rebuttals will not be accepted.”
In the footer, mention the report creator name or email, and page numbers.
To avoid uncomfortable “he said/she said” situations later, it’s a best practice to have all parties involved to sign off on the daily report.
Best Practices for Daily Reports
- Provide sufficient detail and photos every day (not only when there are problems).
- File reports as early as possible: The shorter the time between events and notation, the more accurate the reports will be.
- Get it signed: Getting construction site reports signed by a client or other responsible party increases their value.
Draft Your Daily Reports with an App, On-site
We all know that drafting daily reports is important. But spending half an hour at the end of each day to compile a report complete with pictures? Nobody wants to do that.
Luckily today’s technology can help you make this process a lot easier. With apps like ArchiSnapper you can use your phone or tablet to fill in the daily report immediately on site instead of having to do it at the end-of-day from your laptop:
- Automatically capture the weather conditions, based on your current location
- Review your daily report checklist
- Add pictures and sketches
- Write text (e.g. on delays or problems) or use the voice-to-text functionality
- Have the report signed
When you’re done, a beautiful PDF report will automatically be available for sharing it with all parties involved.
With an app like ArchiSnapper it will take you no effort or time to create daily site reports—every day. It will also help you make a positive impression on the other parties (customer, contractors) when they receive a professional-looking daily progress report in a timely manner.
It’s time to put down that old-fashioned tape recorder and notepad. Clearly, there is a better way :)
Want to check out a sample daily site report created with ArchiSnapper? Download a sample daily report.