Project “Daily Reports” are some of the most important, yet overlooked aspects of a construction project. These reports serve many beneficial roles such as holding parties accountable to their obligations, providing the basis for an as-built schedule, recording manpower, documenting site conditions, and recording any other important and relevant information that happened on the job site that day. Daily reports can also provide information to help with claims or disputes that may arise in the future, such as noting weather delays, providing backup for future delay claims, and providing information to dispute claims made against your company. Finally, daily reports also serve as a useful communication tool during the project and a source of real time information for parties that want to know how the work is commencing on a day to day basis. Because daily reports are the “Swiss army knife” of project documentation, it is extremely important that a contractor puts for its best effort when creating them.
It is no secret that a construction project can become more chaotic as the schedule progresses. Unfortunately, when that is the case, the effort put into creating these reports drops off and sometimes the responsibility of creating such reports is thrown aside altogether. I can speak from experience. Prior to entering the practice of law, I was a project engineer for a general contractor in Atlanta. As an engineer in the field, one of my many responsibilities was to enter the daily reports. Based off this experience, below are some thoughts on how to prepare useful daily reports.
1. Check the contract. The contract you entered may set forth specific requirements for the daily reports, such as where to file them, the required format, and specific information that must be included. Complying with contractual requirements is necessary for a successful project. One word of caution for subcontractors, a subcontract will often incorporate the prime contract. If that is the case, be sure to check the prime contract for any specific language relating to daily reports.