Establishing a Lead Carpenter System

Successful remodeling firms across the county have adopted a bottom-up production management system to ensure high-quality, on-time, on-budget jobs

October 01, 1999

Successful remodeling firms across the county have adopted a bottom-up production management system to ensure high-quality, on-time, on-budget jobs. Lead Carpenter System: A Guide for Remodelers and Their Employees, by Wendy A. Jordan, shows remodelers how to set up a lead carpenter system, select and hire high-quality lead carpenters, and maintain communications between office and job sites. In addition to successful case studies, the book contains more than 100 pages of helpful forms. Included on a computer disk are hiring forms and tests, job descriptions, performance evaluation forms, pre-construction guides and checklists, job progress reports, and work assessment and inspection checklists.

The following sections have been condensed and excerpted from the book:

Responsibilities of the Lead Carpenter

The lead carpenter’s job description may include requirements to:

  • Evaluate and revise estimates before construction begins
  • Perform all carpentry, requesting help as needed
  • Track actual costs against estimated costs
  • Handle material takeoffs and orders
  • Schedule trade contractors
  • Supervise all labor at the jobsite
  • Process all time cards
  • Perform ongoing quality checks, making corrections or
    requiring trade contractors to make corrections as necessary
  • Prevent and solve job-related problems
  • Communicate daily with the clients to ensure customer
    satisfaction
  • Write all change order forms
  • Maintain the job file
  • Keep the jobsite clean
  • Monitor safety of equipment and the jobsite
  • Enforce safety requirements
  • Report daily to the office about the project
  • Provide progress reports at company production meetings

    Things to Look for During the Trial Employment Period

    Most companies have a probationary, or trial employment, period for new hires. Observe the new lead carpenter closely during this time to verify the lead’s strengths and identify any problem areas. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are the lead’s construction skills and knowledge adequate?
  • Is the lead reliable, honest and trustworthy?
  • Does the lead demonstrate skill in building and maintaining a positive working relationship with the clients?
  • Does the lead take instruction and constructive criticism well?
  • Is the lead a good judge of work quality?
  • Does the lead willingly follow rules--including safety regulations and company policies?
  • Does the lead have a realistic concept of his or her skill level?
  • Does the lead have realistic expectations regarding promotions, pay raises and
    benefits?

    Performance Appraisal: Lead Carpenter

    Lead carpenters can rate themselves on certain items using a 1-5 scale (5=distinguished, 4=outstanding, 3=commendable, 2=provisional, 1=marginal):

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Budget
  • Scheduling
  • Subcontractor management
  • Daily organization
  • Job close out
  • Problems
  • Communication with customer

    To order Lead Carpenter System: A Guide for Remodelers and Their Employees, call (800) 223-2665, go to www.BuilderBooks.com. or class="headline">www.amazon.com


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