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Construction Project Life Cycle & Flow Chart

Learn the stages of a construction project lifecycle so you can nail each step, then use our simple flow chart to visualize the process from start to finish.

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Managing a complex construction project takes a lot of thoughtful planning as it consists of a number of tasks and duties that must be performed in a particular order to ensure a successful completion. This set of tasks is what is known as the construction project life cycle, and it’s critical for construction pros to refer to this detailed workflow right from the concept stage through until the finishing details in order to maintain an organized, efficient and timely project. 

This article looks at what is involved in each phase of a typical construction project life cycle, with a step-by-step list of the construction process. There’s even a workflow chart to help you visualize the steps. So, read on and set your construction project on the right path to success.

Construction Process Flow Chart

What is the construction project lifecycle?

Put simply, the construction project life cycle is a guide for construction pros to follow. Broken down into phases, the project life cycle details what is required of each phase, ensuring certain tasks are completed in the correct order. It’s crucial for construction pros to understand how each phase aligns with the next, so that continuity is maintained through each step. When everyone involved in the project is communicating clearly and sticking to the phases of the construction project life cycle, an efficient and organized build is achieved. 

When there aren’t clear construction process steps to follow, costly mistakes are made, delays are caused and disputes break out. 

What are the phases of a construction project life cycle?

The list below presents the critical phases of a typical construction project life cycle. In this article we will take a deep dive into each phase, discussing the tasks in more detail:

  • Marketing & Lead Management Phase
  • Project Initiation & Conception Phase
  • Project Planning (Pre-Construction Phase)
  • Implementation/Execution (Construction Phase)
  • Performance and Monitoring (Evaluation Phase)
  • Closing Phase

Marketing & Lead Management Phase

Before you can even start planning your construction project, you have to win the job, and this comes down to a solid marketing strategy that will put your firm on the radar of potential clients. In this section, we’ll discuss the following steps:

  • Marketing your business
  • Attracting and managing leads
  • Initiating initial conversations with potential leads

Step 1: Market Your Business

Finding potential leads is the first step for any business starting out, but it’s also an important process for established businesses to maintain as they grow, ensuring they continue the momentum of work flowing in, even when they are busy actually doing the job. Marketing your company efficiently and effectively is often the secret to continued growth and success. 

The key to finding good leads is to ensure your company is being seen by the right people. Eye-catching branding on signage or the side of construction vehicles, and an easy-to-navigate website will get your business noticed, while having a big presence on popular home improvement platforms, such as Houzz, will ensure you are seen by people who are looking to improve their homes or build new ones. You could also try an email marketing campaign by sending out a newsletter showcasing your latest projects to potential clients. 

Then there’s nifty sales tactics to consider too, such as offering discounts to new clients, and participating in advertising campaigns to capture local interest. Anything you can do to improve the reach of your construction company’s exposure will increase the likelihood of continued work.

We’ve got a whole heap of other useful articles that will give you more brilliant advice on marketing for success:

Step 2: Track & Manage Your Leads

Tracking and managing leads effectively is vital for converting interest into actual sales. By investing in software, such as a construction CRM system (customer relationship management), you can track and identify the leads that are more likely to translate into a firm sale, allowing you to prioritize who you contact. A CRM system will also send alerts to any existing clients who could possibly be a good candidate for future work. 

Adopting a high standard of professionalism when it comes to client communications, is also vital for maintaining a good relationship with potential future clients. For example, if a customer doesn’t take you up on your first quote, it’s important to stay polite and courteous as they may return to you for a future project if you have remained professional.

Step 3: Meetings & Consultations

Before any project planning can begin, pre-planning meetings and consultations need to take place in order to build a firm rapport and relationship with the client and everyone involved in the project to ensure everyone gets along. It’s also important to meet the subcontractors and vendors you’ll be working with, so you can be sure they’ll be no butting heads. 

It’s at this stage of the construction project life cycle that you can decide not to move onto the next phase if you don’t connect with the client or subcontractor for any reason. This is the best time to make the decision and step away as you won’t have invested too much time or money into the project.

Project Initiation & Conception Phase

In this section we look at what the project initiation and conception phase of the construction life cycle entails by breaking it down into these steps:

  • Concept Development & Presentation
  • Approval

Step 4: Concept Development & Presentation

This is a huge stage of the construction project lifestyle in which the goals and feasibility of the project are defined and analyzed by the client, architect and construction manager. Visualization tools and collaboration with other trades, such as the designer and architect, can be used at this stage to bring the client’s vision to life and build a solid presentation of the overall project timeline and budget for materials, labor and equipment cost. 

Save valuable time at this phase by using takeoff software to create accurate estimates for materials and markup plans in minutes, ensuring you can be confident when presenting your construction estimate that it aligns with the clients expectations. 

For more insightful information on construction estimates, takeoffs and quotes, read these articles:

Step 5: Approval

Once the scope of the project is clearly explained and defined, it needs to be approved by everyone involved. By sending contracts with a nifty e-signature feature, the process of approval will be quick, easy and efficient, while setting up convenient ways for your clients to pay their invoices and contractors to settle bills will ensure cash flow is never an issue. 

For more useful hints and tips, read our article on How to Write a Construction Contract and How to Write a Construction Scope of Work to ensure you include all the essential requirements. 

Step 6: Billing, Purchasing & Payments

The key to the success of any construction project is good financial and project management from the outset. Once the project has been approved, the construction manager must create a clear and concise construction schedule that allocates specific activities within a certain timeframe, as well as a construction budget that details estimates for the cost of equipment, labor and materials. Purchase orders and construction invoices are then prepared and sent out ensuring all materials, equipment and labor force are onsite at the scheduled time. 

There’s often changes to materials or equipment needed throughout the construction of the project as it progresses, therefore staying on top of these alterations by creating construction change orders is vital for the smooth transition from one change to the next. 

Construction Phase

Step 7: Execution

This is the fun and exciting phase of the construction project life cycle, when all the pre-planning comes to fruition and the execution of the build commences. Clear communication and effective collaboration is critical at this construction process stage to ensure the team knows what is happening day-to-day, and that the correct tasks are allocated to the right contractors. It’s also crucial to stay on top of the schedule and budget, which were established in the planning phase, by creating constant progress reports, also known as Construction Daily Logs, to track the progress.

A Daily Log will also track employees hours and performance in order to understand how their time and efforts are being spent, allowing teams to allocate additional resources to the tasks that need it.

The construction will progress smoothly at this stage if the pre-planning phase has been followed attentively, and the management of the project continues cohesively. 

Performance & Monitoring (Evaluation Phase)

This phase of the construction life cycle goes hand-in-hand with the construction phase, as it’s concerned with tracking the progression and scheduling of the project. If there have been changes or deviations to the plan at the construction stage, it's vital that the plan is updated and everyone involved is alerted to any changes in the budget, schedule or quality of deliverables. 

This phase is also concerned with measuring the success and profitability of the project. Evaluating the lead–to-close metrics will determine if the project was delivered to the specified design, within the desired time and budget, while running financial reports on the project can help construction pros improve their execution of future projects. 

Closing Phase

Once the project has been completed and the client is happy with the final result, the project can be closed, and the construction documents and certificates can be handed over.

It’s a good idea to obtain a review from the satisfied client at this stage, which can then be added to your social media, website or Houzz profile. Professional photos of the finished spaces will also be beneficial for marketing purposes.  

How can construction project management software help simplify the construction project lifecycle?

As you can see from this article, construction projects are extremely intense and complex, and need meticulous planning to succeed. But just imagine trying to project manage such an elaborate process using old-school methods, like spreadsheets and paper templates, to track the tasks involved, budgets, schedules and employees hours?

Project management software, such as Houzz Pro, can resolve these pain points by controlling every piece of the moving project all within one easy-to-use tool. Organize clients and teams with the Project Management dashboard that everyone can access, to-do lists for relevant team members and status reports of everything that needs to get done. Use the Time & Expense Tracking app to track the time that you and your team spend on a project, and easily track and manage Change Orders on the go to ensure the project and your cash flow isn’t affected. Project Collaboration also allows you to share relevant project information, files and updates with subcontractors, so everyone is kept in the loop. 


Now that you know the construction process from start to finish, it’s time to think about how you can progress projects through those steps more efficiently. Houzz Pro is your one-stop-shop for easily managing the entire construction project life cycle. It will take the stress out of project managing complex builds with the help of a centralized communication channel to keep everyone informed and reduce mistakes, it will maximize productivity and profitability by keeping everyone on track, and it will make it simple to avoid overspending by keeping a close eye on the budget. 

Start a free trial of Houzz Pro today to help optimize every stage of the construction life cycle. Or, continue reading and explore our guide on How to Avoid the Most Common Construction Mistakes.

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