The Construction Daily Report Guide: Examples & Template

by Alexander Fraser

I couldn’t tell you the number of times a construction daily report saved me on a project.

A roofing project I worked on was located in an area that rained a lot.

If you know anything about roofing, this is the one trade that is reliant on good weather conditions.

The project was approaching the contract completion date and we still had work to complete! I needed to ask for an extension to the schedule or suffer liquidated damages.

That’s when I went back to the daily reports to pull records on all the times the rain stopped work.

I ended up counting over 30 working days lost to bad weather.

This became the proof that I needed to submit for a time extension. Well, that along with some submittal delays.

We eventually got our time extension and completed the work within the time frame. Without the daily reports, the situation may have not gone in my favor.

What is a Construction Daily Report?

A daily report is a important document that records the work that was completed on the job site. The report also serves to provide the project owner with regular updates on the progress of the work.

You should include a weather report, descriptions of work, hours worked, site visitors, potential problems, and equipment used in the detailed report.

Even if you’re working a job that does not contractually require a daily report, I still advise you to complete one.

Why is a Construction Daily Report Important?

A well-documented daily report can serve as your backup for dispute resolution when issues arise on a project.

For example, the general contractor (GC) schedules you to complete work on a certain date. You get there and the flooring contractor has the space occupied.

You can’t work or else you risk damaging the new flooring. So, you decide to come back the next day.

Before you leave, you decide to take pictures of the site conditions that day. You then decided to document the day using a daily report.

Note: Taking photographic evidence can be very helpful to include in your daily reports!

Later the GC comes back to blame you for delaying the project. You can then provide the daily report and prove to them that the site was not ready for you.

This will relieve you of the liability of the project getting delayed due to the GC’s incompetency.

How Daily Reports Apply to Certified Payroll

When it comes to government construction projects, they require that contractors submit certified payroll documents. Certified payroll is a legal requirement to prove that your field crew is being paid appropriately.

The requirement comes from the Davis-Bacon Act, which requires that workers be paid a fair wage.

Watch this short video to learn more.

So, how does this apply to contractor’s daily reports?

Well, some government entities will look at the hours on the daily reports and compare them against the payroll. If it doesn’t line up, they may question the validity of the payroll documents.

Having the payroll finalized is one of the requirements to collect retention. That’s 10% of your contract value!

This is a nightmare you want to avoid, so make sure you stay on top of your daily reports!

The Construction Daily Report Template

Here you will find the daily construction report template that you can use for your next project.

Construction daily report template for your project.

For those who work on NAVFAC projects, you may recognize this template.

The template takes direct inspiration from the form that they have for contractors. I just wanted to provide this in a google sheets format.

I think this form should be used even on non-federal projects. It contains everything you could possibly need to document in a project.

Click Here to Access the Google Sheets Construction Daily Report Template

Click Here for the Microsoft Excel Construction Daily Report Template

How to Write a Construction Daily Report

Let’s look at how to go about filling out the form.

The construction daily report should include the following information:

  • Contract number
  • Job name and location
  • Description of work
  • Labor onsite performing the work and hours worked
  • Safety items discussed or safety issues
  • Visitors to the construction site
  • Construction materials received
  • Construction equipment used
  • Identify potential project delays

6 things you should include in a construction daily report with descriptions. Quick guide for daily reports. Know that it’s best to have this form filled out by the superintendent, construction manager, or field engineer. Someone that is out on the job site who monitors the construction process regularly.

You might not have the responsibility to write the report but it’s still good to understand how to do it. That way you can review them and identify any issues needing correction.

Also, make sure that you’re filling out the report on a daily basis at the end of the day. This helps to ensure the report is accurate than trying to fill these out at the end of the week.

1. The Contract Number, Project Name, Location, and Construction Company Name

Construction daily report job name, location, contractor name, and personnelAt the top write down the contract number as it is stated on the prime contract.

Then, you will include the project name, location, and the construction firm.

On the right side make sure to include the date along with the daily report number.

When it comes to the report number, I like to start it with a zero and then the number. It helps to avoid confusion on the numbering and also organizing the files when stored digitally.

Make sure you use the same numbering convention on your digital file names as the daily reports show.

2. Including the Work Performed with a Description

Construction daily report description of work section with labor hours includedReference the activity number for the work that is being done. The activity number can be found in the construction schedule typically.

You will then need to write down a brief description of the work completed that day. Describe each of the specific tasks that were performed that day.

If you have multiple subcontractors on your job site, then list each one separately. You’ll want to make sure you include everything that was done that day.

Anything missed could become a risk should that activity become a potential issue. You don’t have the documentation to fall back on to cover yourself.

Along with the work description, you’ll need to list the contractor, the crew members, trade, and number of hours worked. Again, you’ll need to do this for every subcontractor that’s under you and onsite.

On larger projects consider just writing down the number of workers and their trade. Do this instead of listing each worker on the job site.

3. Job Site Safety Items for the Daily Report

Construction daily report job site safety items that need to be covered with the team and included in the daily report. This next section will require you to check off the boxes as they apply to the work that day.

Read through each question, if the answer is yes to any of these, then you’ll need to provide supporting documents.

3a. Was a job safety meeting held on this date?

You will typically use an agenda to cover any safety items for the day. The person reading the daily may want to know what topics were discussed, so you include the form with the report.

Consider using a pre-task planning form when discussing the safety concerns for the day.

3b. Were there any lost time accidents on this date?

Lost time accidents are defined by OSHA as:

“The term “lost workday case” is used to designate cases involving days away from work and/or days of restricted work activity beyond the date of injury or onset of illness.”

Here are the forms you need to fill out when there’s safety incidents onsite. Include these with your daily report.

3c. Was crane/man lift/trenching/scaffolding/high voltage (HV) electrical/hazmat work done?

These activities are considered high-risk and need to be approached with caution. That’s why the report calls for a checklist to be included.

A checklist shows that you understand the steps to take to perform the work in a safe manner. You should go over this with your crew and make sure they also understand and sign their name. That’s one method of showing they were in attendance and understanding the risks.

3d. Was hazardous material/was released into the environment?

Anytime there’s an significant event where waste was released into the environment, it needs to be recorded.

Let’s say your project required some lead paint abatement. Your contractor got lazy and didn’t properly contain the paint while they were removing it.

You noticed that the paint chips were spreading around the area. This is a recordable incident.

The next steps will be correcting the problem and containing the spread of the lead paint. It needs to be documented and included in your own daily report.

3e. List safety actions taken today/safety inspection conducted

Here you can write some important details about any safety meetings held that day. Also, consider mentioning any equipment or scaffolding inspections here.

4. Equipment/Material Received at the Job Site

Construction daily report document the materials that you received that dayThis will just log the material that you received for that day. Consider taking photos to document the items that arrived at the project site.

If any of the material corresponds to a submittal for the project, it should be mentioned. You should be checking the material as it arrives and verifying it against the submittal as well.

Check the piece of equipment or material for damage or incorrect part numbers. By including the submittal number, it shows that you’re actually checking the material.

5. Construction Equipment Used on the Job Site

Construction daily report equipment used on the job site that day. You’ll need to keep track of your construction equipment used for various reasons.

Things such as:

  • Equipment not in use is costing the job money and should be removed.
  • If used, an Equipment Daily Inspection Checklist should be attached to the report.
  • Equipment used regularly will need maintenance performed on them.

Make sure to note the type of equipment, make, and model as well. This will clearly identify the equipment being referenced.

6. Remarks About Construction Work That Day

Construction daily report your remarks about the job site and signing off validating the report. Use this section to include essential information about possible project delays or any field notes you have.

You always want to bring up an issue as early as possible. The last thing you want is a delayed project.

Consider including other items that you may think are relevant to the work. It could be things like:

  • Important discussions with the building facilities
  • Any visitors to the work site
  • Quality control tests or inspections held

Make sure that you only include factual items in the report. You just want to include items that directly impact the project.

To finish off the daily report, all you need to provide is your signature and date.

Important Note About the Template

This section applies if you plan to print out the template and complete it using pen and paper.

You should be completing the form using a pen. Any mistakes made should be crossed out and write the correction next to it. Initial next to the mistake to acknowledge it and make the report more credible.

Key Takeaway

The daily report acts as a supporting tool for contractors in their continuous endeavors to complete projects. It provides project information to managers and owners on the progression of the project.

A properly documented daily report can even protect the contractor when the GC starts to place the blame on you.

In construction, documentation is key to your success. The daily report is just one more tool in your arsenal to make it in the construction industry.

If you enjoyed this article, I suggest checking out some supporting articles below:

Construction Quality Control & Assurance

Construction Procurement for Project Managers

Pre-Task Planning in Construction

Thank you for reading.

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1 comment

Ken G. Isomoto December 15, 2023 - 2:50 pm

Dear Alex
Your topics are very helpful for my colleagues who are monitoring NAVFAC supervised projects in Guam which sponsored by both governments
By the way is there any standard weekly or biweekly and monthly report format which NAVFAC demands each general contractor to submit to claim monthly payments?
NAVFAC and our firm have to deal 17 different sub-contacts at once and attend weekly meetings held by each sub-contractor weekly basis, so both side’s PM have no spare time to check each sites unless they have 2 Deputies and 4 Managers and 8 Assistants who deal 2 sub-contracts each at least.
Any advice is very much appreciated
Thank you and best regards


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