Construction Work Order Guide & Template

Construction work orders are a critical component of any project. These documents authorize team members to complete specific work or tasks on a job. Throughout a project, many work orders are assigned, completed, and used for tracking and invoicing.

Combined with strong work order management, these forms prevent errors and provide documentation of a job’s progress. They also ensure that everyone understands expectations.

Poorly written work orders, on the other hand, lead to confusion, delays, and rework. This costs valuable time, labor, and money.

To prevent this, contractors need clearly written work orders and effective form management. By avoiding common mistakes and improving processes, you can boost your bottom line. Here’s how.

Use Different Kinds of Work Orders for Different Situations

Most construction companies adopt a general work order form to fit their various needs. However, this can lead to ineffective form management. It’s helpful to have different kinds of work orders based on the different types of jobs a project requires.

Common construction work order types include:

  • Quotes.
  • Orders.
  • Unplanned work order.
  • Planned work order.
  • Internal work order.
  • External work order.
  • Manual work order.
  • Automatic work order.

Categorizing work orders by these various types helps with organization, tracking, and accurate invoicing. It also makes it easier to pull up previous work orders for reference if you remember the type of work order submitted.

Fortunately, you don’t have to create a whole separate form for each type of work order. A simple checkbox option to designate work orders serves this purpose well. This is especially easy if you’re using a construction work order app.

Effectively Manage the Work Order Lifecycle

Understanding the lifecycle of a work order and using it to improve processes increases the chances of closing work orders out on time and within budget. There are five phases of this lifecycle:

  1. Identify the need for work. 
  2. Generate work order. 
  3. Approve work order. 
  4. Complete work. 
  5. Document completion.

As you know, the work order passes through many hands during this lifecycle. In order to manage work orders effectively, you need to create a system that allows all of these parties to easily access, change, and approve forms at any time.

You also need a system that displays where in the lifecycle every work order is. This way, documents waiting on sign offs or ones ready for the next phase are quickly identifiable. Construction work order management software is a great way to meet all these needs.

Work Order Template

Download a free digital Work Order form template

Use our free digital construction form templates as a standalone solution, or in our Forms software.

Write High-Quality Work Orders in 3 Steps

One common mistake contractors experience when it comes to work orders is relying on poorly written forms. If a construction work order has unclear directions or inaccurate details (such as measurements or locations), it can quickly snowball into rework and wasted labor and materials.

Writing high-quality work orders isn’t difficult, but having a work order form template can help. Using a template, it’s easy to:

  1. Identify the work to be done.
  2. Document necessary materials, skills, etc.
  3. Assign the work order.

These three steps and a strong work order form template dramatically improves work order quality and management.

Use a Work Order Form Template

Many construction work order template downloads can be found online. However, not all work order forms are created equal. A high-quality template will include spaces for:

  • Name and contact information of the company, customer, requester, and approver.
  • Work order number, date, priority, and department.
  • Job description and location.
  • Overview of special circumstances for the job.
  • Details of specific work to be done.
  • Start and completion dates.
  • Name of the person assigned to complete work.
  • List of required parts, tools, and materials.
  • Estimated costs.
  • Signatures.

If you’d like to leverage a work order form used by highly efficient construction professionals, you can try our free construction work order template. We’ve designed it especially to meet the need for a building construction work order format.

Best Practices for Successfully Managing Work Orders

In the past, work orders were written on paper. This often resulted in lost forms, delays, and errors.

To avoid this, many construction companies switched to digital forms. Using computers and tablets, team members could generate and track even extra work order forms for construction from almost anywhere.

However, digital form management via email and file systems still has its limitations. A construction work order template in Word, Excel, or PDF can still get lost or buried without a good document management process in place. This is especially true as the number of forms on a job increases.

The solution? Construction work order management software.

You can avoid the frustrations of form management by utilizing software designed to do it for you. Construction document management software:

  • Prevents setbacks and delays by providing form templates and requiring completion of all fields before submission.
  • Keeps each form and its changes saved as one file, avoiding the issues caused by duplicate forms and outdated copies.
  • Stores all your forms in one, organized digital space that authorized parties can access from anywhere, on any device.
  • Tracks what phase each form is in and notifies parties when they need to sign, approve changes, or bill.
  • Automatically maintains compliance with form management regulations, keeping you always ready for audits or inspections.

Increasingly, contractors are investing in software to manage and track their forms. In fact, spending on construction software is expected to reach $3.6 billion by 2030. As Cory Borchardt, Senior VP of Operations at Fisk Electric says, “Instead of being in the trailer to get information, foremen are now in the field using their iPads.”

Soon, document management platforms won’t just be a best practice—they’ll be required to remain competitive in the construction industry.

Step Into the Future of Work Order Forms With DADO

DADO is a document management platform and construction work order app that manages work orders, daily reports, change order forms, and more. The software makes it easy to view, edit, sign, and track documents from anywhere using a mobile phone, tablet, or computer.

Streamline project management by centralizing all of your project’s forms in one place. DADO organizes and tracks every document for you, keeping each one available with a simple click. Easily create, edit, sign, and submit forms at any stage all within the platform’s interface.

You can use your own templates, or adopt one of the many stored in our digital library. Either way, let DADO revolutionize the way you manage and track documents.

Make your Work Orders work for you

Want Work Order forms that increase the effectiveness and busywork? Find out how DADO can help.