Attention, esteemed general contractors, remodelers, and home builders! If you’ve ever found yourself bewildered by fluctuating project costs, inconsistent revenues, or just the sheer chaos of managing your construction business, you’re not alone. Today, we delve into the cornerstone of effective construction financial and business management: Job costing and time tracking. Let’s unlock the secrets to building a profitable, systematized business that doesn’t consume all your time, and can be sold for millions.

Why Job Costing Matters

Job costing is often perceived as a daunting task, but its importance cannot be overstated. Without proper job costing, you are essentially flying blind, unaware of which projects are profitable and which are draining your resources.

Key Benefits of Job Costing:

  • Profitability Insights: Understand which projects or activities are most profitable.
  • Budget Tracking: Keep a close eye on project budgets and avoid nasty surprises.
  • Efficiency and Consistency: Identify inconsistencies and inefficiencies to fine-tune operations.
  • Challenges: Address issues head-on rather than letting them fester and erode your profits.

Setting Up Cost Codes

Now that we understand the importance of job costing, let’s dive into setting up cost codes. Think of cost codes as the DNA of your project. They categorize expenses and activities, enabling you to track and manage costs effectively.

Construction Contractor Job Costing Codes

Choosing the Right Cost Codes:

  • Standard Codes: Organizations like the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) or Construction Standards Institute (CSI) offer standard cost codes. Tailor them to fit your business needs. Generally the NAHB codes are more suitable for residential contractors while CSI codes are standard for commercial and civil projects.
  • Simplicity is Key: Start with a manageable number of categories and subcategories. Avoid overwhelming your team with too many codes.
  • Relevance: Only include codes that are relevant to your business operations. If you don’t use it, lose it!

Implementing Cost Codes in Your Business

With your cost codes in place, it’s time to put them to work.

  • Budgeting and Estimating: Use cost codes during the budgeting and estimating process to ensure accurate project costing later based on the original estimate.
  • Time Tracking: Encourage your team to track their time against the relevant cost codes. Modern project management software and apps make this easier than ever.
  • Bookkeeping and Expenses: Integrate cost codes into your bookkeeping system to ensure accurate financial tracking.
  • Reporting: Analyze cost code data to generate insightful reports. Understand which projects, services and categories are making you money, where you’re losing money, and why.

Overcoming Challenges

Implementing a new system always comes with its challenges. Resistance to change, especially from long-time employees, can be a hurdle. However, with the right technology and training, these challenges can be overcome. Implementation is a team sport where you will need to facilitate and align project managers, bookkeepers, admin and your field crew to the common goal.

Tips for Smooth Implementation:

  • Communication: Clearly communicate the benefits of job costing and time tracking to your team.
  • Training: Provide thorough training and support to ensure everyone understands how to use cost codes effectively.
  • Technology: Leverage project management and accounting software to streamline and simplify the process.


By embracing job costing and time tracking, you are taking a crucial step towards building a profitable, systematized business. Imagine the peace of mind knowing that your business is running efficiently, and you have more time for family, hobbies, and personal growth.

In the competitive world of construction, staying ahead requires more than just hard work; it requires smart work. Job costing and time tracking are not just buzzwords; they are essential tools for any forward-thinking general contractor, remodeler, or home builder.

Ready to Take Your Construction Business to the Next Level?

If you’re tired of working all the time, struggling with inconsistent revenues, and worrying about the future of your business, we’re here to help. Check out our masterclass designed specifically for experienced contractors looking to systematize operations and step out of the day-to-day grind.

CLICK HERE to get access to the Build A Self Managing Business masterclass.

CLICK HERE to schedule a free Biz Builder consultation call and systematize your construction company.