Published: January 15, 2023

5 Ways Our Detailing Team Supports Clear Communication with the General Foreman


The process of completing a construction project has multiple phases, with each needing to smoothly transition to the next. One of these transitions is from detailing (sketching / drafting) to installation. Making this transition as smooth as possible keeps your project on schedule and minimizes rework and cost overages. 

One way to mitigate issues in this transition is to ensure your construction team and design team have open lines of communication. When the general foreman (GF) can quickly and easily get answers and information from the detailers, the entire project moves ahead smoothly and efficiently. 

At ICON-BIM, we pride ourselves on providing a direct line of communication between our detailers and the GF on-site. Here are 5 ways we work with the general foreman on our projects to ensure every build is completed on time and on budget. 

Detailing for Constructability

Engineers provide the “what” of a project - what it needs to be safe and functional. They don’t always take into account the “how”. How the project will be built on-site, how it will maximize efficiency, how it will ensure code compliance, how will the systems be maintained by the owner, all of these “hows” come down to your detailer. 

Starting with shop drawings and building models that are detailed with the “how” of constructability in mind is the first step in building a strong foundation between the GF and the detailing team. Detailing for constructability ensures the detailers and GF are on the same page and working toward the same goal. 

At ICON-BIM, all our detailers have worked in the field and are journeymen tradespeople themselves. They understand what it takes for a model to be constructible and pride themselves on creating shop drawings and building models that don’t just take into account “what” is being built, but also “how” it will be built. Detailing for constructability is a key first step to ensuring your construction team is set up for success. Click Here to learn more about why you need a Detailer with field experience.


Working With the General Foreman 

Just as every job site is different, every GF has their own approach to managing a project. They set the tone for how the project will move forward, how much prefabrication or spooling is best for the project, and generally keeping the on-site construction activities on schedule and on budget. To build clear communication, the detailer needs to take the time to understand the GF’s process and support them in working how they work best. Why does this matter? Check out our blog How Detailing Drives Prefabrication.

Experienced detailing teams who have worked with many GFs on numerous projects understand the different approaches a GF might take and know how to work within their expectations and processes. Since all our detailers all have 10+ years of experience in the industry, they know how to adapt to different approaches and meet the GF’s expectations. 



communication 6Matching Communication Styles 

Maintaining professionalism is important for everyone involved in the construction process, however, that professionalism can look and sound much different out in the field to inside the office. What is considered professional on a construction site may not match the expected level of professionalism in an office. Having a detailing team that understands these different communication styles is important in building rapport and meeting the GF and their team where they’re at. 

Since all our detailers are journeyman tradespeople, they have experience navigating the differences in communicating with both construction professionals and office staff. Matching the communication style of the team you’re working with keeps things efficient and limits misunderstandings, keeping the project moving forward. 


Being Easily Accessible

Construction sites are unpredictable places. Site conditions can be different than expected or plans may have to be adjusted on the fly. If the GF needs confirmation of a dimension or to make adjustments, being able to contact the detailers at that moment can make or break the schedule for the day. If the detailing team is available to take a call or answer a text in real-time, small issues are often solved then and there and construction can continue as planned. 

If the detailing team only communicates via email and is away from their desk, or is in a different time zone and isn’t available until their workday begins, that one small problem could cost the project an entire day of work. Having a detailing team with the flexibility to solve problems as they arise and who is available during the same hours as the construction team allows for open communication at the time it’s needed.


Offering Communication Options

Part of being easily accessible is being open to communicating in the manner most convenient for the GF and field team. It’s common in office settings to default to email for asking and answering questions, but email may not be the most accessible option for the GF while on-site. 

Having a detailing team that can be reached by phone or text helps keep the lines of communication open and allows the GF to access the detailers however works best for them at the time.

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The ICON-BIM Advantage

At ICON-BIM, all our detailers have over 10 years of experience in construction and are journeymen tradespeople. They have worked for dozens of GFs over the years, both in the field and from the office. They understand the complexities and unpredictability of construction sites. This experience helps them meet GFs and their teams where they’re at and adapt to their needs. They know how to build rapport with the field and project team by communicating with them in a way that strengthens relationships and limits misunderstandings. 

Having easy, open communication between the detailing team and GF keeps your build moving smoothly and keeps things on schedule. If you’d like to learn more about how ICON-BIM can benefit your next construction project, give us a call or have a look at our services.


We look forward to working with you on your next project.







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