In exchange for the freedom to run the jobsite day-to-day, the lead carpenter must accept responsibility for several key areas:

Maintaining the budget. The lead must know where the job stands at all times, especially as it relates to labor and materials. This information should be constantly updated to allow him to make good decisions about how to spend the remaining money in each phase.

Supervising employees. As the site manager, the lead carpenter should make sure employees follow company policies. They should encourage good work habits and report to the boss any need for discipline or reward.

Satisfying clients. Once the job is sold, the client rarely sees the company owner or salesperson, so the lead plays a critical role in helping the client through the project. He should answer questions, discuss options, and keep homeowners informed about the progress.

Closing the job. The lead must strike a balance between the company owner's desire to finish on time and making sure the crew completes all tasks needed to finish the job. --Tim Faller, Field Training Services,