Here’s a simple concept: Weekly site meetings for projects bigger than $50,000. For Penn Contractors, in Emmaus, Pa., the newly instituted policy has minimized surprises and scheduling snafus and kept the company and clients on the same page regarding progress, plans, and concerns.

At least four people attend: the client, production manager, lead carpenter, and director of client services, who assists with sales and design and is the client’s “one constant” through the entire project, says owner Bruce Snyder.

The meeting is held at the same time each week. A day or so before, Snyder’s staff distributes an agenda to all parties, listing items such as selections to be made and which staff and trades will be there when. “We try to take care of the home­owner’s list with our list,” he says, and then open the table to new concerns or “old business.”

The meeting usually takes less than an hour and concludes with the distribution of meeting notes in triplicate: one each for the lead, homeowner, and office. Looking back, Snyder says it took years to get his crew to buy in to the concept, but that the effort was “absolutely worth it.”