There’s no way around it; construction projects have lots of moving parts and take a long time and a lot of work before you get to the ribbon cutting. Everyone knows the old saying “time is money,” so what can you do to ensure your project doesn’t drag out and go above budget?
There will always be bumps in the road and surprises along the way, with unforeseen problems popping up at the most inopportune moments. But being proactive is the name of the game. Here are a few key elements of construction project management that you can do during the pre-construction phase to help you save time and stop you from wasting money.
1) Order long lead delivery time products early
Consider which elements of your project will either take a long time to build, create or deliver. For example, if your custom woodwork is being built in a cabinetry workshop, make sure your GC checks with the distributor to determine how long it will take the wood to get to the shop and then how long the orders will take to fulfill. This information will help you gauge when the items will be completed and therefore when the best time is to order them.
Another factor to keep in mind is how long product shipping will take. If you need marble from Greece, and it’s cut it out of a quarry and transported to a port for shipping by boat, be aware that it will likely take significant time for the marble to get to your worksite. Timing this delivery incorrectly will definitely set back your project progress. Therefore, you may want to consider ordering certain custom materials even before the building permit has been approved.
2) Make sure your contractor has a detailed timeline for each aspect of the project.
The GC’s job is to act as the project manager, assuming full responsibility for the construction work, including the purchase of materials and equipment, determining the work schedules, and hiring workers and subcontractors. Because the general contractor oversees all aspects of the project, the GC is directly responsible for any complications that may arise during construction. Therefore, it is crucial that the GC is aware of and is managing the timelines of each aspect of the construction project to ensure they are all completed on schedule. And if your GC doesn’t show you a schedule, be aware that there is no definite plan.
3) Make sure the architect, engineer, and GC are all on the same page
All major parties involved in your project must know who is responsible for what aspects and when – from the very beginning of the project. Architects are the artists who come up with the concept/design, and the engineers manipulate the design to make it practical and functional, while the contractors or builders do the physical work. If any of these building professionals is not in the loop about the decisions the others make and the actions they take, it is inevitable that miscommunications will occur that will slow down project completion.
A good GC will coordinate between the architect and the engineer on their own to make sure that they have a complete working knowledge of what it will take to get the job done on time and on budget.
Avoiding delays in project progress can come in many forms, both big and small. But if you follow our suggestions above, you’ll be able to put yourself in a good position to save some time and hopefully some money. And the more time you have, the better equipped you will be to deal with those inevitable bumps in the road.
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