Construction is becoming increasingly complicated. New and changing codes and regulations, evolving building materials, the increasing use of subcontractors and greater pressure to deliver projects within very tight timelines all require skillful planning and precise execution. Much of this depends on the work done before construction starts. Intelligent planning can ensure your project runs smoothly from start to finish. To help deliver as promised, here are 10 tips for setting your construction project up for success.
1. Start early
While lead times are usually beyond your control, starting your planning the moment a project is approved or awarded will likely eliminate, or at least reduce headaches down the road.
2. Budget. Budget. Budget.
For many, budgeting is the most difficult part of managing construction projects. If you’re not comfortable budgeting for a project, find a trusted colleague who can help. Make sure to budget for the unexpected. Rising material costs, delays and mistakes erode profits fast. Once set, know your budget and follow it.
3. Set your timeline
Delivering projects on time these days is frequently as important as delivering them within budget. Set a realistic timeline for your project so you can keep things on track throughout.
4. Use reputable suppliers
You have a lot riding on every project. Budgets may be tight, but so are deadlines. Using reputable suppliers will keep costly delays and mistakes to a minimum. Working with suppliers you can trust also lets you focus on your job while they do theirs.
5. Get your permits ASAP
Once in the system, permits can take days, weeks or months to process. There’s little you can do to change that. But applying for permits as early as possible will help to avoid delays when construction is ready to start.
6. Establish a communications plan
Keeping your project team apprised of deadlines, changes, safety issues and more is critical to success. Identify all stakeholders, from workers to owners, early and create a communications plan that ensures they get the information they need as it becomes available.
7. Clearly identify roles and responsibilities
New workers and subcontractors may not know who’s who on your jobsite. Make sure everyone knows what each person is responsible for on the site. Identifying key people such as a safety officer and foreman with a different color vest or hard hat can make things easier.
8. Layout your jobsite and work flow
Jobsites can be chaotic places. With workers going in every direction, frequent visitors and countless deliveries, layout your work area with consideration to optimizing safety and workflow. Make sure there’s a designated area for visitors and your office trailer away from the construction zone and that hard hat areas are clearly marked.
9. Create a site-specific safety plan
Every construction site is different, as are the hazards that come with them. A sign-specific safety plan can account for unique aspects of your construction site and establish protocols for managing known hazards.
10. Be ready for changes
If you can plan on one thing in construction it’s that something can and will go wrong at some point in your project. Following the tips above should limit changes, however, despite what you may think, some things are beyond your control. Understanding that changes are likely and making contingency plans can alleviate the impact and stress that comes with changes.