Weekly Construction News Analysis
The construction industry is in the middle of what may be one of the most defining points in it’s short term history. The Coronavirus or COVID-19 is the latest pandemic having a major impact on companies and industries around the world, yet the construction industry is holding out amongst backlash and criticism. What’s even more scary is that this likely won’t be the last pandemic or outbreak in our generation. So what can you do as a contractor to manage your business and jobsite during a disease outbreak such as the coronavirus?
As a contractor there are a number of approaches you can take including:
- Stay calm and don’t make rash decisions
- Refer to the professionals and consider engaging one
- Ensure your company has an outbreak emergency response plan
- Provide constant communication
- Ensure the safety of your workers
- Protect yourself legally
I’m going to walk through each of the above items in more depth, but the most important rule to remember is this:
“You will get through this, it will all work out, the world will go on.”
Stay Calm and Don’t Make Rash Decisions
One of the things that has amazed me most about this pandemic is the way people are reacting. Social media has been one of the most incredible inventions of our time, allowing us to share content across the globe. Yet, in times of uncertainty it can breed panic. Images of people hoarding, rioting and empty streets can lead to fear which can also lead to you making rash decisions that may not be the best for your construction team.
While this may seem obvious to some, it’s very easy to get caught up in the moment. Before you make any decisions that will have an impact on your team it’s important that you fully inform yourself. For this I would recommend doing your research on how the pandemic is impacting businesses. If the pandemic started elsewhere research what industries it impacted and spread through the fastest. This will give you insight into how it impacted the construction industry in other areas and will help guide your decision.
Another useful subject is to look into how other construction companies are managing the pandemic or in this case the coronavirus. A quick google search will educate you and give you some great ideas on things your team can implement to keep your workers safe.
Your number one priority during uncertain times should be the safety of your workers and security of their jobs. Schedule and budget are important but don’t exist without your team.
Refer To Professionals and Consider Engaging One
The construction industry loves it’s consultants. We literally have one for every subject: testing, envelope, safety, structural, heritage the list goes on and on. We do this because our teams recognize that they may not always know the best. It’s important to rely on experts for complex subjects.
It’s for this reason that the construction industry is in an enviable position. We are used to listening to experts in our field.
Listen to professionals In the event of a pandemic such as the coronavirus. The people that deal with this type of challenge everyday. For the construction industry experts can include:
- World Health Organization (WHO) – https://www.who.int/
- Your Federal, Provincial or State Level health experts
- Doctors and scientists specializing in the field of study
- Health consultants specialized in viruses and pandemics
While not every company can afford to bring on healthcare professionals, if you are able to it may be worthwhile. Consider engaging a doctor to check in on your workforce. Engaging a consultant can help your team develop workplace guidelines that can be implemented in the event of an emergency.
One of the best approaches to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak I’ve seen so far is by a local general contractor. They have engaged a specialist in viruses and pandemics to help guide their companies decision making. Doctors have been engaged to go to sites each day to check on workers. Hygiene experts have been engaged to work with the two aforementioned individuals and put in place cleaning and safety guidelines for their construction sites.
Ensure Your Construction Team Has An Outbreak Emergency Response Plan
An emergency response plan is one of those things that you don’t realize you need until you really do. Don’t wait for the next pandemic or until you’re in the middle of one to develop an emergency response plan.
If you’ve already engaged some of the professionals we noted above – start with them. If you haven’t it’s time to engage a health and safety professional to help your develop a plan. Regardless, an emergency response plan to a pandemic should include the following:
- Steps on identifying a pandemic
- Corporate levels of response to a pandemic (ie levels of readiness)
- Worker and management roles in the event of a pandemic
- Appoint individuals or a committee and assign responsibility for executing the program
- Steps to ensure construction worker safety during a pandemic(ie social distancing)
- Responses to a pandemic affecting one or more of the workers including locations of facilities for treatment
- Recovery response plans
Your emergency response plan should be developed as the go to document in the event of a pandemic. To ensure that your employees, clients and consultants are aware of the actions you need to take make sure that they receive copies of it as well. It never hurts to be overprepared for a given situation.
If You’re A Construction Business Owner….
It may also be worthwhile to consider drills or practicing the steps outlined in the emergency response plan within your organization. By doing so you will help to reassure employees and workers you are prepared all the while refining and providing practice to your team members.
Lastly, if you are a business owner ensure that your emergency response plan includes a chain of command. It needs to be clear to your organization who will make decisions in the event you or a member of your senior team get sick.
Provide Constant Communication
The last thing you want to do as a construction company during a pandemic such as COVID-19 is to stop communicating. Your clients, trades and consultants rely on you to be consistent during the construction phase, even in times of emergency.
There are many forms of communication in construction, we’re going to address a few of the ways you can reach the people you need to below:
|Form Of Communication||Benefit|
(Phone Calls, Emails, Presence On Site)
|One of the most effective ways we can communicate to our team is through informal communication, regularly staying in touch through email and phone calls can help to provide reassurance.|
(Phone Calls, Emails, Presence on Site)
Frequency: Weekly or as needed.
|Issuing formal updates through email, letter and phone calls (conference calls) can help to provide reassurance to your partners that you’re taking things seriously and have a plan.|
|Graphics and Signage
Frequency: As needed.
|Hoarding and signage is important on a jobsite. Use it to communicate to workers and passerby’s what you’re doing to prevent the spread of the pandemic and reassure people that you take their health safety.|
|Manuals and Guidelines
Frequency: As Needed
|These can be share via the above (email) but are in place to communicate to people the correct steps to take. It provides guidance and instruction during times of stress and uncertainty.|
Ferquency: As Needed.
|Video is a great way to communicate empathy. Having senior leaders communicate to workers via video in times of isolation can help reassure people that you’re there for them and understand what they are going through.|
Frequency: As needed or as appropriate.
|Social media has become a great way to stay in touch with the broader community. Share issues and challenges you’re dealing with. If your typical social media theme is light and fun, consider toning it down and ensuring you’re communicating more serious subjects.
A good example of using social media during a pandemic in construction is by posting steps your workers are taking to ensure the safety of others.
|Other||There are many other forms of communication you can use to get in touch with people. Be creative.|
One of the most important things you can do in a time of a pandemic in construction is to communicate regularly and clearly.
Ensure The Safety Of Your Workers
I’ve mentioned this above, but above all else the most important thing to consider during a pandemic is to ensure the safety of your colleagues and construction workers. No building or activity is worth a human beings life or suffering.
During a pandemic you want to be sure that your workers are safe. This means that taking extra time on site to educate workers about the precautions they should be taking is paramount.
Educating workers on the steps to maintain a safe work environment can be done in a few ways:
- Bulletins and guidelines on working safely
- Weekly and daily toolbox talks with the construction workers
- Incorporation of precautionary measures into pre-job safety inspections
- Additional supervision with attention given to precautionary measures
- Doctors or health and safety representatives checking workers for symptoms
In the event of an outbreak on a project there should be little to no question on the steps required to be taken. The project site needs to be halted immediately, the source identified and the jobsite remain closed or sections isolated until the risk is removed.
Construction workers are uniquely prepared to work during pandemics. Workers are regularly placed in high risk conditions and because of that are more familiar with taking precautionary measures. With that being said – hitting a project schedule at the expense of workers lives is not worth it. Always keep safety of workers top of mind.
Protect Your Construction Company Legally
While the protection of workers and preventing the spread of a disease within your construction company and on jobsites should be top of mind it’s important to protect yourself legally. In the event of an impact to your construction project you should notify the project stakeholders of the delay.
Your contract should be your starting place when understanding the steps and notifications to be undertaken in the event of a delay. Typically you are required to submit a written notice to your client or the architect.
Prior to issuing a formal notice of delay it may be worthwhile to provide a heads up to the team. This can be done formally through a letter identifying the risk, or through meeting minutes or regular reports. Once you’ve identified the delay, issuing a written notice is important. If you need help we have a template for a construction notice of delay over at Construction Repository.
The notice of delay should identify the reason for impact, potential delay and the steps you’ve taken and will be taking to mitigate the impact the owner. This will help to demonstrate that you’re not just throwing your hands in the air.
Further to issuing your formal notice – you should document progress through schedules, progress photos and other media at the start of the impact and regularly throughout. Regularly highlighting drawings can help to understand the progress or lack of progress in an area.
Construction Will Go On After The Pandemic
Running a construction site during a pandemic or epidemic can be a stressful situation. There will be challenges and people that like or dislike every decision you make. As we’ve stated above – all decisions should be made with the worker’s safety top of mind. Instruction should be taken from the experts including government professionals, scientists and doctors.
Always remember that your job will go on after an impact. Be safe. Be smart.
How is your construction site managing during the COVID-19 / Coronavirus outbreak? Are special precautions being taken? Let us know below in the comments?
The construction industry is constantly changing and the top construction blogs help to bring you new developments and updates. In many cases, these websites take team of people to run, develop and bring new content. Below are our list of the top construction blogs for 2020:
It’s only fitting to provide some recognition to the hard work that goes into creating the content we all love to read.
This year we’ve broken our top construction blogs into three main categories:
- Construction Marketing and Business Management Blogs
- Construction Industry News Blogs
- Construction Techniques and Technology Blogs
- Construction Company Blogs
Construction marketing and mangement is at the core of every construction business. These two components determine how your building is run and how much business your company gets. Learning new techniques and styles can help to improve your construction company. Which are the best construction marketing and business management blogs?
The top construction marketing and business management blogs are:
- Construction Marketing Ideas
- Construction Executive
- Construction Business Owner
We’ve broken each of the above best construction marketing and business management blogs down below for you:
Construction Marketing Ideas
Our industry is great at building things and getting our hands dirty but when it comes to advertising and marketing often times we come up well short. Construction Marketing regularly writes articles on things like putting proposals together and how to get new clients.
Construction executive is prepared in part by actual construction executives and provides some great insight into the forefront of the industry and new emerging management practices. If you want to stay on top of leadership make sure to check these guys out.
Construction Business Owner
Construction business owner focuses on how you can manage your business better and strategies and techniques to implement. Building a construction business can be a challenging endeavour so getting assistance about emerging practices can be helpful.
The websites in our next category keep us all up to date on the goings on and happenings within the construction industry. Given how fast projects and companies change this can sometimes be a challenging task. What are the top construction industry news blogs?
The top construction industry news blogs are:
- Construction Dive
- Construction Junkie
These top contenders break down as follows:
This list wouldn’t be completed without adding Construction Dive. Regularly updated on current events in the construction industry this blog is followed by many and considered one of the best resources.
Construction junkie doesn’t focus on one subject in particular. The love is spread across the industry, they have a lot of good articles on current events, projects and major issues facing the construction industry.
ENR is one of the largest publications for the engineering and construction industries. It focuses on bringing the latest construction news throughout the planet to your finger tips and is one of our top construction blogs.
Construction technology and techniques are changing at a rapid pace in our current climate. Developing faster than projects or companies, these blogs keep us up to date on the changes and help to provide professional insight into both. What are the best construction technique and technology blogs?
The best construction technique and technology blogs are:
- Conapp Guru
- Lean Construction Blog
- Let’s Fix Construction
We’ve broken down each of the best construction technique and technology blogs below for you. Make sure to check each one of them out!
This blog focuses on construction technology which if you’re anything like us you can’t get enough of! They feature a regular podcast which reviews software, equipment and other new tech coming into and out of our industry.
Want even more technology in your life? Constructech is another technology blog and one we read regularly. Staying on top of changing trends is important and constructech can help you do so.
Lean Construction Blog
Lean construction is one of the buzz words in our industry right now (we’ve even done an article on it). Lean Construction blog focuses on the methods and practices that are at the leading edge of lean construction practices.
Let’s Fix Construction
Construction is full of mis-information, Let’s Fix Construction brings together professionals from around the industry to help fix it. This blog focuses on calling out processes that are incorrect and walking through correct ones. Learn construction the right way.
Top Construction Company Blogs
Many of the large companies within the industry are starting to develop blogs to help support the industry. In other industries sharing information is a common thing, in past years the construction industry has been hesitant to do this.
The below are the companies that are leading the way with the top construction company blogs:
Is actually a task and project management software for construction sites but they also run a really great blog. They regularly post up top date articles on different subjects in the construction industry ranging from the labour shortage to starting your own construction company.
Plangrid is an online construction management platform and one of the best parts about their website is their informative blog. The articles range from news to advice and best practices to emerging technologies.
That’s it for our wrap up on the top construction blogs. If you’d like to submit yours for consideration hit us up in the comments below or email us at email@example.com.
Weekly Construction News Analysis
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Construction is something that everyone will come across atleast once in their life. Whether it’s a house renovation, a deck addition, or a much larger project like a hospital or new office. They range in scope and value. One of the most common issues on construction projects is that they go over budget.
So why do construction projects go over budget? According to a statistical analysis performed on construction projects, the following are the leading causes for projects to go over budget:
- Estimating Errors
- Delay in Permitting
- Incomplete Design leading to changes
- Unforeseen Conditions
- Owner Interference or Lack of Interference
- Delay in Payment
For your reference here is a link to the original research paper – published in the Journal of Sustainable Construction Engineering and Technology.
If construction is such a common activity in our day to day life how can the same mistakes be made over and over again and what can you do to avoid going over budget on your construction project?
The best bet is to avoid the items I listed above, by doing so you’ll stand a better chance of keeping your project under budget. I’m going to walk you through the best approaches on all of these!
Over Budget Due To Errors In The Estimating Process
It’s always a joke amongst construction teams that it’s always the estimator’s fault whenever something is missing in the project budget. The truth, is estimators have a challenging job. Their timelines to prepare a construction estimate or bid a job are often very short and information is typically not fully complete.
Because of this the estimating process is prone to errors. Unfortunately, missing a 0 or forgetting to carry a scope can have serious impacts on the profitability of a job for both the owner and the contractors involved.
For this reason it’s important for estimators to ensure their numbers are correct. While no estimate will ever be perfect you can take some of the following steps to help ensure it’s more accurate:
Take Your Time On The Estimate
Seriously, spending extra time on an estimate. By doing so you’ll give yourself the opportunity to review what you’ve completed for errors and omissions.
If you don’t have time due to a limited submission period – start researching the project before the bid is released, or, ask for an extension. What’s the say – asking never hurt anyone?
By spending extra time on your estimate you can help to avoid the construction project going over budget.
Sub trade and Supplier Coverage
After having worked on the owners side for a while now I understand that contractors love to rely on “their trades”. People build relationships naturally and learn to trust certain people. By developing these relationships a lot of people will have a trade or supplier that they always go to for pricing.
Unfortunately, trades and suppliers are just as prone to making errors as the general contractor.
By having more than one trade or supplier per division provide you with numbers you can more easily identify mistakes and often receive more competitive numbers from people who have less work.
Peer Review Your Construction Estimate
A common way of eliminating errors within the estimating process is through peer review. Prior to submission pull together a group of the most experienced individuals and have them peer review the estimate.
This benefits the team in two ways – the first is that multiple people will all build differently. By incorporating multiple people one of them may come up with a better way to do something giving you the competitive edge.
The second reason is simply catching errors. Each set of eyes means more opportunity to catch mistakes.
Interested in more ways to eliminate errors in the estimating process. Make sure to check out our article on Ways to Eliminate Errors In An Estimate.
Permitting Delays In Construction
Another reason that many construction projects go over budget is due to permit delays. Permits are one of the most common delays found on construction sites. Since owners are typically responsible for obtaining permits – the contractor is typically a fan as it represents an owners delay.
In order to address what can be done to prevent permitting delays, we first need to understand the process and players. Including what is a construction permit?
A construction permit is any document that is granted from an authority that allows the builder to perform a specific action. An example of permits includes:
- Building Permit
- Road Occupation Permit
- Sidewalk Occupation Permit
- Electrical Permit
- HVAC permit
- Underground plumbing permit
There can be many permits on a single construction project so the first step in eliminating delay due to permits is understanding which apply to your project.
A good way of doing this is with a construction permit log. A log lists all of the permits which will apply to your project and identifies who is responsible for obtaining each.
The start of the project should include a permit review meeting where all parties sit down together to prepare this list and assign who is responsible. Creating a permit tracking log is always a good idea.
Give Yourself Time To Obtain Permits
The number one thing you can do when planning your project is to leave sufficient time to get your permits. I see too many schedules where people enter a new market and assume that they can get their permit in two months (with the reality being closer to six).
Be smart about your permit timing and give yourself suitable time. Do research on the market your in and the permit timing. Ask City staff or survey other team members on historical timing to get permits.
Incomplete Design – Every Contractors Dream
Incomplete design. Chances are you have been on a project where the design has been less than stellar. We all have and it’s not a fun experience. Having an incomplete design can lead to costly change orders.
When you have a complete design leading up to the start of the project it has several added benefits.
- Faster tender period due to less questions
- Contractors can be more concise on their number
- Contractors can carry less money for contingency due to less risk in the design documents
- More contractors interested in the project due to less complication
By having a complete design you will reduce the overall cost of your project at the start and reduce the time it takes for procurement.
So how can you improve the overall quality of design documents in order to avoid going over budget?
Hire Quality Consultants: do your homework on the consultants you’re hiring. Make sure that they can provide you with a complete set of documents and the industry. What do I mean by that? Don’t higher a consultant who typically designs houses to build a heavy industrial building. Hiring people with professional, relevant experience.
Plan For Design – have your consultants provide you with a detailed design schedule up front. Don’t force them into artificial deadlines – it will compromise design.
Peer Review – yes I know I’ve mentioned this process before but by having a contractor or another designer complete a peer review on the documents you can catch many errors. Contractors are used to dealing with consultant’s mistakes and can point out discrepancies in the drawings.
But the primary reason that a project will go over budget due to incomplete design is the process that occurs after the award to your contractor.
Changes Orders 🙁
Change orders are by their nature a very inefficient part of the a construction project. There are many reasons that they can cause a construction project to go over budget. Change orders are a profit center for contractors.
By the time you get to the change order process you are no longer in a competitive tendering environment. Because of this some of your leverage on pricing goes away. Contractors will mark up quotations with overhead and profit, and, quite often pricing won’t be legitimate.
To protect yourself from bad pricing it’s best to take a few steps:
- Have your consultants review pricing to confirm if it’s fair.
- Request detailed labour and material breakdowns for all work
- During tendering outline the overhead and profit amounts contractors are allowed to charge
If you combine these three items you can protect yourself from price gouging during the change order process and avoid going over budget on your construction project.
Going Over Budget On Your Construction Project Due To Existing Conditions
When you start a project, whether it is a new building, or a renovation of an existing property there will come a time when you are forced to deal with existing conditions. These instances, have the potential to be some of the most impactful situations on your project. But why are existing conditions a cause for going over budget and how can you more effectively manage them?
Existing conditions are a primary reason construction projects go over budget because they are typically a risk that someone hasn’t accounted for. There are many clauses within most modern contracts to protect contractors from these risks.
When pricing a project there are things that the contractor is aware of, and depending upon your contract type things they can make allowances for to better manage the risk. Unfortunately, not every risk will be accounted for.
Unfortunately existing conditions tend to be one of those risks that many people don’t see coming. As a result they tend to be larger in both the cost and time that they take up on a construction project.
An example of some existing conditions include:
- Unknown ground conditions such as contaminated soils or soft patches
- Mechanical or Electrical Services that you didn’t know were where they are
- Structure that doesn’t match the as-built drawings
- Building structure being weaker than expected
- Underground concealed items
These conditions can have major impacts on both the budget and schedule. As a result it’s worth mitigating the risk related to these as soon as possible to avoid going over budget.
How To Mitigate Risk Related To Existing Conditions To Avoid Going Over Budget
There are a few key strategies to this – we’ve done a very detailed article on renovations but here’s a few ideas you can follow to minimize risk:
- Investigation – this is the simplest way to minimize risk related to existing conditions. By spending time at the start of the project with your contractor or consultants and investigating areas that interact with existing conditions you’ll better understand them.
- Contingency – review historical projects and identify issues they ran into. Assign contingency to those items that relate to your project. Fool me once!
- Simplify Design – avoid complex designs around existing conditions. By simplifying your design and using materials you know will work with most conditions you minimize risk and help your construction project stay on track.
By using each of the above methods together you can help your construction project to avoid going over budget.
Owner Interference Or Lack of Interference
When many people remember bad projects they immediately think of those times when they had a hard ass owner, or an owner who didn’t make decisions on time. There may be light in a dark tunnel however, a study performed by Arcadis showed that construction claims against owners had dropped for five straight years leading up to 2018.
Owner interference in a project can be a challenging issue that is hard for project teams to overcome. Your initial thoughts may be it’s always inexperienced owners that cause this issue. But surprisingly experienced owners can also cause problems. Experienced owners may feel that they know better than the contractors and consultants they hire.
Owner interference can cause projects to go over budget through a few reasons:
- Additional changes to the design as a result of decision or indecision
- Delays in construction due to changes or lack of direction
- Mistakes or errors being made in construction due to owner making incorrect decisions
So what can be done to avoid owner interference on a project? Here are three tips for you as an owner or a team member.
Respect People’s Expertise
On every construction project each company and person has their assigned roles. Each knows their respective specialty better than others. Project teams should rely on experts to make recommendations. It’s okay to challenge people on their opinions when necessary but be careful about stepping on them too much.
Make Decisions When They Are Needed and Empower Others To Make Decisions For Themselves
People in general want to feel recognized for doing a good job. You can help recognize them by giving people the opportunity to make decisions for themselves. There are many coaching sessions online about decision making – but the important part is to allows others to do it.
As an owner or contractor watch the companies and people that work for you. If you see a decision that’s been made that you disagree with address it with the other person or people in private – by disagreeing with someone in public you may be discrediting them the next time they need to stand up for you.
There are many clients who feel that they know best and want to know everything that is happening on a project site. Whether you’re a client, a contractor or a designer there will be people under you. You don’t need to know every detail on what
Delay In Payment
The construction industry is known as a challenging industry to work in. One of the main reasons for the negative stigma surrounding it is because of payment. There are stories everywhere about a contractor getting stiffed on payment or a supplier not getting paid. Maybe an owner doesn’t want to pay because something has gone wrong?
The reason for such feelings is that construction is creating something. It is highly personal to people, and because of that emotions can get involved.
Paying a contractor or supplier should never include the word emotion (unless your company name is emotion. When reviewing payment it should be per the terms of the contract. Period.
When I first started in construction, we had a subcontractor go bankrupt. As a result we found that they weren’t paying their workers or suppliers. Insurance ultimately ended covering the situation but this created a huge amount of extra effort by everyone involved to ensure everyone was paid who was owed.
But how can late payment cause your project to go over budget?
Late payment can cause a project to go over budget in a few different ways.
Delaying Work On Site – if someone doesn’t pay for work performed, further work may be held up as a result. As with everything on a construction site this can have a trickle down effect delaying work from other trades. They then have a claim against the project.
Putting Others At Risk – if someone goes bankrupt or someone isn’t paying Liens can be put on the property. These are costly notices that prevent occupancy of a building until it get’s paid. By having to pay the people for work that may have already been paid, expensive legal costs or by preventing you from opening on time not paying people can cost way more money.
Stick To The Contract – Black and White
As I noted above, paying people or receiving payment should always be done per the terms of the construction contract. It’s important when starting your project to have payment terms clearly defined. Some key things that should be addressed in your agreement:
- Process of payment
- Timeliness of payment
- Disputes and how they are resolved
- Payment in the event of disputes
- Holdback requirements
By defining the above issues within your contract you can protect both the payer and the payee. Once you both understand that you have legal protections in the event of issues on site – you can both relax when payment is handed over.
Weather Delays Causing Budget Issues in Construction
“This is the worst winter we’ve ever had” should be made into a sticker that all construction people should wear.
Weather is an inevitable factor of construction and one that is nearly unavoidable. Weather can cause a construction project to go over budget for the following reasons:
- Delay In Construction – depending upon your contract setup the owner or the contractor may be at risk for delays due to weather.
- Damages to Materials – rain, wind and other major weather events can have an impact to an unfinished building.
- Morale – multiple days of rain can have serious consequences to productivity and morale on site. Especially if the project is outside.
- Productivity – some activities are better performed in good weather. For example excavation can be performed much easier in summer months than winter depending upon your location.
What can you do to avoid weather issues?
There are a number of ways to better manage risk related to weather on a construction site:
Eliminate the Weather
Plan temporary facilities on your project to eliminate the weather. For example, in Vancouver it’s widely recognized that rain is a common occurrence on construction sites. Because of this many projects install temporary tent structures over areas requiring waterproofing.
Plan temporary ways to avoid weather – this could mean completing the roof as soon as the top floor is up to keep water out of the lower floors.
Plan For Weather
This should go without saying but plan your project around the weather. A perfect example of this that I see all too often is starting in the winter in colder months. Plan activities that are the most susceptible to certain weather patterns in time periods when it’s least likely to occur.
Start excavation in the spring time. Pour concrete in summer months. Activities such as interior finishes can happen anytime so long as the building is enclosed so take advantage of that.
Make Allowances For Weather
There are many instances where weather cannot be avoided. Where those instances occur make allowances within your budget to plan for it.
If you’re pouring concrete in winter, allow for winter heat and winter mix in the concrete. If you’re doing roofing in the rainy season consider temporary waterproofing to hold over until the summer.
Provide your project team with contingencies incase they get into trouble and need to take emergency actions.
Weather related incidents are almost a given on any construction project. Because of this it’s important that you take out insurance against them. Understand who owns what insurance and how each company is covered.
By protecting yourself with insurance, if issues arise due to weather on a construction site you can deal with them without concern over personal loss.
BONUS – Going Over Budget By Poor Performance
It’s always the contractors fault. The drawings are so terrible on this project. The subcontractors just aren’t performing!
We’ve all been there where the blame game starts to get played because a party isn’t holding up their end of the deal. In most cases someone is underperforming and others have to make up for them. This can lead to an area of a project lacking and causing delays.
This doesn’t necessarily happen on every project, though it does happen on some.
Below I’m going to run through a wide variety of issues that you can run into on a construction project as a result of poor performance and ways you can manage them to avoid issues.
Poor Performance By Designers and Engineers
Contract documents are not fully developed meaning that during construction many issues are coming forward.
Perform a detailed review of the contract documents by a third party or contractor ahead of time.
Slow responses to contract admin such as RFI’s and Submittals
Hold weekly meetings to keep track of document return.
Poor Performance By Contractors
Progress is not what is reflected on schedules
Track progress daily and hold regular update meetings to understand where things are falling behind. Ask for recovery plans.
Inexperience causing issues on site
Request replacement or supplementary staff. Ensure all contractors are reviewed for competency and capabilities before selection.
Avoiding Going Over Budget – The Silver Bullet
With all of the above reasons and methods to avoid going over budget there is still on fundamental way projects can avoid going over budget. That method is team work.
Buildings weren’t built by a single person and the more your group works together and understands one another the better the project will be.
What’s a reason your project has gone over budget and how do you think it could have been avoided? Let me know in the comments below.