One of the most typical words we’ve heard from prospective customers or clients over the years of consultations and projects we’ve worked on is “well, we know construction always takes so much longer than anyone communicates.” So we decided to break exactly WHY every construction project you’ve started has most certainly lasted longer than expected, what to look for when choosing a design-build team, and what our OCH process looks like on the inside today!
Why does it always take longer than intended to complete a project?
There are a few aspects to consider, but we’ll start with the low-hanging fruit.
1. Ineffective management
Poor management is the leading cause of construction project delays, whether it’s not properly scheduling subcontractors or the builder/general contractor having too much on their plate to devote to your project especially to oversee the day-to-day activities that must be completed. This frequently necessitates having such subcontractors redo work, which takes more time away from the permitted schedule and pushes the timeframe back even more.
We decided early on at OCH to appoint a project manager who oversees all of our projects and serves as a point of contact for all of our customers. This gives your project a second set of eyes and ensures that it is actively monitored every day, wasting less time (and, eventually, money) in the long run!
Let’s move on from the obvious and get into the specifics of why projects go slowly, often irritating clients and contractors/builders/general contractors/designers along the way!
To begin any construction or remodeling work, like this αντιστηριξη, all municipalities require a building permit. Because the permitting procedure isn’t standardized and differs by state, most communities do things their own way. This system is also frequently antiquated and operated in the manner of small-town politics. (Yikes, we’re stepping out on a limb here, but the public deserves to know). Most communities have one or two building inspectors who must visit each project site and inspect the work before subcontractors can move on. Plumbing, electrical, and carpentry work are examples of this.
As you might guess, with our market growing and more individuals wanting to renovate/build new homes, one or two building inspectors isn’t enough! On these inspections, there are frequently delays after delays, as well as ring around the rosey politics (he said, she said) that slows the process down even more. This entire explanation may appear overblown, but trust us when we say it isn’t.
We’ve had projects sit dormant for up to four weeks due to bottlenecks in the inspection process that cause everyone involved to grow gray hair on the spot! Our recommendation is to establish who will be responsible for obtaining permissions and engaging with the town. When it comes to communicating with building inspectors, contractors who already have long-standing ties with them will be a better fit! Make sure you discuss this with anybody you’ll be working with right away.
3. Unknown Facts
Unexpected things always happen when you least expect them, and you’re already working hard to meet your project’s target deadline. Even seemingly insignificant details might cause a rippling effect in other aspects of the project, putting your team a day or more behind schedule!
Renovation/construction is all about efficiency and sequencing, and getting things back on track takes a lot of extra work. This one is difficult, and there are few ideas to provide other than being direct with your contractor, builder, or general contractor, and expecting them to communicate immediately with you if something unexpected occurs, causing a delay or timeline adjustment.
4. Supply Chain Management
This has been a problem in our industry for the past year! Manufacturing delays that began a year ago when quarantine was implemented are now catching up with supply networks and generating production delays! Everything from constructing materials to light fixtures is weeks, if not months, behind schedule! The most underappreciated supply chain bottleneck is something that most people don’t even consider. How many persons are involved, and how many hands are involved in moving your products? Consider the following little example, then multiply it by the hundreds of products required for your project!
• Lumber is procured from a local supplier.
• The supply company contacts their supplier and places an order.
• The order is delivered by truck to a lumber yard, where it is unpacked by staff.
• The order has been saved and checked in.
• The builder/GC/PM schedules the order’s delivery.
• The order is loaded into a truck and transported to the job site.
PM checks the order upon arrival at the job site and places it aside (because we want orders coming in as early as possible to limit any mistakes or reorders if needed)
During the course of the project, the order is moved dozens of times.
This was a fantastic example without any mistakes, delivery issues, supply concerns, order count issues, reordering issues, etc! We like to remind our customers that there are dozens of humans just like us tracking, shipping, and delivering these dozens of orders, and mistakes happen!
So, now that we’ve put everything out, let’s speak about the one thing that all of these instances have in common: good management! This is a time-consuming, stressful, and sometimes turbulent industry. Things will go wrong, items will arrive damaged, and deadlines will be pushed back; our purpose in presenting this information is to demonstrate why management is so critical. Why, in the long run, the more line item spent on proper management will be a wash compared to the delays, upcharges, and extra time spent redoing things without it.
Yes, construction is a messy operation that is frequently delayed, but such delays should always be communicated swiftly and effectively to ensure a positive client experience! At OCH, we take pride in making this a priority, so that every customer who completes a project with us (delays and all) feels cared for and informed every step of the way.