HOW TO MANAGE CONSTRUCTION SCHEDULES
You’ve hired a general contractor to complete your project for what seems like an enormous amount of money. But many in this position know little or nothing about what goes on at the job site; importantly, how to manage construction schedules. After all, you’re training may be in accounting, or teaching biology, or research, or running a restaurant—any number of other jobs and careers which keep you unexposed to the activities and management of a building site.
As a veteran builder and contractor, I can assure you there are still some things you can do to help the process along. Knowing how to manage construction schedules is a valuable tool in ensuring things run smoothly and efficiently. And finish up true to your vision of what the final project should be. Waiting until the last minute to make decisions and choices, or making a lot of changes once decisions have been passed on to the builder will usually cause delays and will almost always cost money.
As the owner, you can help.
Here’s How To Manage Construction Schedules:
- Ask your contractor for an “owner decision schedule”. This will tell you what decisions you need to make and when they are needed. To keep from becoming overwhelmed, this could be done on a monthly basis.
- Become familiar with terminology of the building trades to help you with decisions and understanding what is being discussed at owner meetings. Have a furniture plan in mind early in the project. You may want to adjust window and door locations, door swings, window sill heights, etc. Lighting fixtures are commonly relocated after the furniture plan is revealed.
- Know what flooring you are going to use. Rough floor heights (particularly concrete slab floors) may need to be adjusted to accommodate your material selection.
- Do you have future plans to add a pool, spa or fire pit? The builder needs this information to properly size the gas lines and meter.
- Do you have special equipment that goes in the garage or hobby room? Some machinery and appliances require 220 amp or dedicated circuits. These have to be installed right after framing is complete.
- You should consider prewiring for everything. It is relatively inexpensive and leaves you many options after the walls are closed up. Common considerations here would be speakers for your audio system, satellite TV, security systems and computer cabling.
- Make your plumbing fixture decisions in time for the plumber to be able to correctly place the water service lines and waste system for your choice of toilets, faucets, shower controls, etc.
- Give yourself enough time to order surface mounted lighting fixtures (sconces and chandeliers for example). Some of these products have really long lead times, so you may have to order them sooner than you thought.
- And don’t forget your neighbors. Keep them apprised of times when there will be especially noisy operations going on or materials that may be in their way until they can be moved to a better spot.
Although not a complete list, these are all considerations that will help the contractor to keep the job running smoothly and on schedule. If you are going to be away for business or vacation, find out if there are things the building team needs from you before you leave. Your best efforts to work as a team with the contractor and his crews will save time and money, which in the end, makes everyone happy!
For more insights on new construction and remodels, especially for the owner ready to take control and save money, to see this major investment play out successfully, is to have a blueprint for success.
My How To book, “Screw It! I’ll Be My OWN Contractor,” is available on Amazon in print and eBook formats.
For a small investment in this highly readable, comprehensive guide on DIY project management, “Screw It!” answers all your questions, from hiring the right architect to securing permits and more. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me using the form on the Contact page in this site. YOU can do this!