Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance
The Five “P’s”
It’s true; we reap what we sow.
It’s no accident when a construction project is built on time and within budget; without sacrificing quality workmanship or materials.
From the outset, construction estimating is the backbone for establishing a solid foundation for any project. It all starts there.
We’ve all heard about the project from hell?
To avoid this scenario and improve your chances of success, it’s best to follow this principle:
KISS = Keep it Simple Stupid
- Take the time necessary to design a project within your budget.
- Depending upon the project size, develop cost estimates at various stages of design to ensure the budget is realistic or design changes can be made early on. It is far better, and less expensive, to work out all the kinks in the design stage rather than once construction begins.Remember contractors love change orders.
- Solicit reputable contractors to submit proposals broken down by areas of work or divisions and thoroughly review their proposals against your estimate for cost verification. Every proposal should be submitted with details. All proposals must be submitted on an apples for apples basis to establish fairness of proposals.
- When going over bids, remember that the lowest bid is not always the best. Examine bids carefully to determine which contractor provides the best service, selects the highest quality materials for your project, is most experienced, and seems most capable of completing the project to meet your expectations, in the best timeline possible
- Enter into a contract that is clear with all project criteria included; specifications, project drawings, materials, time lines, payment schedules, required inspections, project close-out procedures, etc.
- Establish payment milestones that fairly represent work in place. Be aware for contractor front-loading costs that inflate actual work in place. REMEMBER – You have invested in that Construction Estimate for exactly this purpose. It will pay for itself over and over again.
- Progress meetings are the key to avoiding unnecessary project problems and regular communication is imperative. Remember, project success is a two-way street.
- If a problem does arise and a disagreement develops between you and your contractor, stay calm so that tempers do not flare. Set a time for you and your contractor to get together, and go over the problem. Listen to your contractor’s side of things, and request they do the same for you. Don’t bury your head in the sand until the problem gets out of hand.
- As the project approaches completion, ensure punch lists are developed and completed, officials have signed-off and all closeout documentation has been received and submitted to the necessary agencies.
Investing in a detailed pre-construction estimate provides extreme value and will be used for checks and balances throughout the project.
There is never any guarantee that a construction project will run smoothly, however following these tips should help you toward that success.