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Is it still possible to bring construction projects in on time and budget in today’s environment?

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June 17, 2024

Supply chain issues continue to have a significant impact on the construction industry.

In today’s environment, projects are commonly affected by material delays, higher costs for materials and labor shortages.

Despite all this, according to the Dodge forecast, total construction starts are expected to rise during 2024.

An additional piece of good news is that “yes,” it is still possible to bring construction projects in on time and budget.

If you’re thinking of tackling a new commercial building or remodeling project, here are some things to consider to help you achieve a successful outcome.

An integrated approach

The first, and perhaps the most important, factor to consider when aiming for a successful outcome is to ensure your project manager uses an integrated approach involving all parties – such as architects, designers and builders – from the outset.

This matters because each party brings their expertise and unique perspective to bear in the early planning stages, and together, they can identify challenges and propose suitable alternatives before they turn into real-time construction delays.

With an integrated approach, communication is key.

For demonstration sake, imagine a contractor participating in the design phase of a project.

A designer proposes a particular material based on past use, and the contractor is aware of major delays in obtaining this particular material.

The two can work to find a suitable alternative that will meet the client’s needs and keep the project on track.

Other factors to consider

  • Flexibility remains key to staying on time and budget. Designs may need to change to incorporate materials and systems that are available when you need them.
  • Communicate early and often. Involving subcontractors and suppliers early in the process can help alleviate labor challenges by getting your project on their calendar and prevent material delays by remaining aware of changes in supply.
  • As the price of materials fluctuates with demand and availability, adjustments may need to be made during your project to keep your budget in check.
  • Ask questions along the way, as this can help you protect your project and budget. Questions about the availability of materials and any changes in the supply chain or construction schedule can help keep you abreast of potential impacts on your project.
  • Be realistic about changes. As construction gets underway, it’s common to want to make changes based on what you see. But every change is generally an added cost, as well as a potential delay in the schedule. Ask what that cost and the schedule impact will be to evaluate it before you have them proceed.
  • Keep in mind challenges will occur along the way. Handling them quickly and efficiently will keep you on track.
  • Choose partners for your project who have a proven track record. Talk to a firm’s prior clients to gauge their level of satisfaction as well as the firm’s ability to deliver on time and budget.

Despite the current challenges in today’s construction environment, with the right approach, it’s still a great time to start your next expansion, remodeling or facility project – and it’s still possible to bring your project in on time and budget.

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