Are you about to start a construction project but feel overwhelmed? It is normal to feel this way about anything you have not done before; however, planning the project out will make it much easier!
By understanding how to tackle the project, making an effective plan, and avoiding common mistakes, you will be well on your way to a successful construction project!
Start by breaking up your project into phases, then attack each stage individually. Here are the main steps of any construction project.
Conception. This is where you come up with an idea, and all parties involved in the project agree with the concept and get ready to move forward.
Planning. Planning is a crucial stage. The more well-thought-out your plan is, the more smoothly the project will run. You can start with a pen-and-paper plan, but many people use computer programs specifically designed for construction planning.
Implementation. Once you have planned out all the steps, it is time to bring your plans to the real world. This will take up a significant amount of all the time the project is allotted.
Control/Order. During the process, especially the actual construction, you will need to focus on staying on plan. This includes not deviating from the original plan or understanding how that will change the project. Managing time, resources, budget, and personnel will also be part of order and control.
Close Out. Closing out a project is the final step. This will include any paperwork that needs to be completed and filed, budget issues, and finalizing the finished project.
What to Know Before Starting a Construction Project?
When you are preparing for a new construction project, it is vital that you focus on creating a solid and accurate timeline. Being precise in your timeline is everything in construction, as extra days could mean going over budget. Construction crews that are over budget can have negative impacts on everyone involved. One of the most significant issues with this, going over budget can severely cut into your bottom line. No one wants that!
When you are about to start a construction project, the first thing you should do is come up with a detailed business plan. This business plan will cover many different factors and details. These details will help you determine exactly what is needed to complete this construction project successfully. Examples of items in your business plan include:
A Site Analysis
An Analysis of local laws, codes, and incentives
Analysis of the overall project, which will allow you to fully understand the scope of this specific construction project.
Once you have a good business plan, you can use all the information to create an accurate budget. This will assist you in knowing how much the entire project will cost in money, hours, and resources.
Now you can move on to creating your timeline. As you can see, your timeline can be way off without accurate information. In construction, just like in most businesses, time is money. The more accurate your timeline is, the more money you can make. Take your time gathering all the information you need to make this timeline, as mistakes here can be costly.
Break down your timeline into smaller chunks of time or phases. For instance, your timeline could be separated into different project parts and how long each part may take. Examples could include design, design approval, drywall, electrical and finishing touches. You may want to include a little extra time as padding to make sure you finish on time. When you are done, you should have an exact amount of time that a construction project will take from start to finish.
How to Effectively Plan a Construction Project
When you are about to start a construction project, it is essential to allow proper planning time. Many construction projects have failed due to this crucial step being missed. Do not let this happen to you!
Proper planning is really the key to success in life. So how do you properly plan out a construction project? Many common steps could be taken during this process.
There are various steps you can take in a construction project. We already discussed our top 5 phases in the introduction. Here is a reminder of what they are:
- Close Out
Let’s Go over those steps in more detail now.
Conception: In construction, the conception phase will include coming up with the overall plan, considering alternative plans, and having your final plan peer-reviewed to ensure a quality design and efficient concept. Every part of planning the project is essential, but without a good concept, you are doomed before you begin.
Planning: The meat and potatoes of this process is planning out all the details. You understand the concept and have the blueprints drawn up. You need to create a plan to ensure you meet your goals. This will include abiding by all laws and codes, assembling the right team, taking care of any necessary funding, following site requirements, and setting an accurate timeline.
Implementation: Once the planning process is over, you will be onto the actual construction. This is where you will put your plan into action. Refer to your plan during the entire process and ensure communication between all parties. Check in on the site often if you are not there daily.
Control/Order: This part of the plan is to ensure the plan is followed, that you are on time throughout the phases of construction, and that you do not go over budget.
Close Out: The final part of the plan will be how you handle close out. Once construction is completed, the project is not over. You will still need to close it out properly, ensure everything is completed to the original specification, collect the final project documents, and present everything in a package or packet for the client to review.
What Are The Key Stages of Construction Projects?
Understanding the key phases of a construction project is important. Above general comprehension, one of the most critical aspects of these phases is that each step is important and can not be skipped. When you start a construction project, ensuring your timeline allows for adequate attention and detail for each stage of the process is imperative.
Here are the five critical stages of the project and the types of tasks you will complete in each phase.
The Initiation Phase: During this phase, you will come up with the bones of the project and fill them in. This phase includes developing a concept, designing the overall project, and analyzing the finished design to ensure you have addressed any possible issues.
The Pre-Construction Phase: Before breaking ground on any project, you must get your personnel in order. This includes interviewing and securing the right people for this project, including a foreman, a health and safety manager, a project manager, and the construction crew or team which will be used.
The Procurement Phase: During the middle phase, you will need to secure the capital, tools, and services required for the project.
The Construction Phase: This is the phase most people think of, where the building and construction of a project occur. It is obviously crucial; however, without the previous well-executed stages, you could face design, personal, and time management problems.
The Close Out Phase: The final phase of this project is closing it up. There could be clean-up and breakdown of the site activities, paperwork, inspections, legal matters, and final paperwork to be completed here.
Mistakes to Avoid During Your Construction Project
Everyone makes mistakes; this is a part of life, inside and outside of business. However, when running a business, you must understand common errors in your field and how to avoid them. The more precise you are on potential errors, the less likely they will happen to you or your project.
Before you start a construction project, you should refer to the following list of 8 mistakes. Learn the most common problems a construction project faces and how to avoid them!
- The Budget. The budget you have in mind should be crystal clear; you need to understand exactly what the project is going to cost, not a ballpark number.
- The Unexpected. A good plan covers what would happen in a perfect project, what issues may come up along the way, and how to deal with them if a situation arises.
- Personnel. Although it is essential to have the right people for the project, securing people too early and not getting the project could negatively impact your reputation.
- The Details. Many individuals claim to be a big-picture person. That’s great, but do not miss the details because you are staring at the big picture. Details are what can make or break your project.
- Terms and Conditions. Contracts and all paperwork written in legalese can be so dull and tedious. However, it is imperative to read the terms that must be met to fulfill the contract.
- Record Keeping. Recordkeeping and proper project documentation are crucial to finishing the project, avoiding mistakes, and handing in the final packet. Do not put off paperwork, do it immediately and keep good records.
- Communication. Communication is key in almost every business and interaction in life. Make sure you have a plan on how to communicate with all workers as well as the client.
- Paying Employees and Subcontractors. This is your business, and it is important to you. Make sure it is successful. If you fall behind on payments, you may get a negative reputation which will be challenging to repair.
Managing Quality Assurance in Construction Projects
When you are about to start a construction project, you should consider all the moving pieces that you will have to deal with along the way. Some of the challenges you will need to consider include local, state, and national laws, regulations, and codes that need to be understood and followed. You will need to be familiar with construction quality management and quality control.
Quality assurance and control in construction ensure the materials and staff being used are of the highest quality. This will allow you to have faith in the project’s end result. This is important to create a quality product, but not following regulations and quality control can create an unsafe working environment and a dangerous final construction.
Your project should follow high standards and procedures. Having rules, regulations, and a standard operating procedure will allow everyone to understand what is expected of them, ensuring the best possible result.
Besides following the laws and regulations, you should also conduct risk assessments often. This will allow you to monitor the project closely, ensuring you are using the best materials and that the personnel you have hired or contracted are working to your standards.
Finally, laws and regulations are in place to encourage a high level of safety in construction. This is very important because construction can be a hazardous field to work in. This is why quality assurance, quality control, and understanding the laws and regulations are so important. Take the time to familiarize yourself with any regulatory standards that relate to the area you will be working in.
Exploring the Diverse Importance of Construction Projects
Before individuals get ready to start a construction project, they may ask themselves why engage in construction projects? There are many ways that new construction can benefit the local, state, and national markets.
Constructions continue to be an import job market sector, contributing to economic growth. This sector is both investment-led and has great interest from local, state, and national governments. The government often contracts construction companies to assist with major projects, including new infrastructure and upgraded travel, health, and education infrastructure.
Construction jobs provide many families with jobs that help keep food on the table and roofs over their heads. This market will always require skilled workers, which allows the people working within it to know they will always have marketable skills. Besides helping individual families, this sector invests money in the local economy.
Although this sector still has a ways to go, construction is becoming a more diverse workforce than ever before. One way that many companies are raising the diversity level within is to have diversity and inclusion initiatives. One of the reasons that diversity is so important across all sectors, including construction, is that a diverse workforce can lead to innovation.
People from different backgrounds and educational backgrounds look at the world differently. All people look at the world, their job, and their everyday lives through personal experiences. The more diverse a workforce is, the more likely people will have a wide range of work and life experiences. You can also see this when comparing people that come from different generations.
More diversity within a company will translate to new and fresh ideas that may have never been considered before. Diversity is also important because even though the need for construction workers is high, the number of skilled workers in the market is lower than the demand for them. The more you diversify, the more workers you will have.
When you are about to start a construction project, breaking it down into several phases is the key to success. Create a concept, develop a plan, implement it, follow up throughout the project and close it out, including completing all necessary paperwork.
For each one of the key phases, you can take the time to break them down even further to make them more manageable for you. This will remove any extra stress or anxiety about the project and allow you to feel less overwhelmed.
Think about the possibility of mistakes and errors before you begin. Understand the most common mistakes and how to avoid them. Besides having a greater understanding of what can go wrong, help ensure that it does not by having several quality assurance checks throughout the project.
Do not forget to understand the importance of following laws and regulations and having high standards. This will allow you to create a successful project within the timeline and avoid any possible penalties.
Finally, consider how diversification can positively impact your company. Even after decades of experience, there is always more to learn. One of the best ways to learn more about your field or get fresh insights and ideas is to surround yourself with people from different backgrounds and generations.