April 13, 2017

How to Build Buildings Faster

As a general contractor, one of your biggest concerns is finishing a project within the allotted deadline. Unfortunately, you've learned many times over that this doesn't always work out, especially with cost overruns or unexpected delays.

To make matters worse, firms like yours may also receive inaccurate schedules for move-in dates, contract completion dates, or when final inspections will take place.

These are all maddening, and it's especially rough when you're working with building materials that aren't easy to install while facing labor shortages. It could lead to major disputes with your customers about why you ended up going over budget and past completion dates. The last thing you want is to deal with litigation over what happened and explain why the construction was not completed on time.

Even if you ultimately come out of this unscathed, your reputation could suffer greatly, which doesn't bode well for continued business.

And, on top of that, with the growing popularity of design build, you are not only expected to complete the building on time but to complete it faster or risk losing future projects.

Thankfully, there are some practical steps you can take and construction materials you can use to complete building projects more quickly.

Get Clear Completion Dates

Before signing a construction contract, make sure you get the budget and completion date in writing. You should do this months in advance so it gives you plenty of time to prepare and get all the right construction materials.

Once you have this in writing, you won't have to deal with arguments about what's written on specific timetables. When you rely on verbal agreements, someone usually ends up forgetting or misremembering the dates later on.

What's even more critical is to post deadlines on your project schedule so everyone can see the targeted completion dates. Each construction project should have a start and end date to make sure everyone knows what to do and when.

These should be common practices but it’s always tempting to revert to the simple verbal agreement.  When you are overworked and understaffed, it’s easy to underestimate the importance of this step. At the time, you might think you are being more efficient, but in the end, you can easily add time and expense to a project.

Gather Your Resources in Advance

You don't want to start searching for the right building materials at the eleventh hour. If you wait too long, you might encounter some snags and have to compromise. Using the wrong materials for the job could jeopardize your ability to finish certain construction phases by the targeted completion time.

Here are three recommendations to make sure this doesn’t happen to you:

  1. Don’t assume that your local dealer or distributor will have the materials you need on the day you need them. Plan ahead for product lead times.
  2. Have a backup source of supply.
  3. Pay extra attention when new or rarely used products have been specified.  You want to know where they are coming from and  how long the products will take to arrive.  When dealing with manufacturers in other countries—who speak other languages, follow other construction practices and use different measurements—you need to pay extra attention to all of these details.

To make faster decisions in your construction projects, gather all your resources months in advance. Having all your materials sourced early means you'll make smarter decisions later and you won’t have to worry about your materials when you face sudden construction challenges.

Reduce Obstacles Before a Construction Workday

It pays to take care of low-priority tasks before an actual construction workday commences. This means answering emails, setting up presentations and putting together construction estimates.

Getting these things out of the way lets everyone focus on the construction and won’t create unnecessary chaos during normal working hours. You'll also carve out more time to stay on-site during construction to supervise what's taking place. The more time you spend supervising in person, the more productive and efficient the job site will be.

Find Products That Are Easier and Faster to Install

Most contractors stick with tried and true products and just accept whatever limitations they have.  But there are a number of innovations disrupting the construction industry.  One growing threat to traditional building techniques is the growth of panelized and modular construction. Owners understand the time value of money and they want to occupy buildings as soon as they can.

You can only reduce construction time by a small amount if you’re using traditional solutions, such as wood or metal framing or concrete.  Newer solutions, on the other hand, can reduce this time by 50% or more.   

With these needs in mind, there has been a product created that is easier and faster to install correctly the first time, even with less experienced labor. The innovative Bautex™ Wall System is an insulated concrete block wall system that speeds up construction times exponentially. It replaces traditional wood, metal or concrete when designing and constructing walls.

It's also simpler to install than traditional materials, in part because it's so lightweight and stays in place. And because it provides both the structure and continuous insulation in one product, it’s faster to install while meeting new energy codes.  Builders using the Bautex Wall System no longer have to add extra days and extra trades to insulate walls.

Building owners will also appreciate the increased durability, energy efficiency, fire protection and storm safety.

It’s also a great choice for those who want green materials. The Bautex Block is made with recycled materials and is manufactured regionally in Texas. 

Visit the Bautex website and find out how the Bautex Wall System can speed up construction for you while giving your owners more than they were expecting.