Keep Costs Down with a Good Construction Project Schedule

Keep Costs Down with a Good Construction Project Schedule

Scope, schedule, and cost. This is the trifecta of every construction project.

Every developer wants to work with a construction company that they can trust to complete their project quickly, efficiently, and for the lowest possible cost. All while maintaining the highest standards of quality and craftsmanship.

In order to achieve your construction project goals, the field crews and team leader you’re working with must know what you want them to accomplish and when it needs to be complete. With these details provided in your scope of work, your construction contractor can get to work on developing a winning strategy—starting with a construction project schedule that shows how they plan to hit your building targets.

Elements of a Construction Project Schedule

Without a well-planned project schedule, your contractor is likely to miss things, make mistakes, and fall victim to scope creep. Any and all of these can be very costly.

When you receive the project schedule from your contractor, you’ll want to be sure it’s a very clear and very detailed outline that includes the following:

List of activities. Sounds obvious, but the schedule must include all the activities required to complete the project. Each item should have a specific timeframe associated with it, and a list of all the steps and considerations involved with each activity. So, where you might see “drywall,” that section should specifically mention the activities and time to complete this element of the project. Framing, mechanical, electrical, insulation, etc., need to be accounted for in the construction project schedule.

Ordering materials. Consider all the materials that may require long lead times, and keep this top of mind when reviewing your project schedule. A good example here would be any “custom” materials like windows, fixtures, cabinets, and so on. Good contractors will get all team members on the same page early after reviewing the drawings and give you a project schedule with input from every key player. This ensures the schedule accurately reflects all items to be ordered, and when, so the project comes in on time and within budget.

Delivery of materials. If things don’t arrive on time, it impacts not only the direct activity associated with the materials, but all subsequent activities. Your contractor should include contingency plans in the construction project schedule that carefully consider these situations.

Scheduling activities. If the project plan doesn’t accurately allot the times when each activity should be completed, it can eventually cost you more money. The project simply can’t commence until all interrelated activities are listed in the build schedule with corresponding dates and times for completion. Your construction company needs to prep and pour the foundation… before framing… before roughing in the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC… and so on down the line. If each milestone isn’t scheduled correctly, the indirect and unforeseen costs will add up in a hurry.



The Effects of Having No (or an Incomplete) Project Schedule

Construction project scheduling can be among the biggest challenges involved with a project, which makes it ever-so critical in your vetting process. Good contractors focus on reducing costs by accelerating the project schedule where possible, managing expectations early, and building in time and costs for potential conflicts at the outset.

Without an accurate and thorough construction project schedule, proposal costs will be too low or too high, and ultimately can’t be relied upon for timely and cost-effective completion of your project.

The Benefits of Lean Construction to Set and Track Your Monthly Schedule

As we’ve established, contractor’s scheduling capabilities, approval cycles, and milestones can make or break the construction project. Many of the most efficient construction companies adhere to a “lean construction” model to ensure the construction project schedule is accurately assembled and strictly adhered to. This goes a long way in eliminating additional and unforeseen costs. Lean construction companies:

  • Develop a 2-4 week “think-ahead” and schedule weekly superintendent/project manager meetings to detail their plans for the next month’s activities.
  • Write out and place tasks in logical sequence for reference at all jobsites. These detailed views of each project give all involved parties visibility into long lead items, approvals required, permits, inspections—essentially anything and everything with the construction project schedule that can affect costs.
  • Update the official project schedule every two weeks so that all changes and adjustments can be monitored, and everyone can remain focused on hitting each activity milestone.

With an experienced construction contractor like Brester Construction, you can rest a little easier knowing that the entire project coordination—from project scheduling to pre-construction to onsite management—will be efficient and cost-effective.

The more detailed (and lean) your construction project schedule and process is, the more likely it is that issues will be anticipated and mitigated, and the project will be completed on time and on budget.

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