Construction Project Management Tips

A really good project manager can manage most if not all construction projects fairly easily. That being said sometimes even the best project manager may need to be reminded about the best practices for running projects smoothly every now and then. In this article we take a look at 4 very important keystones for a construction related project manager.

Planning for success

This point sounds very obvious but the fact is that the majority of construction projects fail because their project manager had no clear plan to complete the job. In order to be successful you need to take four very important steps:

  • Outline a clear goal
  • Make a list of all the milestones you need to meet to reach your goal
  • Publish a clear schedule
  • Make a daily list of things to do and mark the completed stuff off

The Pareto Principle

Also known as the 80/20 rule, the Pareto Principle is one of the most important keystones. The principle talks about 20% of the work required to yield an 80% result. In order to achieve this, project managers need to know exactly what core milestone needs to be completed to complete 80% of the job.

Have meaningful meetings

Construction project managers need to have meaningful meetings to provide valuable information which is instrumental in pushing the project forward. There is no point of drawn out meetings except that it wastes valuable time and accomplishes very little. The meeting should not feel like work, rather the meeting like the project as a whole needs to work for the team. The aim should be to:

  • Outline a clear agenda for the meeting
  • The setbacks faced should be explained in detail
  • There should be focus on opportunities that a project presents
  • Ancillary groups should be established for debates, external input and technical issues

Always think Big

In order to manage any construction project a successful project manager needs to always look at the big picture. You need to keep each and every milestone in mind but at the same time also the project as a whole. The biggest aspects of this ‘big picture’ focus for any construction project are: to stay out of all the work itself and to avoid micro management.

Conclusion

The team which is hired for a construction project is always chosen for a particular reason. A really good manager is able to take a few steps back and allow the architects to chart out any design details with the client. The architect should be allowed to finalize the design of everything from the external look of the structure to each and every beam. The person in charge of delegating jobs, balancing priorities and efficiently managing time which does not mean that you have to be the best code interpreter or client handler.

5 Tips for Choosing a Contractor for Your Construction Project

With the economic outlook so bleak these days, how is Los Angeles construction doing? Well in looking at the numbers we are doing pretty well against last year. And this year it is only going to get better with leading indicators giving us hope for a better future. Looking for a contractor is not any easier though.

Every day you hear of some contractor scamming someone out of money. How can you avoid this? There are many things that you can do as a prospective client to protect yourself from a bad deal. Here are 3 tips to get you past through that process:

1. Get references. Ask your friends and co-workers. Los Angeles construction is varied and sometimes specialized so don’t just rely on one person, ask a lot and look for reviews of the contractor. The more feedback you get the better your decision will be and the happier you will be. DO YOUR RESEARCH. You are going to be spending a lot of money so spend the time and check them out. Go online, call the better business bureau, and the Builders association.

2. Design. Try not to start with an architect as they draw pretty pictures, but they have little regard for the bottom line. If you do start with an architect involve the contractor along the way. If you can find a contractor with “in-house” designers and architects, as they will have a better grasp on the budget components of the job.

3. Building Site. Another thing to consider in Los Angeles construction is our topography. With the varying terrain in the LA area it is imperative that you consider your surroundings. Ask the questions that need to be asked about the costs and process of building on your specific site. What experience does this contractor with hillside construction if its on a hill?

4. Ask questions. Can I talk to some of your past clients? Can I see some of your work? Can I see pictures of similar work to my project you have done? The answer to these questions could save you years of grief if you do the work of checking them out.

5. Multiple bids. You should get 3 bids to make any kind of rational decision unless the contractor comes from a very reputable referral. You are not obligated to anyone, don’t be pressured by a sales person, friendship, or any other emotion. Your goal here is to get the best value for your dollar. Does that mean that you are going to take the lowest bid? Not always, there are a lot of factors in play and you need to look carefully and the bids. One contractor will include things that another will not. Be careful of things not included, they can add up to be staggering amounts of money and heartache.

A good reputable builder will sit down with you, go through the construction process, timelines, and budgets, and answer all the questions you have. If, they don’t make you feel completely comfortable that they have total control of what is going to happen, MOVE ON.

The most important thing to remember about Los Angeles Construction, is that is can be specialized and know the ins and outs of the area and its challenges is important.

Things to Ask at the Time of Selecting a Contractor for Your Project

Hiring a commercial general contractor is not an easy task. There are a lot of things involved. At the time of selecting a contractor, you must take care of a few important things. A right selection can bring your success easily.

First of all, you need to be sure about your budget, required time frame and probable cost of the project. Depending on all these, you can decide a commercial general contractor to do the job on behalf of you. He will supervise the whole matter.

You should choose one that you can afford easily. You need not go to select one who is beyond your budget.

Budget: You must be sure about the maximum amount that you can spend for it. If it is a bidding project, an accurate calculation is intensely needed.

Lowest Bid: You should not be the lowest bidder. If you try to become the lowest bidder, you may make a loss. Sometimes, you may need to compromise with the quality that can increase the chance of losing your reputation.

Cost: Your project cost should not be more than your capacity. You have to calculate your budget and affordability at every step. More expense increases the chance of project incompletion.

Duration: You must set your plan and goal perfectly so that you can meet them exactly. You should try your level best to complete the project righteously before time or on time.

At the time of selecting a commercial general contractor, you should weigh and consider a few important things to make your project highly successful.

Given below are the tips:

Experience: This is the most important thing to consider. To choose a right contractor, you should know his experience. He must be professional and experienced in handling commercial projects like institutional buildings, IT parks, and big commercial constructions. Furthermore, he must keep himself updated with the latest construction styles.

Expertise: Your contractor must be an expert in planning, organizing, staffing, controlling, and completing your project perfectly. He must be capable of meeting your need within your budget. The estimated cost should not exceed the real cost. He must have the capability to calculate it perfectly.

Area of specialization

You should choose one who specializes in commercial construction. Make sure whether he is capable of meeting your need righteously. If the contractor has a website, you can visit it to have a look at the services and his areas of specialization and you can get all the benefits of selecting a commercial construction contractor.

Commercial Construction Tips – Is the Project Feasible?

Getting a construction project off the ground can be very tricky, as there is a lot that needs to be considered before you even lay the first brick. Making sure that the project is actually feasible in the first place is extremely important, and it should be the first thing that you do when you decide to start work.

So just how can you determine whether the project is actually feasible? Here are just a few tips to get you started.

Speak to an Accountant

Budget is always going to be one of the most important aspects of any construction project, as running out of money at a critical juncture could prove to be a fatal blow for what you have in mind.

When you have an idea of what you want to build and you have some plans drawn up you should talk to a qualified accountant who can help you set out a budget and determine what needs to be spent and where. It is at this point that you will be able to determine if the work is financially viable and if you can deliver it within your budget.

Speak to a Solicitor

There are numerous legalities that are involved in practically any type of building work, so it is important to make sure that you have all of them squared away before you begin working on the project.

Speak to a solicitor who specialises in property development and find out what permissions you need to get and which red tape you need to cut to get the project off the ground. Failure to do so could lead to you doing something illegal, which is grounds for having the entire project shut down.

Speak to an Architect

While you may be able to create your original plans without too much hassle, to really know what is going to have to be put into the project you are going to have to speak to an architect and get their expert opinion.

They will be able to tell you if what you have in mind is even physically possible and will also be able to suggest changes to the original plans to account for any issues that they see.

This is a massively important step, as you need somebody who is qualified in the field to not only sign off on the project and ensure it is feasible, but also to help you in the overall design.

Speak to Your Crew

The final step in determining if your project is feasible is talking to your building crew. You need to know that everybody that you have working for you is able to do the jobs that you need them to do.

If they can’t, you will need to have enough money in the budget to hire somebody who can. Having the right crew is tantamount to the project’s success, so skipping this step or simply assuming that everything you have planned is a risky move at best and tantamount to construction suicide at worst.