Five Keys to Completing Construction Projects on Time as a Small-scale Contractor

In the years since the global recession, the construction industry has rebounded and continued to grow, and that trend is set to continue for 2020 and beyond. But if you’re starting and operating as a contractor on a small scale, it can be challenging to strike a balance between quantity and quality of work.

Having more project bids accepted means more money for your business. Still, if you struggle to complete each job within the schedule, and according to the client’s specifications, it can harm your reputation in the long term. Here are five ways to improve and complete your work on time.

Invest in the right equipment

As a contractor, you’re probably not inclined to overspend on major equipment purchases. However, carefully investing in the right equipment, and gradually expanding your fleet, can let your team tackle more work in a shorter amount of time.

For instance, if a client wants to have specific landscape features such as a pond installed at a cramped construction site, you can get the job done on time with just a Volvo backhoe loader. Having this sort of capability can also determine the success of your bids for new projects.

Subcontract responsibly

You’ll often be involved in projects where the restrictions of time and budget play a decisive factor. In such situations, your crew and resources may be pushed to their limits. As a result, you may need to subcontract specific jobs to ensure the project’s completion. Keep in mind, though, that the performance of subcontractors reflects on you. Vet their previous work, credentials, and capabilities to make sure that you bring responsible and professional people on board.

Source materials for time

When it comes to sourcing your materials for construction, the cost is usually the biggest consideration for most projects. But when you’re working on a project in an unfamiliar location or looking for a new supplier, paying careful attention to the supply chain can avoid slow lead times due to delays in the procurement of various materials. Going for the least expensive materials supplier may not always end up being the most cost-effective option.

Manage your workload

Every contractor goes about organizing their business differently. What matters is that you can accurately track and manage your workload. If projects are getting delayed and constantly overlapping, evaluate if your current system is still working for you. Construction management software can help you to stay efficient as you take on more complex projects involving collaboration, keep tabs on your different projects, and archive relevant documents.

Be prepared for changes

Work long enough in the construction business, and you’re bound to run into unexpected issues and changes beyond your control. Project managers might have made oversights in the planning stage, such as failing to secure necessary permits. Communication breakdowns can happen while you’re on site. Clients may come up with new requests on the fly. Always prepare for these situations so that you can document and accommodate changes, justify any resulting delays, and avoid or resolve claims which may arise.

Taking on as much work as possible when you’re getting started in the construction business is necessary to establish cash flow and build your business portfolio. Remember to work within your constraints and don’t bite off more than you can chew so that each project still gets completed in a timely and satisfactory manner.

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