From the biggest building to the smallest renovation, construction jobs almost always have too much to do and not enough time or money to do it. But then you can say as much about life in general.
Still, while the need for more money is constant, you could save a lot of it on a big job with just a few minor changes. For instance, a two percent efficiency boost on a $2 million project is worth a good $40,000. So always keep project efficiency in mind and remember these tips when the job begins.
- Spend an Ounce on Prevention
If you don’t, you’ll be spending a pound on the cure. What this old expression means is that the cheapest way to handle any accident or disease is to make sure it never happens at all. But while your construction company can’t avoid costly mistakes with a simple vaccine, you can make sure you don’t skip any quality assurance steps and keep the client in the loop. Workplace safety is also important, both because you don’t want anyone going home with permanent injuries and because workers’ comp for construction jobs is expensive enough without any accidents on your record.
- Balance In-House Skills With Temporary Specialists
Sometimes you’ll get a construction job that demands a very specific skill set, like being able to drive a fully loaded truck down a narrow and winding country road. Other times construction technology will change, and you won’t have anyone on hand who knows how to operate a surveying drone or set up a “smart” concrete foundation. Hiring a contractor who can handle the problem works as a short-term solution, but it costs more to keep bringing contractors back. It’s more efficient to train a full-time employee who can spare some time for a special task.
You also have to consider how this applies to construction equipment. Buying everything you need is cheaper in the long run, but only if you use that equipment constantly. A construction vehicle you only use on half your jobs for a few days each just takes up space on your lot and your maintenance schedule (and you can’t retrain a cherry picker like you can a person). So for rarely used equipment, it’s often cheaper to rent things like boom lifts, air compressors, or trenchers.
- Spend Time Finding Lower Bids
Time is money, but that also means money is time. So while it’s important to keep things moving, so you don’t waste your budget on overtime wages and penalties, you should never skip the step of searching for the best compromise of cost and quality. If you do, you’ll waste your money and (even worse) never know how much money you could have saved by spending time instead.
Whether hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars are the line, running a construction job more efficiently can save incredible amounts of money. You can save it or spend it on other priorities, but the point is that you wouldn’t have that money in the first place if you were inefficient.