house under construction
ECO gardener

Finishing construction, landscaping or gardening projects on time and within budget is critical for several reasons. Meeting deadlines shows clients and stakeholders that you are reliable and accountable. It also demonstrates strong project management skills. When projects run late, change orders, overtime wages, and extended rental fees increase costs. Exceeding the budget erodes profits and hurts the bottom line. Even worse, delays can result in liquidated damages if contractually obligated completion dates are missed.

Staying on schedule and within budget requires careful planning, experienced contractors, and vigilant oversight. While no construction project goes exactly according to plan, you can greatly improve the odds of success through preparation and active management. This guide covers key strategies for ensuring your construction project is completed on time, including selecting the right excavation company Toronto that aligns with your project needs and budget constraints.

How To Complete a Construction Project Done

top view of a house that are under construction

Ensuring a construction project is completed on time, particularly when it involves landscaping or gardening, requires careful planning, efficient management, and execution. In fact, garden excavation and structural work can be a significant undertaking, but with proper planning and execution, it can transform your outdoor space.

Here are some comprehensive steps to help ensure your project stays on schedule:

Plan Thoroughly

A well-planned construction project is key to finishing on time. Rushing into a project without proper planning will likely lead to delays and headaches. Allow plenty of time for the planning and design stages – this is not something you want to rush. Work closely with your architect and contractors during the planning phase to identify potential issues or risks early on.

Carefully think through the project scope and goals. Are you trying to cram too much into one project? Consider scaling back if needed to keep the project timeline realistic. Evaluate your budget and make sure it aligns with the project scope. Underestimating costs is one of the biggest reasons construction projects go over schedule. Build in contingencies for unexpected expenses.

Also, factor in time for securing permits, approvals, and inspections. These can take longer than expected, so plan accordingly. Taking the time upfront for thorough planning and design will pay off with a smooth, on-time project. Rushing into construction too quickly often backfires.

Hire Experienced Contractors

Architect Plan Construction

Hiring experienced, reliable contractors is crucial for completing a construction project on time. Take the time to thoroughly vet potential contractors before hiring them. Review examples of their past work and contact references for feedback on their performance. Look for contractors who have completed projects similar to yours. Only hire the lowest bidder if they have proven experience. An inexperienced contractor often costs more in the long run through delays and poor work quality.

Experienced contractors should have the skills, workforce, and resources to stay on schedule. Ask about their capacity to take on your project and what systems they use for scheduling subcontractors. Make sure they understand the full scope of your project and timeline. Communication skills are also key – contractors must update you on progress and issues. Taking the time upfront to find qualified, seasoned contractors will pay off in a smoother, quicker project.

Create a Realistic Schedule

A realistic schedule is crucial for finishing a construction project on time. When creating the schedule, build in buffer time for unexpected delays. Things rarely go according to plan on a construction site, so having wiggle room is essential.

Aim to make the schedule aggressive yet achievable. If the timeline is too tight, delays are inevitable. If it’s relaxed, you may gain momentum. Strike the right balance based on your team’s capacity and the project’s complexity.

As you build the schedule, get input from all parties involved, including the owner, architects, engineers, contractors, and subcontractors. Have them review time estimates for their portions of work. Their expertise will help identify the most efficient sequencing.

Factor in time for permitting, inspections, materials delivery, weather delays, and other potential slowdowns. Also, extra time should be budgeted for identified risk areas in the project. It’s better to end up ahead of schedule than perpetually behind it.

Updating the schedule periodically is also key. Adjust to keep it realistic as delays occur or the timeline shifts. Maintain enough slack so minor issues don’t throw the entire project off track. With a well-planned schedule and room for contingencies, you’ll be poised to complete construction on time.

Manage Permits and Approvals

Construction projects require permits and approvals from local authorities before work begins. Submitting all permit applications as early as possible in the planning process is crucial. Depending on the jurisdiction, permits can take weeks or even months to review and approve.

Submit permit applications for building, electrical, plumbing, fire protection, and any other required permits at least 2-3 months before the planned start of construction. Follow up frequently with the permitting office to check the status of applications and provide any additional documentation requested. Stay in close communication throughout the review process.

If permits get delayed, the full construction schedule can be pushed back. You want to save time from contractors waiting around to start work. Build in a buffer room when estimating start dates in your schedule. However, diligently pursuing permits from the outset will help prevent major delays.

With early submission of permit applications and persistent follow-up, you can ensure permits are secured in time for construction to begin on schedule. Proactively managing permits is key to keeping your project on track.

Secure Materials Early

Reinforcing barse

Construction projects often get delayed, when necessary, materials and equipment are unavailable on time. Many key construction materials, such as steel, elevators, HVAC systems, and specialized equipment, can have long lead times. It’s critical to identify any long-lead items early in the planning process and order them as soon as possible.

When the design plans are close to final, generate a complete list of all materials, equipment, and supplies needed for the project. For each item, determine the lead time and immediately place orders for the long-lead items. Be sure to account for the additional time needed for shipping and delivery. Ordering early provides a buffer if the manufacturer encounters delays or materials are damaged in transit.

Coordinate with all subcontractors to understand their material needs and timelines. Make sure they are aware of any long-lead items they’ll need to install and that they order them on time. Monitor material orders closely to ensure they remain on schedule and follow up frequently with suppliers for status updates.

Securing materials early in the process reduces the risk of delays and keeps the project on track for on-time completion. Having all necessary materials on site when needed allows each construction phase to proceed efficiently.

Monitor Progress Closely

Monitoring progress closely is critical for ensuring your construction project stays on schedule. Identifying potential delays early requires frequent progress reports from contractors.

  • Hold regular meetings with contractors to review the project schedule and address any issues. Require contractors to provide weekly or bi-weekly written progress reports detailing activities completed and any challenges encountered.
  • Perform site inspections and walkthroughs frequently, at least weekly. Visually verify that work is progressing according to schedule. Document any discrepancies between on-site progress and the project schedule.
  • Review contractor invoices and payment applications carefully. Only approve payments for completed work. Watch for contractors billing for unfinished work, which can indicate they need to catch up on schedule.
  • If needed, enlist a third-party owner’s representative or clerk of the works to monitor daily progress. They can provide unbiased reports and help identify problems.
  • Track materials orders and deliveries to ensure timely delivery due to missing materials or equipment. Make sure submittals are approved on time.
  • Update the master schedule frequently based on progress reports and inspections. Identify activities falling behind and develop recovery plans to get back on track.
  • Be prepared to bring in additional crews or resources if contractors need to catch up. Having contingency plans and funds can help minimize delays.

Careful oversight of daily and weekly progress is essential to keep construction projects on time. Require thorough reporting from contractors and conduct frequent inspections to identify and address any lags in the schedule.

Manage the Budget

Carefully tracking costs throughout the project is critical to avoiding budget overruns. Create a detailed budget at the start, breaking down costs for materials, labor, permits, equipment rental, and any other anticipated expenses. Build in a 10-20% contingency fund to cover unforeseen costs that may arise.

Assign someone to monitor the budget and closely monitor actual spending versus planned amounts. Require sign-off for any spending that exceeds the budgeted amount for a particular task or item. Review the budget status each week and address any discrepancies immediately to get back on track.

Look for opportunities to reduce costs, such as negotiating volume discounts on materials or staggering work schedules to avoid overtime wages. But be careful not to sacrifice quality or necessary steps to save money, as that could cost more in the long run.

Communicate with all parties involved about the importance of staying within budget and ask for their help identifying potential savings. The more diligent you are about managing the budget from start to finish, the more likely you’ll be able to complete the project without draining your contingency fund or going over budget.

Communicate Often

engineer and a man are talking to each other about the blue print

Keeping all stakeholders informed of the project timeline and budget is crucial for ensuring the project stays on track. Frequent and transparent communication helps align expectations and address potential issues.

  • Hold regular status update meetings with the construction team to discuss progress, upcoming milestones, and any roadblocks. Ask about any support they need to keep things moving forward.
  • Keep clients and other stakeholders in the loop through email updates on timeline and budget status. Be proactive about flagging any changes or risks as soon as they arise.
  • Maintain an open line of communication with permitting agencies and officials to expedite approvals expedited. Keep them informed if the timeline needs to shift.
  • Set up communication protocols for reporting issues, such as a point person for relaying urgent updates. Make it easy for team members to raise red flags so you can correct them quickly.
  • Document all communications, especially regarding timeline and budget changes. Having a paper trail ensures alignment and accountability.
  • Consider communication tools like shared calendars, project management software, and cloud-based file sharing to streamline collaboration.
  • When challenges arise, over communicate with transparency and urgency. Getting everyone aligned quickly is key to mitigating delays and costs.

Proactive, consistent, and clear communication is essential for finishing construction projects on time, within budget, and with quality. Keeping everyone in the loop goes a long way.

Plan for the Unexpected

Even with careful planning and preparation, construction projects can encounter unforeseen issues that threaten the schedule. Having contingency plans and funds set aside can help minimize unexpected delays.

  • Have a contingency fund. Budget 10-20% beyond your projected costs to cover unexpected expenses. This gives you a financial buffer for change orders, materials price increases, subcontractor overages, etc. Monitor the contingency fund closely throughout the project.
  • Build in schedule buffers. Only plan work back-to-back in a tight sequence with wiggle room. Include buffer days or weeks between major milestones to allow for delays.
  • Have backup vendors/subcontractors. Identify and qualify alternates for key suppliers or subcontractors. Should your primary choice fall through or not meet standards, you have a pre-vetted Plan B ready.
  • Plan for weather delays. Outdoor construction is vulnerable to weather-related slowdowns. Consult historical weather data to identify months most prone to severe weather and allow for possible downtime.
  • Consider supply chain risks. Order long lead-time materials and any supplies vulnerable to shipping delays early. Have a plan to source locally or expedite shipping if necessary.
  • Document everything. Meticulously track daily progress, changes, delays, costs, communication, etc. Thorough documentation protects you when resolving unforeseen events.
  • Stay nimble. No amount of planning prevents all surprises. Stay flexible and decisive when the unexpected happens. Quickly implement contingency plans and alternative solutions to minimize any schedule impacts.

To complete any construction, landscaping or major gardening projects that require digging, hiring a professional excavation company is a wise decision. By following the steps, you can successfully excavate and build structures in the area, transforming it into a beautiful and functional outdoor space.

With proactive contingency planning and the right mindset, unforeseen events don’t have to derail your construction schedule. Being prepared with backup options and resources helps keep the project on track even when surprises arise.

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