Solid strategies to keep your project on track

Construction projects are fluid – any number of issues can arise. Cost overruns. Delays in a product’s delivery. Miscommunication.

And, those glitches can add up to big dollars during the final reconciliation.

But there are steps you can take before – and during – your construction project to increase your success quotient.

First and foremost, always accept bids based on their merit and what is being offered. Choosing the lowest bid for the sole reason that it saves money generally is not prudent. In fact, sometimes the lowest bid can increase your expenses. Before accepting a bid be sure that all documents and specifications are reviewed meticulously. Some contractors may require compensation for tasks that are not specified in the plans or documents.

Do not begin a project without a clearly defined plan. As explained in the July column, preconstruction services offer a layer of construction management and planning.

Be sure that a construction project manager leads your team. These managers are knowledgeable with planning, coordinating and communicating at all levels during the construction build process. Not only do construction managers track the project for timing and cost, they monitor building codes, specs and specific building regulations.

Experience counts, too. The more experience that your project manager has the more realistic the build-out plans, schedules, tasks and budgets are likely to be.When a project is too large for a project manager to oversee, a commercial project manager is a worthwhile investment.

Identify costs early in the game

Disputes or disagreements regarding costs and budgets are common causes of delays with construction projects.

It can be quite upsetting for a client and a project manager when they realize a certain task is over budget. Often the contractor and the client find themselves going back and forth about the situation until a decision is reached.

If unperceived events occur during the project and prices go up, having a plan pays off. Knowing the preliminary cost estimates gives the construction team and the client an idea of what could be compromised to meet the end goal.

Design a realistic budget with a contingency. Be sure to receive a reasonable estimate of what the project will cost to make sure everyone is on the same page. After agreeing on an initial budget, a reputable contractor will assess situations as they come up and offer cost estimates for the changes.

Communication is key to success

Much along the lines of getting the budget figured out early, communicating regularly is just as important as sticking to a strict deadline.

Everyone involved with the project should know when certain building activities are occurring and the timeline for completion. Remember, order changes usually set back the timeline.

Commercial contractors should be communicating with the subcontractors to track progress. If there is a delay for a delivery or another issue, then everyone involved should understand the effect on the overall deadline.

Wrapping it up

Managing the construction process takes vigilance. Contractors, clients and construction professionals involved in the project should have a list of their responsibilities. When roles and responsibilities are accompanied with a plan and timeline, it helps keep everyone on task.

Engage contractors with a solid reputation, an excellent track record and have completed projects that meet the specifications on time and on budget. To learn more about San Diego’s The Murfey Company and the construction services it offers, visit