Homebuilding is a complex process that may take several different directions on the way to completion. And unless you build strictly on spec, many of those directions may be dictated by your client, the new homeowner. Homeowners often play a big role in how quickly or slowly a build happens, and yet, they are often one of the first to complain if a build begins to take what they perceive to be too long.
You have a schedule to meet on every build, and while it can be common to pad the timeline to try to accommodate delays, sometimes you still need to make up time. Thankfully, there are ways you can speed up home construction projects, so you can stick to a tight timeline even when other things go wrong.
Work Closely with the Homeowner
Good communication is key to every project, and it’s no different when trying to shorten the timeline on a project. Make sure that the homeowner understands up front that things like changes mid-stream can have an impact on the timeline of the project. Make sure they have a good understanding of what will take place, and that they have all paperwork in order at the start, so there aren’t any avoidable delays on their end.
Work with a Design Engineer
Design engineers aren’t always necessary, but they can make a project go much more quickly. Design engineers are often able to see things that builders and contractors cannot, so they may be able to point out a way in which you can save time or avoid a potential issue before it occurs, which can avoid an unnecessary slow down later.
Use Pre-Built Materials
There are many components that many builders choose to build on site, but that are also available in pre-built configurations. These include things like roof trusses, which are simple but time consuming to build. By opting for pre-built materials, you end up saving time and increasing the consistency of the build at the same time. This is often a plus to homeowners, who may be willing to foot the extra costs involved in order to gain the benefits.
Keep the Layout Simple
This tip is particularly helpful if you’re building on spec, but it can also help if you have an indecisive homeowner who needs assistance in deciding the layout of things. Simple layouts and designs are much faster to build than complex and decorative designs.
Likewise, building up so you have a smaller roofline for the square footage is also much faster and easier to build. Rather than spreading outward and including additional rooms, doorways, and roof trusses, keep things minimal. Open floor plans, fewer rooms and corners, and a thinner profile will all translate into a much faster build.
Use High Quality Materials
It can be tempting to use lower quality materials in an attempt to save some money or to increase profits on the project. Unfortunately, this often backfires. Low quality materials break more often, which means that you spend more time removing and redoing sections. They also take longer to work with, because they may not be uniform or they may take additional steps to fasten or reattach after they’ve come loose. This means that the project slows down and you spend more on labor, completely negating any savings you may have had from the materials.
Using high quality materials, such as architectural roofing shingles, fiber cement siding, and better quality lumber means that your project can move forward more smoothly, with fewer errors and delays.
Enlarge Your Crew
Another cost saving measure some builders use is to forgo a large crew, relying on general contractors and bidding out the smaller jobs as needed. Unfortunately, when you do this, you also subject yourself and the project to unreliable contractors who may not want to put in the time to get the project done correctly. By enlarging your crew, you can ensure that you’re working with a team you can trust. As you work more closely together, you’ll also get a feel for how they do things, which can lead to a sped up schedule in the end. Having a faster, more consistent build time means that you can charge higher rates to homeowners, who may be more willing to pay for a faster project.
Pay Attention to the Schedule
A lot of times, the schedule is really just a guideline that you’ll follow to make sure that the project wraps more or less on time. But by paying more attention to it, and padding it in places where things may have a tendency to get bogged down, you’ll be able to spot potential delays before they occur. If you know things need to be in before a specific date, and that date is approaching, you can reach out to suppliers, rearrange other areas of the project, or move on to other things, all of which can mean a faster conclusion in the end.
Get Your Builds Done Faster
No construction project can ever be considered fast, especially full builds, but there are ways you can help make things go a little faster and easier. Follow these tips to ensure a faster, smoother build and take some of the stress out of your next project.