New construction projects are exciting and fulfilling. They are literally dreams and visions being built into reality. However, mistakes can and often do sneak into these undertakings and can cause serious financial and logistical problems. In some cases, these problems may even lead to the scrapping of a project.
Fortunately, many of these errors are predictable. With a little awareness and diligence, they can be avoided.
1) Choosing the Wrong Contractor
Like a movie producer, the general contractor is responsible for sourcing and coordinating the efforts of a full cast of characters, from subcontractors to inspectors. He is arguably the most important professional in the whole building process. However, many clients don't put enough time into their search for a qualified GC and often end up with someone who is less than a good fit.
When choosing a GC, take the time to talk with as many professionals as you can before deciding on a particular one's services. Make sure you have a good rapport with anyone you are considering choosing. In addition, do plenty of homework on their past projects. Find reviews of their work online and talk to their former clients, if possible, to help you in your decision. If you don't feel like someone is a good fit, then don't be afraid to move on to the next professional.
2) Going Over Budget
There is a common belief that all building projects will go over budget. However, just because this belief is widely held doesn't mean it has to be true.
Yes, many new construction projects do fail to stay within their budget parameters. However, there are many that achieve their budget goals. In fact, many builders routinely hit their goals or come in under the allotted dollar amount by using various methods and strategies to guide their progress.
3) Making Unrealistic Time Goals
Excitement and pressure from deadlines often lead to the creation of unrealistic time goals. When setting schedules, it is necessary to closely look at all factors that will affect the project. Goal setting should also take into account the unforeseen as a real factor to be considered throughout the build.
Keep in mind that when construction crews face unreasonable deadlines, they are forced to speed through their work to make the date. This inevitably leads to both small and large mistakes.
4) Making Too Many Plan Changes Too Late
From the time a building is conceived up until its completion, there are countless changes made to its design. But it is important to know that the deeper a builder gets into the construction of a building, the more costly changes are going to be.
The best time to work on your arsenal of ideas and doubts is in the planning process, before the plans are submitted to the building department. That being said, some changes are justifiable and in fact necessary post-permit approval. For example, an unforeseen geological or geographical factor may necessitate a re-engineering of the building plans.
5) Attempting to Do Things Yourself
There are numerous jobs you can do on a construction site as a novice or even a beginner. And the incentive to do as much work as possible yourself is strong because it leads to a direct slashing of labor costs. However, many of these jobs should be left up to the pros. If not, your project could face negative consequences.
For example, if you've never installed a sprinkler system, then attempting to do so yourself and failing will lead to a major project set back in terms of both time and money. If you want to pitch in to save money, talk to your general contractor or other professionals for advice on what you could do.
There are many other common mistakes that happen during new construction projects. And although it is practically impossible to cover them all, paying close attention to the ones mentioned above will help ensure a smoother building experience.