What is it about construction that drives everyone crazy? Here are a few stress causes and how to avoid them to have a better project and a better life while you go through your project.
1. Hire a qualified architect.
This is a little known fact here, but not all architects are the same. Some can actually hurt the project. Make sure the architect has experience on your type of project. A residential architect has no business on a restaurant project if he has no experience. This makes it hard on the contractor to piece together all the things that are not his job in the first place. It makes your life as the owner a nightmare because the contractor has to come to you more for information. Don’t make your life a nightmare. Get an architect that fits your job.
2. Hire the right contractor.
So I’ve written about this already, but if there is one mistake that is bigger than the wrong architect, it’s the wrong contractor. Don’t go in the wrong direction on this one! Make sure you qualify the contractor so you can sleep at night. You will recognize the wrong one, because you’ll be so stressed your marriage suffers! This is the worst. If your contractor has no experience on the type of project you’re building, get ready for a world of hurt. There are so many horror stories out there it’s crazy. Make sure to look at a couple of jobs the contractor has done to make sure it’s a good fit.
3. Have a monthly meeting to go over the whole job.
So this is important. No one wants to be the bearer of bad news, but if you have to get it out at least schedule a time for it. Nothing is worse than not being in the loop for a product or service that won’t be in in time for the job. There could also be good news, and that would be great to hear. As a matter of fact, communication keeps the process relatively stress free. At the very minimum, schedule a big get together once a month so communication flows. All the information that needs to be shared can happen easily and it will make it so much smoother.
4. Check the schedule often.
If you think you might be behind on the schedule you probably are. The problem is, you have to make sure. Some things change in the field and contractors roll with the movements of the job. There are so many moving pieces it’s hard for the customer to tell if they are on time or not. Make sure your contractor communicates often about the schedule and where you are on it. This gives you a clear picture of when it will be done. Commercial jobs are notorious for coming together at the last minute. Make sure they stick to the schedule and get them the information they need to stay on time.
5. Get change orders before they happen.
Do not let the contractor move forward without seeing the change order. Even if you are moving at lightening speed. You are not saying that you don’t trust him, you just don’t want to poke a sleeping grizzly bear! On paper on purpose as Dave Ramsey says right?
6. Inspections on site.
There are several key times to make a site inspection. The first is before the concrete is poured to check the plumbing and electrical in the slab. You need to make sure you are not missing anything. It’s hard to add it later. The next time to meet on site is at the framing stage to go over plug and computer locations, make sure plumbing is ok, and generally check the whole job. Anything that needs to be in the walls should be there. Check this stage before Sheetrock, and you won’t be sorry about it. The last time to go over a job is at the end. Do a detailed punch list and make sure you have everything you need for your business.
7. Timely ordering is a must.
At your monthly meeting make sure your Contractor has a list of things to order for the next phase of construction. There are so many moving pieces it’s easy to forget one. Make sure it’s not on your job that it happens. There are always a ton of finishes so check this area a couple of times. Tile, carpet, trim, specialty items, and finishes in general, are common things that get forgotten. Make sure these are on the ordering list.
If you check out these 7 things you are sure to have a better, less stressful job. Of course you can always hire us to begin with and we will do all these things for you!