Construction projects have a reputation for being prone to delays, which is understandable considering all the complex processes needed to be considered throughout their lifespan. These projects, no matter how simple or complex they may be, involve many moving parts throughout their duration, and a slight delay can result in your timelines and milestones being completely thrown off schedule. Whether due to design variations, change orders, inadequate planning, mismanagement, weather, or even unforeseen circumstances, these delays result in considerable time, money, and effort losses for the client and the contractor. Delayed projects can cause an interruption of work and loss of productivity, higher time-related expenditures, or, in the worst case, cancellation of the contract and payment of penalties. Most contractors suffer from a bad image and a tarnished track record due to these project delays, which are both expensive and always result in disputes and lawsuits against them.
Construction projects are very diverse, and although their timelines and schedules may vary, the same principles and best practices can be utilized. Yes, scheduling construction projects is a time-consuming, labor-intensive, and tedious task in and of itself. However, the more time and effort you invest in developing your construction timelines, the fewer challenges you encounter throughout the project schedule.
If you want to do a more satisfying job of avoiding these potential problems, you must create better and realistic timelines in your construction schedule. This task may seem intimidating, particularly for seasoned construction managers who have been juggling deadlines for years, if not decades, throughout their careers. This article will help you learn what a timeline is and the fundamentals of making one.
What is A Construction Timeline?
A construction timeline is essentially a tool for visualizing the construction schedules. It defines the resources needed and the teams responsible for each task, and how long it would take to complete it in the construction process. These timelines are what project managers use to organize their management scheme by breaking it down into workable tasks and milestones and then attaching start and end dates to each. In a construction project, the timeline offers a birds-eye perspective of precisely what work will be done and when it will be completed.
Sometimes, general contractors or construction project managers would develop separate builders schedules for each subcontractor on a building project. Each team will be able to monitor their progress in more depth as a result of this.
What Are the Main Components of a Construction Timeline?
As discussed earlier, many internal and external factors may have a significant impact on your construction timeline and must be considered while putting one together. This section lists down five critical elements that might directly influence the timeliness of your projects.
Project Size and Scope
The total time it will take to finish your construction project will depend on the size and scope of your project. When compared to a two-story family house, a 38-story high-rise structure contains more activities and components and will take longer to complete. In the same way, custom-built home with several intricate finishes, such as detailed trim and molding, bespoke cabinets, and exotic materials for the worktops and flooring, can take much longer to build than a plain family home with stock appliances and basic finishing materials.
Resources and Inventory
Resource and inventory planning in advance is a vital stage that will significantly influence the timeframe for your building project. The availability of materials, equipment, or inventory should be taken into account as some of these are subject to supplier lead times. If you have not been able to procure a specific material in a targeted timeframe, you may need to delay some activities or tasks until you can get your hands on it.
Another essential factor to consider when estimating the timing for your construction project is the availability of your construction crew. Typically, a subcontractor team will not begin working until the previous crew has finished their job. As a result, even a few days’ delays might have a domino effect influencing the overall completion. When plotting your timelines and schedules, try to be realistic, rather than optimistic, about how long it will take crews to finish their job.
Even if you are a newbie in the construction scene, you would still know that weather is one of the main reasons for construction project delays. Natural disasters or highly inclement weather can result in crews being spread thin with work stoppages or cleanup works, limiting their time and availability for their assigned task initially.
When determining your project’s timeline, take into mind the time of year in which it will be implemented. Scheduling exterior work such as foundation excavation or pouring during the winter season is impractical, so you may want to adjust your schedules so that interior jobs such as tiling and finishing will occur during this period.
Building Permits and Regulations
Obtaining the proper building licenses is a critical stage in starting a construction project. Construction projects must be examined and authorized by municipal and county building departments at different stages. Before crafting your timeline, review any regulations and laws that your project must follow, as well as average turnaround times.
How To Create a Better Timeline for Your Construction Project?
Creating realistic timelines can help you manage a project more efficiently and accurately and make sound strategies to be able to deliver a project on time and within budget without compromising a high standard of quality. Here are five fail-safe steps you may take to improve the timeframe for your construction project.
Review Your Project Scope and Deliverables
Different sorts of resources, stakeholders, and participants are involved in construction scheduling. Begin by evaluating the project’s scope and deliverables, as well as a list of any subcontractors or suppliers involved. Once you’ve compiled a list, have a meeting with your subcontractors and suppliers to set expectations and lay out a timeline that everyone agrees is realistic and doable. After obtaining this information, inquire how long their project component is estimated to take and make your plans appropriately.
Plan Your Workflow and Task Sequences
Plan out your workflow processes and activities and break them down into the workable task you can assign to your crew. Having a complete sequence of every activity and task needed to finish the project can help you forecast accurate timelines.
Once you have your workflows, you will need to put those tasks in order and determine the relationship of one activity to another. This can help you decide which tasks are critical for completion and should be prioritized to maximize productivity.
Add Task Durations
Now assign a start and completion date to each of the jobs. As discussed earlier, climate and weather events can significantly impact the timelines. It is critical to look at weather data from the past to understand how the weather could affect the project. Take note of the holidays and seasons and consider sick and vacation days for employees.
Allocate and Execute Task
Now that you have considered tasks needed to finish the project, the next step would be to allocate them to a specific subcontractor. By using construction management software, You can identify between the various teams and projects and assess their productivity and development rates. You may also determine which team needs a particular resource to assist them in meeting their targets.
Aim For Precise Schedule Monitoring
Construction scheduling is very complicated, and it needs continuous supervision. No construction
timeline is set in stone, or at least none is likely to be successful. Things change, and if you don’t keep track of them and examine them often during the project, those changes may throw you off course.
As a result, you will need to keep a close eye on the construction timeline throughout the project’s lifespan to ensure that your actual progress is in accordance with your expectations. Examine your schedule daily and based on your availability, make regular updates. If any potential problem arises, you can make sound business decisions to realign your schedules or resources.
Keep Your Project on Track with Construction Management Software
Got no clue where to begin when it comes to constructing a timeline? The great thing about Pro Crew Schedule is a powerful and convenient construction schedule software. From pre-construction through project closeout, real-time communication and automatic updates will keep all stakeholders informed, allowing you to make smarter, more educated choices while completing your projects on schedule and under budget.
Easily assign subcontractor teams, individual workers, and even tools and equipment to specific jobs at specific times. Its color-coding scheme and easy user interface allow a project manager to have a real-time birds-eye view of how the project progresses and which tasks are critical for completion—giving you the correct information to manage your project efficiently and effectively.