Have you ever seen a house as its being built and wondered why it’s taking so long and has so many days with nothing happening on site?
There is every chance that that home is being built without a project schedule. It might surprise you to know that a lot of builders will create one but then not utilise it to make sure the project that starts on time, stays on time!
So what is a project schedule and how do they work?
When done correctly a project schedule is what is known as a “live” document, it is constantly referred to by supervisors, project managers and builders and should provide the following minimum functionality;
- It should contain the tasks required to be carried out to complete the job
- Include milestones for the ordering of materials or sub-contractors that require lead time
- Be linked with the sub-contractors so they receive automatic updates to schedule changes (such as when bad weather strikes)
- Highlight the critical path of the project (this means those tasks which must follow on from the previous one)
- Provide the client with a calendar style view that shows the percentage of progress made in each task
- Be regularly updated so that any project delays can be caught up by tweaking the schedule.
- It should have a baseline (this is a record of what the dates and durations of the tasks where, before the project started) giving you a good guide as to how its really tracking
So how does a good quality project schedule help you as the client?
Well there are a number of things –
- Your New Home Will Be Built On Time
- You can see when things are happening on site
- You will get plenty of warning for decisions you need to make, so you are never rushed
- Your builder is accountable to you for keeping the project on schedule
I am sure you have all heard the arguments against a schedule, they make things to rigid, there is no room for moving things around, things never go to plan and the list goes on and on.
Well I can tell you that it is completely impossible to effectively and professionally run a building project without one.
Yes, things change on a project.
It rains for a week at a time in the project where you need clear days, a delivery that was booked months in advance doesn’t happen because a truck breaks down, a sub-contractor is sick and doesn’t show up, it all happens, and it happens to every job.
Without a schedule, you can’t assess the true effect of those “unforseen” things occurring, a delay today might actually effect a trade on the critical path in a month, but if you don’t have a schedule you cant see that.
Your builder can’t effectively re-jig the schedule to make sure things stay on track, unless they have one.
So before you sign a building contract, make sure you look your builder in the eyes and ask them these two questions;
- Can I see the project schedule
- Where do I login to view this 24/7
If you get a no to either of these, its critical that you hold off signing up until your builder can provide a fully detailed project schedule.
To find out more questions to ask your builder before you sign a contract, click on the link below to get our free guide.