Two ways to keep costs down during a construction project

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Two ways to keep costs down during a construction project

21 December 2016
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

If you're concerned about the possibility of your construction project going over budget, read on to find out what steps you can take to keep costs down.

Choose your construction equipment carefully and make maintenance a top priority  

Construction equipment is essential for the successful completion of any building project; it enables labourers to carry out a huge variety of tasks quickly and easily. However, because this type of machinery is extremely valuable, renting it can be expensive. Earthmoving machinery hire, for example, can cost several hundred dollars per month.

This is why, if you're on a tight budget, you must fully understand the ins and outs of your construction project before you contact a leasing company so that you only invest in the equipment that you actually need.  If you hire machinery which you later realise is superfluous to requirements, you will not only have wasted money on renting it, but also on storing and maintaining it (during poor weather, for instance, you might have to buy tarp to protect the equipment from the rain or use anti-freeze to prevent its engine fluids from freezing).

It's also crucial to keep your hired construction equipment in good condition. Faults and breakdowns will cause delays, which in turn will cost you money. Make sure that each piece of machinery is inspected on a daily basis; those assigned this task should check things such as tyre pressure as well as hydraulic, coolant and engine oil levels. These inspections are especially important if your construction project is being conducted during a period of hot weather, as high temperatures can increase the speed at which tyres deflate and machinery fluids evaporate.

Increase labourers' productivity levels

The productivity levels of your labourers will have an enormous impact on the cost of your construction project. When a building crew lacks efficiency, projects have to be extended which of course, increases the likelihood of them going over budget. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to keep your labourers working at full speed.

The most effective step you can take is to create a well-organised layout which encourages efficiency. Think carefully about where to position portable toilets, canteens and storage containers for materials and equipment, so that your building crew don't have to waste time traipsing long distances around the site to get the things that they need.

Say, for example, the site is quite large and the walk to and from the main building area and bathroom facilities amounts to a 15-minute round trip. If the labourers make two trips each throughout the course of the working day, this could add up to a significant amount of wasted man-hours. Similarly, if the machinery needed to load up and transport materials is situated on the opposite end of the site to the containers in which these materials are being stored, labourers will have to spend time driving said machinery across the site to collect them. By making sure that the portable toilets are positioned close to the main building area and by keeping the machinery next to storage containers for construction materials, you can maximise productivity levels and thus keep your labour costs down.

In addition to devising the right layout, you should also make sure that your building crew are aware of their exact responsibilities and roles within the project. A lack of clarity in this regard can lead to labourers being unsure of what work they need to get done by the end of each day, which may put the construction project behind schedule and thus increase costs. In addition to causing expensive delays, this ambiguity can be quite demoralising for workers. This lack of motivation can the affect their productivity levels, which again, will have a negative impact on overall labour costs. As such, it really does pay to prioritise clear communication and make sure that every single labourer fully comprehends what their role is and what tasks they are expected to carry out.