5 Mistakes to Avoid When Planning a Major Construction Project

As construction projects become more rigid and incredibly complex with a multitude of challenges and working parts, early careful planning is essential to ensure delivery of successful results . 

Even the smallest detail overlooked can end up creating significant problems down the track, possibly delaying construction and costing you time and money. 

While each project requires different planning parameters, there are some common mistakes made by project planners that don’t foster strong partnerships and contractor collaborations. 

Here are 5 mistakes which are often made when planning a construction project.

1. Not using a reputable contractor

When choosing your main contractors, price should not be at the forefront of your decision making. 

Although it does make sense to go for the contractor offering the best possible price, it’s also essential to check the reputation of your subcontractors. 

Choosing the cheaper option can end up costing you more in the long term, as poor workmanship and inexperience can create issues which cost money and time to fix, not to mention pose a serious potential safety risk. 

Cheaper subcontractors may be prone to cutting corners in order to make the most profit possible. 

It’s best to do your research before agreeing to work with a contractor by asking for examples of previous projects and chatting to people who have worked with them before you sign on the dotted line.

It can also be beneficial to check external online reviews to evaluate both positive feedback and also how a contractor responds to negative reviews and resolves client issues.

2. Unrealistic project expectations

A necessary question to ask early in the planning process is – are the expectations, deadlines and budget for this project realistic? 

An overly ambitious design, unreasonable scope of works and/or a tight budget and schedule can mean that the project is on the road to failure before your construction even begins. 

Builders attempting to handle every aspect of the project planning is not only ineffective, but is sure to cause problems throughout the project. 

Trust your subcontractors to take on a project management led approach. By involving them in the pre-planning process you are guaranteed to save money on resources. 

It’s always best to clearly establish the responsibilities and expectations for each subcontractor early on and collaborate among key stakeholders to create a realistic project plan and KPI’s.

3. Beginning the planning process too late

Much like the old saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, construction can be a lengthy and exhaustive effort. Planning your project the day before or on the fly isn’t going to work. 

You need to begin planning your project as early as possible in order to be able to give your contractors the time to review the project brief, assess different methodologies, and work out the best approach and equipment. 

This will maximise efficiency and get the best value out of your budget. 

Last minute planning can be costly, as the site conditions might change substantially in the midterm, limiting options such as crane set up areas and crane radius paths.

4. Not involving your subcontractors in your design process

It’s easy to forget that project planning needs to be collaborative. 

While the design is your vision, having the input of contractors early on in the process is a great way to identify any possible problems and find more cost effective solutions. 

Your contractors will also have more time to understand the vision of your project and be able to prepare accordingly in order to execute it. 

As previously mentioned, unrealistic expectations of the project can create headaches later on. 

Discussing the briefs with well-rounded and highly experienced contractors means you’ll quickly understand if there are any on-site constraints and whether your brief can be achieved in the allotted time and within budget. 

Subcontractors bring in a trade-based approach and can provide valuable insights on the practicability of your design.

5. Failing to create contingency plans

Every project inevitably runs into roadblocks or challenges along the way. 

An easy way to ensure your project can stay on schedule and hopefully within budget is to create contingency plans. 

Discussing these contingency plans with your contractor and subcontractor is also recommended. 

Don’t be afraid to ask about how they have handled challenges on projects in the past, you want a contractor who can be resourceful and be willing to adapt to changing circumstances. 

Being willing to do night works in order to remain on schedule or work with different materials is a positive sign that they are flexible and can handle any issues.

Partner with the experts

Avoid mistakes in your project planning by partnering with an experienced and reputable contractor. 

By working with contractors and subcontractors you trust and can rely on, you’ll find that their involvement and expertise makes a significant difference in the planning and execution of your project, while protecting your industry reputation. 

If you require crane and rigging operations in your construction project, choose a highly reputable subcontractor. 

Backed by 13 years of expertise across major projects, Premier Cranes and Rigging provides start-to-finish lifting solutions for Melbourne-based projects via our sizable field crews and diverse crane fleet that can easily be scaled up for occupation work. 

Get in touch with our team today!