Monthly Archives: December 2016

Timing is everything


One of the hardest thing to do is schedule a construction project.

There are so many factors to consider. You need to co-ordinate all of the sub-contractors and town inspections.When to have materials on site. When to have the crew on site with enough materials and work for a complete day or week. When to have the sub-contractors come back to the site for their next part of the project. A general contractor could also be called a conductor. It’s their job to get the orchestra (sub’s & inspectors) to come in at the right time to make the project flow like music.

Lumber, windows, doors, trim, heating coils, faucets, ceiling fans and door knobs all take planning. An open construction site isn’t secure so you can’t store items there. You don’t need the ceiling fan until you have a ceiling and wiring in place. You have to figure out when you need the materials on site and when to order them. We need to know how long it takes to get the materials and make sure you give them enough lead time. But not too early because then you you need to figure out where to store it if you aren’t actually ready to install. i.e. Windows take 4-6 weeks to make before they get delivered. Some vendors will hold them till you are ready for delivery but only a few weeks so you don’t want them too early. But you don’t want to be waiting for them to come in when the frame is ready. Door knobs are one of the last things we need so we purchase them last. But we need to think about them months before we need them. There are many details that need be be picked out and the homeowner should consider it the fun part but the builder doesn’t need to be making those decisions. But they will tell you when we need them for installation and any delay will add time to the project.

Town inspections are a scheduling nightmare. Every town is different. But they all have specific days and times for each type of inspection. i.e. Electrical is Tue & Thur afternoons, Building Mon, Wed & Fri mornings. Some towns share inspectors so they only have 1 day a week. Then you have to deal with their vacation schedules. Some pass you right away and leave a sticker by the permit and then we can move forward. Some go back to their offices to write up reports and then send out the sticker later.  This is when you are passing but there is quite a delay if you fail an inspection. (Pavolony Construction doesn’t often fail inspections but others aren’t as dependable) Occasionally a failure involves a change from the original plan and you will need the architect to sign off on the change. Again it adds time to the schedule. We plan a full week per inspection when working out a schedule.

Sub-contractors are just that. Workers we bring in to do their specialty. We are not their only job site so we need to work with them on availability. Since we tend to use the same ones we work closely with them on schedules but occasionally there is a conflict. Also there are different stages of a job like doing a rough install, inspection, drywall it in, inspection, finish install of fixtures. So it can be weeks between when they do their portion of the job. So just because we are ready for them doesn’t guarantee they have time for us in their schedule.

Then there is the main issue. Mother Nature. It’s the one variable we have the least control over. It’s also the one to cause the most problems. Rain & snow are understandably the worst but wind and cold factor into delays just as much. Extreme heat can also become a problem. As you can imagine keeping the site dry is the #1 concern of the general contractor. But #2 is working conditions for the crew. So  we need to look to the calendar when we are accepting projects. We want to work year round but there comes a time we can only do inside work. Carpentry is very hands on and can’t be done well wearing gloves. Also the machines don’t like the cold. The air compressors that run the nail guns are sending out compressed cold air that can freeze. When the carpenter has to disconnect his gun and take it into his car to put next to the heat vent it is time to pack it in. (Yes this happens)

Because of these timing issues we can’t have only 1 project going at one time or we will not be covering payroll and keeping everyone working full-time. So if there is a lull in your project there may be a very good reason that doesn’t concern you but Pavolony Construction has taken it into consideration when we gave you the time frame for your project. There is lot’s more going on behind the scenes then what is on the job site. This is another part of reality construction not reflected in the TV home improvement shows. We don’t have the luxury of editing. So pay attention to the time frame given with your contract. There was serious planning involved with coming up with an accurate guess.