It feels like parts of the world keep spinning, while others are set off their axis. You may have projects to complete, while your suppliers are considered non-essential. This can cause backlogs in your work, as you try to find ways to keep meeting client expectations as you can. Here are a few delays you can expect related to COVID-19, now and for several months into the future.
Many construction projects require inspections at various points in the process. Since it will be more difficult to locate qualified people able to do the inspections, you should plan for significant delays in the inspection process. Right now, you are more likely to notice a slowdown because fewer people are working and more people are trying to minimize their contact with others. Overtime, as more industries open up for business again, the construction industry may face a glut of projects that need to move ahead as quickly as possible. This means that it may take you longer to get permits as well.
Finding labor has been tricky for several years, due to construction’s labor shortage. But finding qualified workers is going to be even more difficult right now. This is particularly true in fields where you were already having to pay more and search longer to find a qualified person ready to take on the project. Moving forward, you may need to prepare to offer higher rates as you can and start your search for work on specific projects further in advance. This can help you to avoid significant delays while you try to secure a subcontractor.
Since much of the world is currently dealing with COVID-19 or its aftermath, you can expect a number of delays tied to materials. If you typically outsource a lot of goods for construction from places like China, you may have already noticed a significant slowdown in the rate that you can receive them. It’s also worth keeping in mind that shipping is also taking longer on almost all deliveries that are less than a truckload. To mitigate this issue, you may want to source materials that are closer to your location, so that shipping times are less of an issue for you. Investigating your options to pick something up can also save time.
Tool and Equipment Rentals
Finding the tools and the equipment you need may be more difficult whether you are trying to buy or rent. Most retailers, even those deemed essential, are limiting their hours and restricting how customers can make purchases to reduce contact. Be prepared to order online and wait for shipping if needed. Once construction moves back to regular speed, you might have a harder time getting equipment rentals as everyone tries to catch up on delayed projects. If you can’t buy the equipment that you need, you should see if there is a way that you can book reservations earlier than you usually would.
Tips to Smooth the Process
Although running over time on your project is pretty common in construction, COVID-19 is making those typical delays much longer. The last thing that you want to do is lose money or reliable clients because you failed to estimate how long you need. You can minimize your chance of problems if you:
- Revise estimates on time and pricing based on the most current data
- Add extra time for each step of the project
- Reconsider projects with equipment or materials that are difficult to source
- Look for other ways to trim time off projects without cutting quality
Regular communication with your clients will help assure them that you are continually working in their best interest.
COVID-19 is changing the world as we know it, with significant effects for your construction workflow. Finding ways to predict problems so you can solve them in advance is how your contracting business survives. For more information about preparing for your contractor licensing exam, contact CSLS today!