construction manager

Construction 101: How to Plan for Construction

Construction is a very meticulous industry. This is because buildings, homes, and other structures aren’t just built in a day and with a handful of dollars. Instead, we count their build times in years and count the dollars by the millions when it comes to construction. These are the exact reasons why project management is crucial in constructing a structure because, without it, many companies would be in debt.

The construction industry is an important sector in the US. There is no doubt about that. It’s responsible for 4% of the US GDP, and the industry is expected to take over more of the chart in the coming years. However, if the industry wants to grow, it will need a lot more construction managers.

Who Are Construction Managers?

Construction managers are those who plan and coordinate construction projects. They also supervise in real-time employees and those who are part of the project. They give reports to the owners of the project and give feedback. There are many responsibilities to a construction manager, and this article will only concentrate on one: planning.

Proposal

The first thing construction managers have to do is give proposals regarding how they want the project to go. This can require multiple copies, and it will go under numerous changes. Thankfully, different software can build a proposal for construction projects online. The software can help streamline this process and make it easier for the manager to move on to other more important tasks in the future.

There are two types of construction planning, and this can depend on the manager’s experience and expertise. These are cost-oriented and schedule-oriented planning. So let’s start with cost-oriented planning.

Cost-oriented Planning

Cost-oriented planning is all about budgeting. It’s centered on the project’s finances, and it isn’t afraid of extending deadlines if the project requires it. Many engineers argue that cost-oriented planning tends to make projects a lot longer than they should be. However, when done right, cost-oriented planning can save more money and finish a project a lot faster than schedule-oriented planning.

There are two things you’ll have to keep in mind for cost-oriented planning: direct and indirect costs.

Direct Costs

Direct costs are essentially the manpower and materials that are used for the project. It includes the wages for the employees. Technically, direct costs are related to what you need during the initial start of construction. You need to have the right amount of direct costs earlier on if you don’t want hiccups on your project.

Indirect Costs

Indirect costs are all about your overhead. This includes your job site costs, equipment depreciation, and permits. It’s your essentials if you want to operate daily, and poor accounting of the indirect costs can lead to increased expenses for the project. The overhead costs, if you compare them to business jargon

Having a good balance sheet will help you in cost-oriented planning. So consider hiring an accountant for this so that they can make your costs more transparent for you. Next up is schedule-oriented planning.

Schedule-oriented Planning

schedule planner

Unlike cost-oriented planning, schedule-oriented planning is all about deadlines, regardless of the expenses or costs. You have a set amount of deadlines, which will be your metric of success for the project. So when compared to cost-oriented planning, where the metric is money, the metric for schedule-oriented planning is time.

There are two types of schedule-oriented planning: time-oriented and resource-oriented.

Time-oriented

This is the purest form of schedule-oriented planning. All you have in your plans are deadlines and how you are going to achieve them. It’s all about efficiency in this, and it’s great for projects with nearly unlimited budgets. However, skilled construction managers can also pull this off with a limited budget. It’s just going to be a lot harder.

Resource-oriented

This is a mix of cost-oriented and schedule-oriented planning. You’re going to have to balance costs and deadlines in this kind of planning. Your metric will be concentrated more on the materials used in the project. This includes people’s wages. This kind of planning is usually meant for smaller structures, such as homes.

Schedule-oriented planning is great for structures planning to profit from rent or being sold in the market. It’s also great for mass buildings such as residential homes and for-lease buildings.

The choice of which kind of planning is up to you. However, if you’ve noticed, there are strengths and weaknesses to each strategy. For example, cost-oriented planning is all about saving money, but you’re going to give up deadlines for it. On the other hand, schedule-oriented planning is all about deadlines, but you’re going to burn through a lot of money for it. So choose which kind of planning is good for your project and get it started!

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