Construction is an expensive business. Quality building materials, experienced workers, good safety practices and new equipment can all drive up the capital needed for a project. That's not even considering the costs of potential delays due to maintenance, weather or the occasional miscommunication.
Finding ways to cut down costs can help improve margins or even make it possible to take on more projects. Lower expenses can also ensure you can keep your business running, even when the work doesn't go as planned.
These five tips are some of the best ways to reduce costs without cutting corners on modern construction sites.
1. Use New Construction Tools and Techniques
Material costs in construction tend to increase seasonally and each year. Combating these rising expenses can provide some extra breathing room in a company's budget.
New approaches to material management can help you control these costs. For example, modular building lets your team take advantage of off-site construction and on-site assembly. This can potentially cut back on waste and reduce the total amount of material necessary for a given project. Because modular building can also help you shorten project build times, you may be able to save on labor, as well.
Advanced tech, like new building information modeling tools, can also help here. With the right tool, you can lower the risk of mistakes or identify areas where you may safely reduce material usage.
2. Source Used Equipment
Equipment costs can take up a major portion of any construction company's budget.
Used machinery is often comparable in quality to new, while typically being significantly cheaper. You're also less likely to deal with depreciation costs when taking the preowned route.
While used equipment may have different maintenance needs, good practices and on-site technicians can likely prevent any potential issues. Working with a reputable dealer will also ensure that any used machine is of high quality and in good shape.
3. Implement Preventive Maintenance Practices
Equipment downtime can result in major costs. You will have to manage the expense of repairing the damaged or broken equipment, and you'll also deal with the cost of working around the failed machinery — or stopping work altogether.
A preventive maintenance plan is an investment and may require a part-time mechanic on-staff. However, it can also reduce the risk that your operations are brought to a halt by machine failure that you could've seen coming.
4. Improve Office Staff Management
Simple changes to office staff management can help significantly reduce costs.
For example, cross-training your employees may lessen the need for temporary employees. Because of how expensive it is to bring on and train new hires, it may be cheaper to maintain permanent full-time or part-time workers for a set of tasks rather than use temps.
Does your business have an off or slow season where you see significantly reduced project requests? Encouraging your administrative staff to take vacation time or reduced hours during these periods can also help you save on unnecessary on-site office expenses.
5. Identify Staff That Can Work From Home
Offering optional remote work is also a popular way to cut down on office staff management's cost. The more team members work from home, the less your company will have to invest in office space. They will also have the added benefit of being able to telecommute some days and avoid driving.
In some cases, you may be able to significantly cut down on the office space you need. This will decrease rent spending and reduce associated costs — like maintenance, lighting and environmental control.
Most construction companies don't have strong WFH experience, and there may be an institutional learning curve to offering remote work options at your company. However, you'll be in good company if you make the switch.
How Modern Construction Companies Can Keep Costs Low
These techniques are some of the best ways to cut down on costs on the modern construction site. Simple adjustments to workflows and purchasing processes can go a long way in helping your company reduce labor, equipment and maintenance prices.
Author Bio: Rose Morrison is a freelance writer who covers construction and building design topics. She is also the managing editor for Renovated.
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Copyright 2016 - The attached articles cannot be reproduced for commercial purposes without the consent of the author.
The opinions expressed in the attached articles are those of the writer. It should be noted that projects are varied and different laws and restrictions apply which depend on the location of the contractor and the project. It's important that the reader uses the supplied information taking cognisance of their particular circumstances. The writer assumes no responsibility or liability for any loss of any kind arising from the reader using the information or advice contained herein.
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