BuildBinder Blog

Smart Steps to Prevent Time and Cost Overrun

Time and cost overrun are among the most common challenges of the construction industry, as well as some of the most significant. Most firms expect around 15 – 20% cost overrun in construction projects, but successful firms find smart ways to avoid and overcome both time and cost overrun. As a result, their construction projects see high-quality results from start to finish. 

Reducing the frequency of time and cost overrun does not happen overnight, but here are a few steps to prevent them in your construction projects.  

1. Always expect the unexpected

Your team should not only be able to react quickly and accurately under pressure, they should learn to anticipate and plan for challenges in advance. Establish a highly operative team, be generous with projected timelines, and make project documentation easily accessible to all stakeholders. When your team begins to expect the unexpected, you can further reduce the chance of scope and budget creep. 

2. Say “no” to tight deadlines

Deadlines are necessary in construction projects. They can be a measure of work effort and overall performance, as well as an indicator of project quality. If you don’t set deadlines appropriately from the start, your construction project is almost guaranteed to have time and cost overrun. Rather than commit to tight deadlines, set your team up for success by agreeing on small milestones throughout the construction project.  

3. Keep project documentation readily available 

Project documentation must be available at a moment’s notice during a construction project. This information must be current and accurate, so stakeholders can make the best decision under any circumstance. Collaborative tools and information systems help simplify the exchange of data across teams, and armed with the right tools and information, your team can easily prevent time and cost overrun. 

4. Get it in writing 

Although contracts are industry standard, there may be a need to add or reduce scope, during your construction project. When this occurs, don’t rely on verbal conversations, document the details in writing. When all parties have clear expectations on deliverables, and a complete understanding of the construction project, time and cost overrun become the least of your worries. 

5. Trust in your team 

Time and cost overrun aren’t only caused by project delays and poor planning. Replacing employees can be both a costly and time-consuming process. Once you’ve staffed a team of highly skilled contractors, managers, etc., trust them to get the job done. 

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