As a project manager in construction, it’s your job to save cash where you can in planning, coordinating, budgeting and supervising a project from start to finish. Knowing where and when to spend and what to spend on is your responsibility. There are numerous things you can do to manage your budget, do you rent this, buy that, hire here, or finance there? All these questions must be answered to deliver a project on time and under budget.
It’s a competitive world in the construction industry so we want to help you save cash on your budget.
The following article contains a few tips to help you save cash on your construction project - and potentially help to generate a higher return on your real estate investment down the track.
You can save cash on construction projects by cutting back on costs, avoiding expensive mistakes and using materials that are more cost-effective. However, there are also a few things that you should actually spend money on to save you cash in the long run.
Invest in technology
It’s 2016, back to the future was last year and there is no lack of technology to help project managers. Applications, software, websites and programs are constantly being updated and new technologies are created on a daily basis. From space planning software to building tools and beyond, there are a plethora of products available to help increase our productivity.
Having the right project management software can help you work efficiently and effectively, manage your budgets and help find your inefficiencies. They can really save you money over the course of a project.
These software applications can assist in the process of planning, designing and building, assessing, managing, compliance and help you make hard decisions. Most have cost-benefit analysis on various items included in construction and can track your manpower, they will also estimate the cost implications of faults and design or schedule changes.
Invest in time-saving construction products
Software or project management apps will save you time managing a project, there are many decisions that can make the construction and fit-out more efficient. Prefabrication has seen a rapid rise in the construction industry in the past 30 years, it saves you time and in turn money, and creates energy-efficient spaces that look great. It’s not only used in residential construction but in civil sites, industrial applications, and large apartment blocks, even in aircraft, maritime and spacecraft construction.
Try pre-fabricated items including walls, fixtures, fittings even whole kitchens, bathrooms, laundries and other fit-outs in residential construction. Try Ikea for residential fixtures and fittings these will save you valuable time and labour costs giving your crew time to work on other tasks.
Pre-fabrication has also now collided with the green movement in the form of shipping container building or cargotechture. Shipping containers offer strength, the low expense is widely available and are eco-friendly and can look great – give them a try to save you time and money.
Buy, don’t hire
On many construction projects, there will often be the question of whether you should hire or buy some pieces of equipment needed on your site. In more demanding economic times it’s harder to make that decision on what to hire and what to buy.
If your project is likely to run for a few months or you can use the equipment for multiple projects then purchasing will be much more cost-effective than hiring. This is particularly due to additional costs that come with hiring equipment, and that’s without considering costly damage fees and waivers.
A great example of inexpensive equipment to purchase that’s often hired is temporary fencing and safety barriers. Unlike hiring you don’t have to pay the additional fees and delivery charges for your project. Just buy your own fencing and use it where and when you want, it will most likely pay for itself over the course of a major project or a couple of smaller ones.
The hire industry is fraught with additional costs and complicated paperwork, it can often be much easier to be in control of your own products, no damage fees or waivers, no contracts to extend, no delivery and assembly fees. Other hire equipment that could be cheaper to purchase, depending on how long you need them could be generators, access equipment, drill and cutting tools and even onsite toilets. Good project management software should have estimating software that helps answer the question of whether to hire or buy.
Invest in going green
When looking at the costs of construction you should also consider the costs of occupying the finished space. If you invest in eco-friendly renovation technologies in you will often see a great return on investment.
Potential buyers will often spend more on space for high energy efficiency ratings or being able to live “off the grid”. Invest in double or triple glazed windows, solar window film, solar electricity and heating options, rainwater collection and greywater recycling. Occupants may even earn money from these investments by putting power back into the grid.
So, whether you're project managing a private residential development or a commercial fund development, consider these construction investments to save you cash and improve your bottom line today. If you have any further suggestions, make sure to leave a comment below.