If you pride yourself on anything, it’s your preparation skills. You have jobs lined up often months in advance, you maintain materials and staff well, and you genuinely feel confident that you have this construction manager thing in the bag.
And we have no doubt that you do.
But unfortunately, no matter how organized you are, you can’t prepare for spontaneity. Holdups due to hidden construction costs can be a real burden on any project.
You never can tell when you might experience this. Even if you think you have it all figured out, something comes up that increases the cost, messes with your budget and your timeline.
What are some of these hidden construction costs?
- Unforeseen circumstances: Let’s say someone hires you to rebuild office bathrooms or kitchens. You understand the codes, what the client wants, and you have a team ready to work. What you don’t see, though, until you start opening up walls is the rotted flooring and the old piping that now has to be replaced and built to code. You need to readjust your project cost with the client and hire the appropriate staff to take care of this unforeseen circumstance.
- Change of clients’ mind: You and your client have agreed on 4-stall bathrooms so you bring in your plumbers and have them get to work. Unfortunately, a week into the project, the client decides that they actually need 5-stall bathrooms to accommodate their growing staff. You now have to rehire the plumbing team and account for additional materials to give the client what they’ve asked for (even if they changed their mind halfway through).
- Vendor delay: Because you’re rebuilding bathrooms and kitchens, you are reliant on your product supply vendor heavily for things like sinks, toilets, and all the hardware that comes with them. They notify you they are going to be delayed two weeks on your order due to a shipment error, but the client can’t push their deadline. You have to scramble finding a new vendor to work with and pay extra for last minute delivery on your needed items.
- Rising material costs: When you originally bid on this job, you told the client a specific cost based on your labor and material needs. As you got closer to the start of the project, you noticed the cost of some of your materials have since gone up. You readjust your price with the client, but they won’t budge. Instead of losing out on the entire job and its profits, you decide to incur the cost of the new materials yourself.
Chances are, you’ve experienced all of these hiccups before. You got through it and here you are, still standing. But what if you had a tool that could protect you from these hidden costs? A tool like Thunderbolt.
How Thunderbolt protects against hidden construction costs
Historical Job Data: This functionality can help piece together regional building conditions. If you’ve done work in a certain area where there were many buildings constructed 30+ years ago, you can feel confident the one you are about to work on in the same area will have many of the same problems you experienced at the other jobs.
Vendor Tracking: This helps to solve for problem #3 listed above. If you are able to keep a record of vendors you’ve used that you can tap into in case of an emergency, you won’t have to scramble as much. You can also keep notes about vendors that have had repeat offenses (as if you won’t remember) just to keep in mind which vendors you can count on during peak season. It may also help to have this information handy so you can reach out and ensure multiple times everything is on schedule.
Tracking Customers: Use this to see if you’ve worked with the same client in the past and how the project went. Did they have multiple change orders? Was it smooth? Did they refuse cost increases that were out of your control? With this information, you’ll be able to better mentally prepare for what’s ahead, and possibly anticipate any last minute needs so they don’t appear as daunting.
Labor and Material Needs: Keeping track of the labor and materials you’ve used over different jobs can help predict what you might need in the case of a change up. This feature may also help you track any rising or falling costs of materials overtime, based on what you’ve previously paid for them.
Remember: No matter how prepared you are, you can’t always prepare for hidden construction costs. Let Thunderbolt lend a hand.