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How Fast is Too Fast? by Corinne Maddox, CCM, CFM

One of the biggest complaints by general contractors is that clients do not give them enough time for construction. It seems that in the last 5-10 years, project durations have been getting tighter and tighter. Clients and consultants think that because a contractor finished a project in record time one time, that it can be done every time. There are processes to fast-track projects but they usually come with a significant price tag attached, risk of missing the completion dates and many headaches. If general contractors do not have adequate time to bid, fewer subcontractors will be called which translates to less competition and higher bids. Pricing and document questions not answered during bidding will be addressed as costly change orders. Inadequate time for material procurement may result in undesirable substitutions or an inevitable occupancy delay. Short construction durations require subcontractors to work on top of each other and do work out of sequence. That results in change orders and premium pricing to cover labor inefficiencies, return trips, repeated mobilization and overtime costs. Inadequate time will result in lower construction quality, and not enough time to complete punchlist work before occupancy. It is essential to discuss the required construction time and ramifications early in the project to obtain the best value.

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