Spring has finally arrived… or anyway, we hope it’s just around the corner! For some, it’s been a cold winter of snow, while other parts of the country have suffered through winter rain storms. This has hampered and slowed work, often costing projects money.
Spring brings a new beginning and new opportunities on our construction projects. Are you ready to shake off winter and maximize production – making up for lost time? Of course in some parts summer brings a different set of challenges – some states will suffer extreme heat and other areas will have summer rains. Then there are the challenges of possible tornadoes and even hurricanes later in the year.
What will the weather bring your project this summer?
It’s important to make the most of the good weather. Take the opportunity to maximize production. This includes ensuring that you’ve planned ahead and all materials and equipment will be available. You really don’t want to work delayed while there’s good weather to get things done. To make use of the good weather plan work so that structures come out of the ground before the onset of summer rains. Study the construction schedule to see where you’ve slipped over winter and plan how you will catch up the lost time. Understand what are the most weather dependent activities and focus energies on completing these tasks.
While there’s good weather you could consider extending working hours and employing extra resources. Of course, don’t forget to reduce resources and shorten working hours when they’re no longer needed, or when poor weather strikes again. Our farmers know how to work with the weather. They know that spring is often the busiest time of the year, with the harvesting of winter crops and preparing and sowing summer crops. They often have a small window to work in, so they literally work around the clock for a few weeks and employ extra people. Despite the rigors of winter they have everything planned and know what must be done as soon as the weather changes.
After a long cold winter, it’s sometimes difficult to get workers motivated and working at maximum productivity. They’ve become accustomed to the slower pace of working in winter and to frequent weather interruptions. In some cases, schedule slippages caused by the weather have become the accepted norm. Set realistic targets to catch up the lost time. Motivate your teams – maybe even have a short welcome to spring celebration on your project.
Take time to consider the challenges of the new season and how you’ll work around them. Maybe your area is windy in spring and early summer so it might be prudent to plan tasks that could be impacted by the wind to happen at times when it’s likely that it won’t be so windy, say in the early morning or evening.
If your project is in an area with summer rains, ensure that structures are made watertight as soon as possible. Complete installing stormwater drains and ensures that they’re all working.
The new season may also mean that suppliers and subcontractors are busier, with clients and other contractors making the most of the improved weather conditions to get their projects moving. Talk to your suppliers and subcontractors and make sure that they’ll keep up with the demands on your project. Ensure that your suppliers and subcontractors understand what must be delivered to meet your targets. Again you wouldn’t want times of good weather wasted because a supplier or subcontractor let you down.
Before you know it we will be in the middle of summer, so make the most of the improved spring weather. Shake off the winter blues and take advantage of the better weather and longer days. Get your teams motivated. But, of course, also prepare for the challenges that summer will bring to your project.