Have you ever had to throw up your hands and say, “It’s beyond my control”? No one likes to be in the position of having to apologize for delays beyond your control. It’s a position your deck builder, Archadeck of Columbus, will inevitably be in once in a while.
You can think of examples where circumstances beyond your control prevented an event from taking place when or how you planned it. You do the best you can in terms of scheduling and planning. At some point, it’s out of your hands.
Planning to Finish Projects on Time
In a multi-phase project such as building your deck or screened porch, there are a lot of “moving parts.” Some of these the builder can control, and some we cannot. When we encounter a delay that’s out of our control, we hope the client can be good-natured and understanding about it.
— This combination project consisted of many moving parts as you can see from the aerial image!
We love to finish building outdoor living projects on schedule. Nothing makes us happier than being able to tell a client we have finished on or before the projected completion date.
Four Main Causes of Construction Delays
Almost 100% of construction delays we encounter are caused by inclement weather, a backlog in the local permitting and inspection office, HOA approvals and delays in having materials delivered.
1. No one controls the weather. Some seasons are rainier than others, or too hot or too cold. We plan to work every business day once a project is underway. What’s heartbreaking is a day that starts out terrible, with thunderstorms or freezing rain, but by afternoon the sky has cleared.
2. At the permitting office we’re depending on people, not the whims of Mother Nature. Within the greater Columbus area, we rely on several different building departments. In the City of Columbus we work with their Department of Building and Zoning Services. If you’re not in the city, we may need to obtain a building permit through Franklin County—or Delaware, Pickaway or Fairfield County. If you’re in a suburb, we may need to go through your city’s building department.
We develop good working relationships with people at each of these locations, but we cannot control how fast they work or what obstacles they encounter. We rely on them at the beginning, to obtain a building permit, and we rely on them at completion, to have the project inspected. For the most part, we are at their mercy.
3. Homeowners Association approval is a little more predictable because they operate on a schedule. If you have an HOA, you probably know how often they meet and how far in advance you need to notify them of your plans to add a deck, porch or patio to your home. We will ask you for this information when we first sign a contract for your project. Delays caused by the HOA are not unheard of, however. They have been known to ask for additional information and to defer a decision until a later date.
4. Materials … we just go to the store and purchase them, right? Not necessarily. We may need to special order materials for your project. We order from reliable vendors with whom we’ve worked for years. In some cases that’s because certain materials are not available at local stores, and in some cases it’s because we can get much better pricing through these vendors. One reason we consider them reliable vendors is because they usually deliver materials promptly, but we do encounter the occasional delay.
These are not “excuses.” These are the realities of the construction business. We create an approximate schedule for each project based on our experience. But the best-laid plans of mice and men …. Robert Burns’ famous poem goes on to say these plans will leave us nothing but grief and pain. We hope not!!
What You Can Do About Unforeseen Delays in Your Project’s Schedule
There is little you can do, but we have one suggestion. The moment you decide you want to add a porch, deck or patio to your home, call us to make an appointment to start talking with us about it. If you have an event in mind and want your project to be completed prior to that, give us as much lead time as you can. Don’t try to work out the “likely” schedule in your head. If your daughter is planning a June wedding, don’t say to yourself, I will need to call Archadeck of Columbus in January. No … it’s best to call us now. Wouldn’t you rather your covered pavilion be completed in February or March rather than July? Calling us earlier does not prevent delays, it just makes them inconsequential.
What We Can Do to Head Off Unforeseen Delays
Believe us when we say we are already doing everything we can to create a reasonable construction schedule and adhere to it. We build the schedule for your project based on our experience with all of the above contingencies. No matter how we try to anticipate potential obstacles, we may encounter delays that prevent us from finishing by the projected completion date.
When you sign a contract for Archadeck of Columbus to build an outdoor living project at your home, we will prepare a schedule. At that time we will set an approximate completion date. Once you sign the contract and we give you a start date, you can expect to hear from us again about 6 weeks before your start date. After that point, you will receive regular updates on your project.
Your Archadeck of Columbus design consultant is ready to help you explore options for making your outdoor living dreams come true. Contact us today at (740) 265-3905.