It’s no secret that Colorado housing has become a hot commodity. For many, [Read More...]
I have spent the last 35 years as a volunteer firefighter with our local fire protection district. I’ve seen a lot of changes over the years with equipment, tactics and strategies.
In the early days, we learned by example. “Do like the old timers do!” Later, the district put together a binder of SOPs- standard operating procedures. You’ve probably heard of them no matter what line of work you’re in. It is a way for all members or employees to work in sync and know what the others would be doing as well.
As time went by the fire district learned from experience that by having everyone follow rigid procedures when fighting a fire, it could actually put members in dangerous and life-threatening situations.
Just as no two fires are alike, no two houses are alike either. Weather, time of day, individual reactions vary. The department changed SOPs to SOGs- standard operating guidelines. This gives every member access to the same knowledge while allowing and encouraging flexibility to change tactics as the fire scene changes.
This is where I learned construction schedules are just the same as house fires.
Here at RM Construction we use computer programs designed to create schedules. In fact, every contractor probably uses scheduling programs in one form or another. This is a very helpful and necessary tool for the client and contractor to be able to list all the tasks needed to build a house in a visual format that is easy to understand.
Computer scheduling solves a myriad of problems:
• It helps make sure all tasks are accounted for
• You can delegate a specific timeframe for the tasks of each subcontractor
• You can sequence tasks- dig before concrete, concrete before framing, framing before weathervane and door bell, etc.
• You can show that a certain task cannot begin until another task has been completed
• It helps establish realistic expectations for the potential duration of the project.
A schedule like this is an SOP- standard operating procedure. But life is seldom standard and the process of house construction is rarely standard either.
What could go wrong?
• Weather delays
• Sick days/ death in the family
• Material shortages or delays
• Bridge closures and road construction
• Boulders or water in basement excavations
• Subcontractor loss or relocation
• Crucial equipment failure
That’s why here at RM Construction we use our schedule as our SOG- standard operating guidelines. We take advantage of our SOG’s flexibility in many ways:
• We bend with the storm and not break
• We use unintended consequences to our advantage
• If we have material delays/ shortages we take the opportunity to advance future tasks
• We utilize layering- as subcontractor’s schedules change we often convince other trades to move up their schedule and fill that void. All our subcontractors are top rated and we realize we are not their only job. We try to bend and blend schedules to the benefit of all involved.
• We “think on our feet”
Computer generated schedules once printed can appear rigid and unforgiving but they are excellent tools.
Home construction has ebbs and flows, twists and turns, ups and downs. Much like a house fire it is a living, breathing entity- constantly changing. To get the job done we’ll step in and probably bend some rules, and like a fireman crank up the water pressure, grab the axe and pike pole and run in when everyone else is running out.
That’s RM Construction.
Look for Billy Shank up to his knickers in road base and concrete while trying to keep the bears out of the dumpster. House construction is more than just programing schedules, you know. He enjoys the view and his job building custom homes for RM Construction.