The most common factor that can jeopardize a construction project is the breakdown of communication. Client/manager and manager/worker communication play a critical role in a project’s outcome; any gap can lead to losses in the thousands of dollars, if not millions!
If this is your first construction project and you’re nervous about making missteps, don’t be! Good construction management teams have years of experience in dealing with clients, so they’ll know how to accommodate your expectations—even before the first meeting.
However, you still need to put your best foot forward if you want to make the right impression, so here are a few things to keep in mind.
Have a Clear Vision
Even though it’s the construction manager’s job to lay out a plan for each stage, things will turn out much better if you have a clear understanding of what you want. Don’t be afraid to discuss everything you have in mind. The best course of action is to request a 3D visual simulation of the property so both you and the construction firm are in agreement about the final design.
Communication Makes All the Difference
Communication is the key to success in any construction process, but we don’t mean that you should spend hours talking to your consultancy firm. What you do need to do is deliver accurate information to them that’s also comprehensive and articulate, to avoid any mix-ups.
A fundamental aspect of communication is active listening. When your construction manager has feedback about your suggestions, listen to them actively and openly. There can be a number of reasons why your demands can’t be met, and a healthy flow of communication can make all the difference.
Expectations vs. Reality
Feedback, criticism, complaints, delays, suggestions, and new ideas are all part of an ongoing construction project. As we mentioned earlier, you may have certain expectations which can’t be met, so consider your options carefully.
Your budget is a crucial factor that decides how the project will turn out; any misunderstanding regarding this aspect can lead to a nasty situation that may even turn into a lawsuit. If there’s a gap between yours and the firm’s understanding of what needs to happen, clarify things immediately.
Before moving ahead, talk about everything from costs and technicalities to timeline and potential risks.
But remember that the construction management team doesn’t have control over environmental factors like the weather or a natural disaster—this can lead to unexpected delays or additional costs. Work on a contingency plan to ensure that you’re financially and legally protected.
It all comes down to your relationship with the construction manager and having an open line of communication. Transparency and clarity on both sides will save you from potential problems, so don’t be hesitant to ask questions and ask for explanations. There’s nothing embarrassing about not understanding industry jargon or certain buzzwords; remember, the firm wants your business and will accommodate you in any way.