Whether you’re constructing a brand-new building or remodeling an existing one in Long Beach, the building process always seems to take longer than the original estimate. People with experience going through these types of projects will tell you that’s just to be expected. They’ll say that it’s common knowledge that every project goes over budget and extends beyond the quoted timeline.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Sure, there can be unexpected delays, like the supply chain issues the construction industry saw during the height of the Coronavirus pandemic, but most of the things that people in the industry will chalk up to “unexpected delays” are actually quite foreseeable. Subcontractors don’t show up when they say they will, things don’t pass inspection the first time, material deliveries get delayed. These types of occurrences are all totally normal, and should be anticipated and accounted for in the estimated construction timeline.
Working With Experienced Professionals in Long Beach
Sometimes, the issues people have with construction project delays stem from working with an inexperienced architect or contractor (or both). An architect or general contractor who is just starting out in the industry will give their clients a timeline estimate based on how things “should” go. However, anyone with experience working on building or remodeling projects in Long Beach will tell you that things rarely go as they “should,” and buffers need to be put in place to account for the inevitable hiccups.
It also helps when the architect or contractor you are working with knows what city officials are looking for when it comes to approving plans and passing inspections. Mark Grisafe, who has been an architect in Long Beach for 20 years, had this to say about working with the City of Long Beach’s Development Services Department, “They spend a lot of time looking at plan submissions and know what a good set of plans looks like almost as soon as it comes across their desk. When the City receives a well-executed set of commercial building plans, it makes their job easier. There is less back-and-forth needed. The process is smooth and moves forward as it is designed to.”
Less back and forth time between your architect and city officials is one way to keep your project on schedule. Another way is to make sure your architect provides your general contractor with a complete set of plans.
Grisafe says, “At our architecture firm, we only work with highly skilled engineers and sub-consultants. This means, not only are our site plans, floor plans, building elevations, and 3D models well designed, so are the mechanical engineering plans, electrical engineering plans, plumbing engineering plans, soils reports, and public works plans that are produced by our sub-consultants. We don’t cut corners by hiring the cheapest engineers and sub-consultants we can find. They are all reputable and knowledgeable in their respective fields and produce great work. The general contractors we’ve worked with appreciate the fact that they don’t have to spend a lot of their valuable time waiting to get answers from us or the engineers to fill in any missing information. Instead, they can just follow the plans, knowing that they include all the necessary details. Poorly drawn up plans, on the other hand, can bring a project to a standstill because the general contractor is unable to keep things moving until he or she gets the needed information.”
Hiring the right general contractor is also essential. Good, experienced general contractors know how to manage their projects in a way that keeps them on schedule. Managing subcontractors is an especially important element. Failing to schedule one vital subcontractor at the right time can effectively put an entire project on hold. Mistakes and poor time management can also keep a project from moving forward as it should. Before you sign a contract with a Long Beach general contractor, make sure you do your research. Read reviews, talk to past clients, or ask your architect who he or she recommends.
Take your time in selecting an architect or a general contractor for your Long Beach construction project—especially if you care about your project getting finished within a certain timeframe.