Establishing a Construction Timeline

What is a timeline used for in construction?

Your construction timeline is one of the first things you must establish when starting a construction project. A timeline sets the expectations for the overall project and the different aspects that contribute to your build. Your construction project timeline should address:

  • The construction activities involved

  • The order of these activities and when will they begin and wrap up

  • The resources associated with each building activity

The timeline outlines the project’s steps and the sequence in which your team completes them. It should also provide the individual time estimates for each step. This plan holds your construction team accountable and allows them to coordinate with subtrades.

It is crucial to follow the specific order of events within the timeline. For example, you wouldn’t put in the electrical after putting the drywall up. If the subtrade activities are completed out of order or some fall behind, it can push the whole project back. 

Your timeline should also include the resources and materials your team needs to acquire for each step. Then, for your project to move forward, it is necessary to have those materials ordered, delivered, and on-site for installation.

If your timeline is planned correctly and provides a detailed account of every aspect of your project, including contingencies, you can ensure your project finishes on time. Also, staying on schedule will contribute to staying on budget. 


How is a construction project timeline prepared? 

The first step in creating a project timeline is gathering information. This step involves creating a list of construction activities based on the building design and the associated subcontractors. The subcontractors will provide estimates from their team, which are factored into the overall timeline. Your team should also contact the local permitting office to ensure that approvals and inspections make it into your schedule.

Unique details in your building design, such as materials, construction techniques, and approvals, play a part in your timeline. 

Your timeline should also include contingencies for factors such as delays in acquiring materials, individual projects taking longer than anticipated and, of course, weather. If your construction team can incorporate these contingencies into their project timeline, you are more likely to remain on time.

Once the information gathering is complete, your team can establish the stages of construction and the estimated timeline of each step. From approvals to breaking ground and final walk-throughs to handing you the keys, every detail of your build project is laid out in the timeline. An experienced contractor will compile an accurate and easy-to-follow construction timeline. In addition, they can apply their industry experience to factor in steps or contingencies that will benefit your project. 


How to stay on time and budget

Many things can affect a project timeline, such as weather, approvals, or material acquisition, but it is necessary to have the tools to stay on track. Here are some ways your team can say on time and, in turn, more likely to stay on budget.


Review Your Schedule

Check your schedule frequently to ensure your team meets all the established milestones and individual projects. These regular check-ins should also involve adjusting your timeline if you are ahead or behind schedule.


Construction Team Communication

Communication with your team can help you remain on time or appropriately adjust your schedule. Adjustments rely on your subtrades communicating with your contractors and letting them know they are falling behind or delayed. This standardized expectation will prevent delays from becoming the reason you overshoot your scheduled deadline.


Set Realistic Deadlines

You are more likely to stay on track if you initially set realistic deadlines when creating your construction timeline. If you tried to establish the expectation that you would finish sooner than is attainable, you would not meet that deadline. And don’t forget to factor in extra time or space for contingencies. 


Be Prepared!

Prepare and coordinate all the necessary resources, including materials and labour, ahead of time. All construction activities should have all resources set aside. If you do not have those resources ready when the scheduled construction activity starts, it will push your project back.


Stretch’s Timelines

At Stretch Construction, we always strive to provide our customers with the most efficient project timelines. As a result, we have established a reputation for delivering accelerated construction turnover times. Typically our projects are completed significantly faster than the industry standard. For example, our team finished a 62,500 sq/ft hotel with 83 rooms, a banquet room and a pool in 13 months.


Contact our team if you want to learn more about establishing construction timelines or how Stretch can assist on your next construction project.

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