One of the best things about a steel building project is that it’s so much faster than most types of construction. It’s not unusual for a prefabricated steel structure to be erected on-site in less than a week from the start of work. But there are issues that can cause delays in putting up a metal building. Here are a few examples:
#1 Permit Problems
The wheels of bureaucracy turn very slowly, and pulling permits is sometimes like pulling teeth. On your application, you will probably be asked to provide an approximate construction date. That’s a bit of a catch 22. This is because the city or county hasn’t told you if you can move forward yet. Getting a construction company to commit to a date, facing a delay in permit approval, and rescheduling the start date based on the construction firm’s availability can lead to a delay. If you are part of an HOA, you may face additional delays in receiving approval for your project.
#2 Equipment Availability
Depending on the company coming out to handle your building project, you may face setbacks. These delays couble be due to a lack of heavy equipment for site preparation and construction. For example, a company could experience a breakdown of one of their own machines. Or, if you are using a small construction company that depends heavily on rental equipment, they may not be able to get their hands on the necessary equipment when they expected. This may be particularly likely to happen during the peak of construction season when lots of crews are out on jobs. Larger buildings require more specialized equipment to move the heavy components around, which is another reason complex steel buildings may take longer to complete.
#3 Failure to Mark Utilities
It takes more time upfront to have utility lines marked before the installation of a metal building. But that’s nothing compared to the delay if you accidentally rupture a line or a pipe. This kind of accident can cause injuries, utility service disruption, and a high repair bill. You’ll also be stuck waiting for the utility company to make repairs. Add in the cost of moving your building so it’s not cutting across utility lines or rerouting the utilities (and getting new permits from the city to cover any changes), and the whole steel building project can turn into a real mess.
#4 Severe Weather
Steel buildings are very resilient. However, construction workers need protection from things like hail, lightning storms, torrential rains, blizzards, extreme heat, and high winds. Working in poor weather conditions increases the chances of serious accidents. A responsible foreman will delay a project rather than putting employees at risk. In addition, very wet conditions may make it impossible to do prep work like pouring a slab foundation. It’s a good idea to schedule installation during a stretch of time when the weather is likely to be fair. But be ready to adjust if things change.
#5 Small Teams
The size of the team assigned to a project has a significant impact on the time it takes to complete. Completing work safely with a two-person crew is going to take more time (and often more ingenuity) than doing the same job with a four-person team. It’s usually up to the construction company to assign the appropriate number of workers to a job. Companies that don’t have a lot of experience managing multiple projects may stretch their teams too thin or face other challenges with labor-management (such as hiring flaky contractors) that delay a project.
How Can You Minimize Delays?
While not all factors are under your control, you do have one very important choice to make. And, that’s the company you choose to design, prefabricate, and install your steel building. At Peak Steel, our team has a combined 100+ years of experience handling all aspects of the steel building project process. We can handle permitting, site preparation, and construction from start to finish. We also carefully select reliable contractors for every project, and we know how to get the job done.
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