This week in the Examiner, Kieran McCarthy of KMC Homes looks at why project management is critical when planning to build a home extension to help reduce stress.

Q. We are planning an extension to the rear of our three-bed property. However, we have a small child with another on the way. We would really like to keep the construction timelines to the shortest period possible.

Can you run through the issues that cause delays to projects and are there things homeowners can do to help builders shorten construction periods?

A. For me the most important elements missing in many construction projects are project management, communication, and personnel. Indeed, these elements are intertwined and depend on each other. Project management involves listing out all the key tasks in a project, assigning personnel to each task, ordering the tasks, and estimating how long each task will take place and which tasks can be overlapped. I always use a diagram called a Gantt chart for this (example images of this are available online).

If you are carrying out this project with a small building company they may not actually formally draw up this chart but when appointed, you can certainly draw one up with your builder by hand or with one of the many free tools available. I always find that even the act of drawing up the chart gives you a great feeling of control and visibility over the project, and it will show you which tasks depend on which and where the busy periods of the project will be (where several tasks overlap). These are the times you need to be on site to deal with the management and sequencing of trades. You can of course use this chart to monitor and review your project as it progresses.

View full article in The Examiner here.




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