If you’re a tradesman working on a new driveway, then you want to make sure your project is coming in under budget and on time. We’ve got five top tips that will help you when it comes to delivering this for your clients.
Make a Cohesive Plan
When you plan out the project, you have to make sure this is accurate and also achievable. While you might want to tell the customer it will be ready sooner, be realistic about when you can deliver this. If you come in early and under budget, then you can impress them!
During the planning and quotation stages, you want to ensure that all aspects of the project are taken into account. Quotes should include the materials, and any plant hire, as well as room for any unanticipated costs too. You can lay everything out for the client, so they know precisely what to expect and what their quote includes.
Order the Supplies
Bringing in the supplies with plenty of time means that you won’t need to wait around for these later down the line. Hold-ups in the supply chain can put your project off for weeks, so make sure you have the materials ready at the start of the project. Most homeowners are happy to allow for storage of slabs and other materials at their property to make the job simpler.
This kind of material doesn’t take up too much space, especially for homeowners with a more substantial property; the material is there when you need it. Just schedule the deliveries with plenty of time to allow for any delays.
Regarding cost, you also want to ensure that the materials you order come in under budget. This might mean that you select different products than you would usually, for a larger or smaller budget. Liaise with the customer at all times to ensure that they know what they’re getting for their money.
You don’t want them to have a different expectation of the work than that which is produced. This will lead to an unhappy customer, so make sure they understand the process. Show them the materials that you will use and what you’ll be doing with them.
Hire the Right Plant
In some cases, manual labour might not be enough to break ground on the driveway project, or you may need to dig out drainage ditches. In this case, it takes less time and effort to bring in a heavy plant; this is a potential cost that you’ll have to factor into the budget too.
Additional equipment and cost also feed into the project timing, as you have to have the plant available when the project requires it. This kind of project management is essential if you want to bring in these outside elements. With the right plant, you can save staff hours, but you will need an operator and a disposal system for the soil which has been dug up.
If your customer is looking for cheap driveway ideas, then they might not consider this cost within their budget. However, with purely manual labour, you might find that ditches aren’t deep enough or there are other drainage issues. In this case, you might need to revisit the budget to allow for this additional cost.
Account for the Weather
The weather can impact the timescale of your paving project. Spongy ground won’t hold up when it comes to laying paving or gravel. The soft ground will naturally degrade, and your slabs won’t be straight. While it can be frustrating to wait for the weather to clear, you’ve got to make sure the ground is adequately prepared.
Try to line up these projects in the summer months where possible to allow you to get the groundwork done while the structure is dry. Then you can finish off the project even when the weather takes a turn for the worse. It’s all about planning these projects around the best times to do each element of the work.
Rushing your work will lead to mistakes which can have a negative impact on your reputation. Cutting corners to save time can be attractive, but it won’t give your customer the best possible end result. You want to make sure that each project that you work on is your very best work, no matter what the constraints are.
At times, the best way to deal with these kinds of time constraints is to communicate with your customer. Most customers would prefer for the job to be done correctly, rather than having to deal with sloppy work and poor outcomes. Time constraints will impact the driveway in the long term, potentially knocking years off the life of the project.
Merely explaining this to the customer should all other options have been exhausted is better than cutting these corners. Put yourself in their shoes, and it shouldn’t be too tricky to understand which route they would prefer you go down.
A driveway represents a serious investment to the property to many homeowners, so make sure you’re ready to deliver! Doing the correct planning in the initial stages and accounting for any delays are just some of the ways you can ensure you come in on time and under budget. Take a look around our site if you want to check out the products we can provide to make your job easier.