To set your team up for success, you want to have completed design documents in hand by the end of November. Here are three reasons why this timing is ideal…
Now that fall has arrived, this year’s building envelope projects are (hopefully) completed or wrapping up soon. This can only mean one thing: it’s time to start designing the projects you have planned for next year. Designing next year’s building envelope projects in the fall or winter offers several money- and time-saving benefits.
When you have completed design documents in hand by the end of November, you’re able to put your projects out for bid between December and February.
Here are three reasons why this timing is ideal.
You can attract more competitive bid prices in the fall
When bidding on a project during the fall and winter months, contractors are generally more inclined to submit a competitive price, as they have yet to fill up their summer schedules. Keep in mind that construction bid prices tend to steadily increase as summer approaches. In recent years, bid prices have increased substantially from winter to summer, partly due to the booming economy and a shortage of skilled construction personnel.
Designing your project in the fall or early winter can also give you a more flexible construction schedule — and this can lead to lower bid prices, too. If possible, consider scheduling your construction to start
early (let’s say, mid-April) or wrap up later in the year (November). Here’s why: The construction of most K-12 and higher education projects must take place between June and August, when students are out of
class. If your construction schedule gives contractors a little breathing room around school projects, you’re likely to receive better bids. Plus, by giving contactors more time to meet August deadlines, you’ll be
helping out the schools, too.
Begin projects in the fall to avoid winter-weather installation costs
The installation of certain materials, such as those required for roof replacement, waterproofing, masonry repair, window replacement, and sealant replacement work, is largely weather dependent. Of course, it’s not impossible to install these materials in the winter, but it can be more costly.
Winter conditions are not optimal for achieving a high-quality installation of these products, so the work will be more expensive due to its pace, heating requirements, and other factors. If your project is designed by early winter, you’ll be able to schedule your construction to take place between April and November, when temperatures are generally suitable for any building envelope work.
Order materials early to allow ample lead time for deliveries
Another aspect that is often overlooked is the long lead time some building envelope products require, such as windows, doors, and skylights. The time it takes these products to go from a shop drawing
submittal and review to delivery is often eight to 12 weeks or more — which is almost all of summer here in the Upper Midwest! Bidding your project before the end of February means your long-lead-time materials will likely be delivered by the end of May.
Ready to design your building envelope project? Contact AET!
Working with a consultant like AET to design your project during the fall and early winter is a wise move that can help your project meet both budget and schedule demands. To set your team up for success in the coming year, this really is the best season for getting your plans underway.
Rick Froberg, AIA, RRC, LEED AP, is the manager of AET’s Building Technology Division. He can be reached at email@example.com.