Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Slowly Fast Tracking!

This Great Recession has us all by the throat! For years almost every building project was started by"fast tracking" the design with the construction.  That meant that we were well into the actual construction process before the details caught up with the project. People just wouldn't wait on the front end for all of the plans and drawings to be completed - they had to have it NOW! So build we did, sometimes blind to what was coming next. Often this resulted in substantial budget overruns due to the absence of timely information.

Well, that was THEN and this is NOW. With the stock market crashing, and people losing 40% of their portfolio, we have grown wiser. All of a sudden everyone wants to wait for the plans to be completely finished. And who can blame them? When the urge strikes for a new home or remodel, what incentive do we really have to accelerate the process?
In a market that has been down now for several years, pent up demand for well designed homes and remodeling is very strong. We all are wary, but we are ready! At the first strong positive sign that the economy is rebounding, projects that are designed and ready to be built, but currently sitting on the sidelines, will be released for construction. At that point with demand for goods and services far outstripping supply we can all look for at least two probable things to happen. First, prices will shoot up as demand exceeds our ability to produce; and secondly we will be right back to "fast tracking" the construction process ahead of receiving the completed details.
With the overwhelming attrition in the contracting industry, those of us still around will not be able to keep up with the fire hydrant flow of projects! Sadly, many seeking to have projects built will have to rely on young, inexperienced new builders to get their work done.

Business has always been cyclical. When the elevator goes down, it always comes back up. Our current situation is no exception. Maybe it's time to re-evaluate our needs for the future and set the wheels in motion to take advantage of current conditions. Projects will never be cheaper, or more well attended than they are today!

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