The global pandemic has completely changed the way we live, study, work... and build. Constructing a new home was an entirely different ball game during the pandemic, with challenges that no one could anticipate or prepare for. Knotty supply chain problems caused by delays in moving building materials across the country or into the country have led to shortages. With rising demand and surging prices, many homeowners and builders have had to opt for other, more expensive product alternatives. This meant the owner not only ended up with something they didn’t really want, but also paid more for the privilege.

Having an effective project plan for building a house

It hasn’t been an easy time for builders. Since the pandemic and COVID outbreak, outdoor project planning and management tools and strategies have had to change to meet new work and business challenges. This has seen the introduction of innovative procedures, systems and platforms that are gradually replacing those, which are unable to meet modern workplace needs. However, even the smartest new gadgetry cannot help if simple basic common sense is ignored.

Having an effective ‘building a house’ project management plan has never been more important than it is now.

Delayed shipment is not just Australia’s issue

With countries shutting down borders due to the pandemic, shipments were delayed globally – a problem further exacerbated by unforeseen incidents such as the Suez canal blockage episode, and extreme weather conditions. 

Further blame has been placed on the industry’s reliance on just-in-time manufacturing and delivery schedules, which were and continue to be largely interrupted by lockdowns. It is not only the end-user, or seller that is inconvenienced by lack of stock. Consider the manufacturers who also rely on deliveries of parts and products to enable their own continued production. 

The closure of shipping ports, loading/offloading delays and ships unable to dock as they wait offshore have led to extended turnaround times at many, if not most of the world’s major ports. Even when ships did arrive in Australia, ports in Melbourne and Sydney experienced closures because of employees testing positive to the virus.

All of these factors contribute to the difficulty of holding and maintaining adequate stock levels along the supply chain. The question, therefore, is: How do you safeguard your project timeline under these circumstances?

Safeguarding your project timeline

Whether you are a large commercial builder, a smaller self-employed subbie, or a do-it-yourself home handyman, if you plan to complete your project within a certain timeframe, ensure you are able to buy the necessary supplies, and that stocks are adequate if you cannot buy everything you need upfront. Be sure to work these timeframes into your building project management plan.

Also, have a contingency plan in place, should something on your list suddenly become unavailable. You should also know what your alternatives are, and whether they are available for your use if required.

Ideally, when installing items such as timber flooring, decking and cladding, you should be able to buy from the same batch to avoid noticeable colour changes. Of course, it can also be unavoidable, for instance, when a customer decides to extend the area, or some boards become damaged and need to be replaced. In this case, it is best to take a sample of the existing product with you so you can match it up as perfectly as possible with the newer batches.

When you select your materials from an already diminishing supply, you will invariably be faced with an ‘out of stock’ problem if you need to buy extra. With the current manufacturing and shipping delays into Australia, your project timelines can blow out. So, check first and make sure everything you need is already well-stocked in Australia.

Creating a realistic ‘building a house’ project plan will help to keep you motivated and on track timewise. Consult with it and update the plan as the project progresses.

The good news is that some companies such as NewTechWood have been highly adaptable and capable and have taken into account all recent changes. As such, for 2022, we have planned ahead, and our warehouses are fully stocked with most profiles, so people can get on with their projects. 

Urban Direct Wholesale is an exclusive distributor of NewTechWood products.