Running out of materials on a project can cause serious delays. While there are some materials that you may be able to source quickly, others may take a lot of time to procure. You’ll likely spend a lot more money gathering the materials, and there could be other costs as a result of the delay. By having the right amount of materials from the start and not using any materials wastefully, you can avoid the costly repercussions that come with a material shortage. Below are just a few tips to prevent material shortages.
Get your figures right
It’s important to take the time to work out exactly how much materials you need. If you rush this phase, you’ll undoubtedly order the wrong amount. For big projects, many construction companies outsource services such as lumber takeoff estimating so that they’re getting the right amount of materials and so that they can charge the customer the right price. With smaller projects, however, you may not feel this is necessary.
A common mistake when working out how many materials are needed is not factoring in offcuts or material lapping. There are parts of materials that you won’t be able to use and some materials will need to be lapped or spliced. While it’s important to limit waste, having that little bit extra can sometimes be necessary.
Always double-check calculations and read figures carefully when placing orders. Make sure to get any conversions right (such as feet to meters or kg to pounds) – this can be another area where mistakes are made. You could also ask others to check the numbers for you to be absolutely sure.
Store materials correctly
Material shortages can also occur when materials are allowed to be exposed to rain, frost, or extreme heat. Damage caused by the elements could render some of your materials unusable. Make sure that materials are adequately protected when stored outdoors.
You should also consider the way in which materials are stacked and transported. If not stored properly, certain materials could get damaged by having too much weight on top of them or by being knocked around in the back of a van.
Security is also important as construction materials can sometimes be targeted by thieves. Being able to lock away materials when not in use could prevent materials from being lost as a result of a burglary.
Take care when handling materials
Sometimes materials can get handled roughly by workers causing them to get damaged. Care should always be taken when offloading materials or installing them. In cases where stairs need to be negotiated, there may be times when using a lift is a much safer option for preventing bulky materials from getting damaged.
If workers are well trained, you shouldn’t have to deal with too much loss of materials through mishandling. Make sure that workers in training are monitored when working with materials – something as minor as putting a screw in the wrong place could make a material unusable resulting in the need to buy more.