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Pros and Cons of Fast Track Construction Scheduling

A photo taken over the city showing a high-rise building being built surround by scaffolds and cranes.

Pros and Cons of Fast Track Construction Scheduling

Fast track construction holds both promise and peril. For property owners, it holds the potential of a quicker return on investment; for contractors, it can mean the ability to take on more projects each year. However, if not properly managed, fast track construction projects can raise quality and planning issues. If these issues arise, the promise of saving money can be lost, and may lead to disputes and recriminations if things go wrong. The success of a project depends on a contractor with experience in fast track construction. These contractors should possess strong project management skills, the right equipment, and the qualified people to work with to make a fast track schedule work. 

J&S Masonry has the experience, skills, equipment, and qualified people which is why so many investors choose them for their fast track projects in the Pacific Northwest. 


Advantages What is Fast Track Construction? 

Fast track construction compresses the customary project timeline by having multiple phases of construction occur at once. When guided by a sure hand, this speeds up the process and lowers costs, but it also places a strain on your supply chain and subcontractors alike. This approach has clear advantages, as well as some drawbacks of which you should be aware. 


Advantages of Fast Track Construction

First, lets look at some of the reasons you may choose to fast track a project.

Lowered Construction Costs

Any commercial project focuses on the ROI. Less time spent on the build means lower labor costs, which in turn lowers the cost of the project as a whole.

Faster Project Completion

Because of the tighter timeframe of a fast track schedule, its possible to maximize time and make a property profitable more quickly. Rather than building floor by floor, fast track construction techniques allow for work on multiple floors simultaneously. A masonry contractor can be working on the basement level while the plumbing and electrical teams are working on the upper floors, with structural work continuing higher up. The building is erected faster and is better protected against the elements because the masonry team can work on the exterior envelope while other work continues inside.


Why Are Fast Track Construction Projects Challenging?

Fast track construction has two strong advantages, but there are a handful of challenges that can occur if an inexperienced contractor is employed. 

Nature of Exterior Construction

Having tradesmen working on several levels of a structure simultaneously, brings with it some occupational hazards, including drop hazards. Extra care must be taken to minimize risk and liability.

Liquidated Damages

Most contractorsand subcontractorscontracts include a liquidated damages clause that stipulates a steep charge if work falls behind schedule. This often leads to the primary contractor making frequent, unpredictable, and sometimes seemingly arbitrary changes to keep the project on track. These changes can lead to subcontractors inadvertently causing further delays if theyre inexperienced in fast track construction techniques. 


With construction booming in Washington and Oregon, scheduling is tighter and more complicated than before. Difficulties can occur when scheduling and coordinating are split among multiple contractors. The contractual obligations mentioned above, and the projectsadded complexity, can lead to mistakes and delays if they are not dealt with properly. Furthermore, when more stakeholders are involved in a project, it can also increase opportunities for miscommunication. 

Congestion of Workers and Materials

Poor coordination leads to congestion. Thats because having several projects running concurrently means that different contractorspersonnel can end up getting in each others way. Without proper planning for seemingly mundane factors like storage and working space, efficiency can suffer and lead to significant delays.


Fast track projects are occasionally harder to insure. If youve read to this point, you can understand why. Constellation of speed, scheduling conflicts, budgetary concerns, and congestion can lead to a rushed job and a higher incidence of accidents. Thats one reason among many that we make a commitment to safety first and foremost. 


Overcoming the Challenges of Fast Track Scheduling

While fast track scheduling presents its share of challenges, none of them are insurmountable provided you bring the right tools, methods, and experience to bear on the project. 



Because J&S Masonry owns FRACO multi-trade hydraulic mast-climbing scaffolding, were able to sidestep many of the safety and productivity concerns raised earlier. The use of a Mobile scaffold platform not only means the ability to handle heavier loads safely while being protected from overhead work, but it also means more working space for contractors. This streamlines scheduling and improves productivity. 


Just as important as the tools at our disposal are some other, less tangible, methods in our kit. Project management can make or break project deadlines, and we coordinate the project sequence so that different subcontractors stay out of each others way. This preparation ensures a smooth and continuous workflow. 


J&S Masonry: an Experienced Fast Track Construction Company

J&S Masonry is more than a masonry company. Because we deal in complementary disciplines (in our case, scaffolding and masonry), we are able to ensure efficiency. Combine that with our project management expertise, and you have a recipe for success. For help with fast tracking your next project, contact us for a consultation today.

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