6 Details That Can Throw Off Your Schedule



In 1997, Apple told us to “Think Different.” So we did. We thought about what could happen if the world went mobile, if information was boundless, if we could carry our office in our back pocket.

We’ve grown to love different and to expect change. And when it comes to Apple products, that’s not such a bad thing. When it comes to your building order, however, not so much.

We shouldn’t always “think different”; we shouldn’t always expect change.

Making what may seem like an insignificant change, or even leaving out inconsequential information, isn’t at all inconsequential to the schedule. Minor changes could mean the difference – again with that word – between the job staying on schedule and running behind.

How can you avoid the “different” snag? I thought you’d never ask.

6 areas that most frequently cause problems:

Panel colors

Changing a building color shouldn’t make a difference, and 25 years ago it usually didn’t. But today’s computer drafting programs process information differently and could affect the schedule. Every color has a code and every code is required to create the end result. Final color information is needed at the coding stage – performed at the beginning of the drafting process – to help alleviate errors in material colors.

Framing for roll-up doors

Roll-up doors can often cause more grief than just about anything. For example, is your door a horizontal roll up? A vertical roll up? A drum/canister door? That answer directly affects eave height and the materials provided. Having enough room for that door and correct materials billed is critical. Oftentimes, framing or bracing can get in the way of the door track. Changing the positioning or height of that door, therefore, can cause delays.

Crane data

Often, in order to get the job started, builders submit it before a crane is ordered. This can cause delays, especially if the crane span, crane height or crane capacity is changing. Since the cranes attach to the columns, any changes to the height or width of that crane – even an inch! – has a large impact on your drafting schedules, since the space required between the crane and the walls must be shifted.

Second floor heights, i.e. mezzanines, clearances and joist depths

Changes in clearance heights for equipment are time consuming to fix and can be devastating to the overall project if wrong. For example, if you want an eight-foot ceiling, the framing needs for the top and the clear space for the drop down ceiling are both based on that eight-foot height. Any changes, again even an inch, means the framing for the second floor must be adjusted.

Rooftop framed openings

Once the builder provides the rooftop framed opening information, the engineer designs for certain things, such as the roof purlins, to be a certain spacing, and all of it is based on the builder’s rooftop framed opening information. Changes in roof framed opening locations can be time consuming. For example, if a builder is ordering a school with a cafeteria, that cafeteria will require roof venting for the exhaust. If anything on the inside of that kitchen changes after the order has been placed, the spacings are no longer viable. When you put any holes in a roof, whether to allow for ventilation or sunlight or anything, it requires precision to design the roof without any gaps that could create future leaks. This is definitely an area that can snag your project for a lengthy amount of time if the information is changed after the order.

Permit drawings

Not all jobs require permit drawings. However, if they do, this is information that needs to be included up front in your order. The permit process, depending on the state and area where the building is being constructed, can often be lengthy. You’ll need those drawings long before you’ll need the materials. Make sure to consider the permit process length and requirement before placing your order.

Keeping a job on schedule takes a lot of different (that word!) pieces working together toward a smooth timetable. I hope these pointers help you catch any missing pieces in your order that could cause a snag down the line.

If you have experienced any other snags, or have a question about a certain area in your job order, let me know in the comments below. I would be happy to answer any questions.

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Stacy Milford

Stacy joined Star in 1988 as a Drafter. She held many positions within the Drafting department while studying Architectural Technology at Oklahoma State University’s Oklahoma City campus. Stacy has 27 years of industry experience and serves on the Advisory Committee of several surrounding Technology Centers and Colleges. In her spare time, Stacy enjoys gardening and spending time with her husband, children and grandchildren.

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