Lessons Learned Over 35 Years

July 8, 2024

Terlin Construction was founded in 1989, and the past three-and-a-half decades have given us opportunity to learn a lot about how to complete a successful construction project! These are complex endeavours that involve numerous stakeholders, tight schedules, and intricate logistics. From managing timelines to fostering effective communication, here are some key insights gleaned from the trenches of commercial construction.

Thorough Planning is Key
One of the most fundamental lessons we’ve learned is the importance of thorough planning. From the initial design phase to procurement and construction, a well-thought-out plan sets the foundation for success. This includes detailed schedules, accurate cost estimates, and comprehensive risk assessments. Rushing through planning often leads to costly delays and changes down the line. As the Manager of our Millwork Division, Jessica Perreault, said, “If you’re going to do it, do it right. Saving a dollar at the front is never worth the $5 spent for lack of due diligence.”

Effective Communication is Vital
Clear and open communication among all stakeholders is essential for the smooth execution of a construction project. This involves regular meetings, transparent reporting, and a willingness to address issues promptly. Miscommunication can lead to misunderstandings, conflicts, and ultimately, project delays. Embracing collaborative communication tools and fostering a culture of teamwork can mitigate these risks.

Adaptability is a Virtue
Despite meticulous planning, commercial construction projects are susceptible to unforeseen challenges. Whether it’s adverse weather conditions, material shortages, or design changes, the ability to adapt quickly is paramount. Nathan McCagg, Terlin Project Manager, said “Almost all projects have unavoidable changes, however, they need to be worked on quickly and efficiently by all parties (consultants, clients, trades and us) in order to minimize any schedule disruptions.” Flexibility in scheduling, resource allocation, and collaborative problem-solving can help mitigate the impact of unexpected obstacles and keep the project on track.

Prioritize Safety Above All Else
Construction sites inherently pose risks to workers, equipment, and the surrounding environment. Prioritizing safety measures not only protects personnel but also safeguards the project timeline and budget. Implementing comprehensive safety protocols, providing adequate training, and conducting regular inspections are non-negotiable aspects of commercial construction. A safe work environment fosters productivity and morale among the team.

The Devil is in the Details
Delivering a high-quality end product is our ultimate goal. This requires stringent quality control measures throughout the construction process. From materials selection to craftsmanship standards, attention to detail is paramount. Regular inspections, testing, and adherence to industry best practices ensure that the finished structure meets or exceeds expectations. And close out can be a particular challenge. However, “a clean, organized site helps reduce the amount of effort needed to close out a project,” noted James Kowan, Terlin Project Manager.

If you’re considering a construction project, reach out to us. We can help guide your planning and bring our 35 years of lessons learned to the process. Contact Terry McLaughlin, President, at 1-888-791-9376 or terry@terlin.ca.