TRUST AND IMPOSSIBLE DEADLINES

At S + H, we hate to admit that anything is impossible and we hate to say no any reasonable customer request. In the matter of building schedules, however, sometimes a 12 month project simply can’t be compressed into 8 months.

Except when it can. Two elements, trust and experience, enabled us to meet such a schedule for an international client from Iceland.

In order to meet the deadline, we needed to start production on cabinets before the walls were framed. We were building rooms to the size of cabinets already in production rather than the other way around.

We also needed design decisions to be made or delegated to the on-site supervisors. There was a full-time project supervisor from Iceland, Gusti Thorarinsson, who was trusted by the client. The majority of design decisions could therefore be made on site, rather than submitting to a design review process.  

Typically, design problems were worked out in the field, with the S+H people explaining our construction methods to Gusti, in order to figure out how to get the desired outcome using our construction techniques. If these decisions needed to be documented and drafted as official amendments to the construction documents, parts of the project would have been on hold several times each week.  

For such a schedule to work, the client must be able to trust S+H to bill for work in a way that is fair. In many cases, work was proceeding even as costs were being budgeted. Without such confidence, this deadline could not have been met.