The Truth About Island Construction

by David Smith

The Truth About Island Construction

Everyone should build like they are located on an Island

I am often asked about the difficulties and additional expenses of building on an island property. The misconception I am constantly hearing is that the premium could be significant and add up to 50% to the construction costs. While there are definitely added costs in barging and other site logistics, in reality a well-managed construction project does not have to cost that much more than building on the mainland. This is provided your builder works efficiently, is well organized in ordering and taking delivery of material, but most importantly has a well thought out work plan, with contingencies.

When you’re working on an island you need to do ensure the following or it is going to cost someone a lot of extra money:

1. Trades need to arrive to be transported to the work site at the same time.

2. Trades need to be prepared for a long day on the site, and have everything they need for the day (tools and meals, etc).

3. Materials need to be ordered, delivered and staged at the site, well in advance of being required.

4. The Builder always needs a contingency plan to ensure there is alternative work for trades if there is an unexpected delay or change.

5. Don’t plan on working on days or times of the year when the weather makes it difficult for accessing the site.

If your builder follows these simple points, it need not be vastly more expensive to build on an island or water access property. In fact I now preach to the industry that all projects should be organized and managed like they are on an island…you will be amazed at how it positively impacts the budget, schedule and the quality of the construction.

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