A Conversation with an American Precast Project Manager

American Precast project manager drawing a sketch of a precast concrete wall and fence

We get asked all the time what it’s like to work with us. To help answer that question, we sat down with one of our Project Managers. They helped answer our questions about the process American Precast takes to create your ideal precast concrete fence.

Question: What are the first steps in planning a construction project?

American Precast Concrete Project Manager: First, we request the plans from the client and do a takeoff, where we decide how much material is needed. Using the takeoff and the plans, we create a bid that tells the client how much the project will cost and an estimated schedule. Next, our engineers use the soils reports and the grade elevation for the wall plan to engineer the wall. Once we have a design nailed down, we send this to the client for approval. If the client comes back with revisions, our engineers get to work making those changes. Once the design is approved, we can get started on the actual construction of the wall.

Question: What happens next?

APC PM: Before the installation process begins, we spray the fence line for the USA/Dig Alert to ensure nothing is in our way when drilling our piers. We do a walk-through of the property with the client to make sure we are all on the same page. All the materials are then delivered to the project site. Once all the materials are ready and waiting, we send our team and equipment to the site. The fence line is laid out and approved by the client one more time. We start the drilling of the piers, which will be the support for the whole fence. The posts are installed on the piers and concrete panels are fit into place in between the posts. After installation, we will do a Punch list with the client to correct anything not done to the specifications.

Question: How do you structure a team for a project? What do you consider?

APC PM: If the fence is under 1000 linear feet, we use a four-man team plus a supervising foreman. If the job is larger, we increase the team members. We consider the size and location of each job as we structure the team. Sometimes we use bobcats, mini-excavators, Gradall excavators, reach lifts, and cranes, which all require specific operator training and certifications. If a job needs special equipment, we find someone with the proper experience, so only experts are working on our jobs. 

Question: What actions would you take if a project is falling behind schedule or exceeding the project’s budget?

APC PM: We have weekly meetings to discuss our projects and strategies to stay on track. Sometimes delays are out of our hands – a backorder of concrete or delay on special equipment. In times like these where we see inflation and a low supply chain, we make sure to book things in advance or minimize the challenges by anticipating change.

If we are over budget due to changes by the client, we would put in change orders (if required). But we really try to avoid that. No one likes a change order. We have the ability to add more manpower if required to speed things along or get back on track.

American Precast Concrete Inc.

If you would like to work with our experienced, professional project managers for your next project, contact American Precast today! We are here to help you complete your project in a timely, yet fulfilling manner.