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From Design to Delivery: the when and how of bringing a stonemasonry company on to your project

Apr 18, 2023

From Design to Delivery: the when and how of bringing a stonemasonry company on to your project

Ken Jones, Director at AF Jones Stone Interiors explains how a stonemason sub-contractor can work with you right form design and concept through to delivery, to bring a fully integrated natural stone project and finish.

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In the construction industry, the timeline and efficiency of a project significantly hinge on the early engagement of contractors, especially when it comes to incorporating specialised elements like stone masonry. This article delves into the benefits of involving contractors at the outset of the project planning and design process, highlighting how this approach can streamline operations, mitigate risks, and ultimately lead to cost savings for the client.

Early Engagement Benefits

  1. Logistical Planning: Early discussions between project managers and contractors allow for the seamless integration of logistical considerations into the overall project plan. This includes the arrangement of lifting scaffolds, beams, and rails essential for placing heavy stone elements, ensuring these operations are accounted for in the general build process.
  2. Risk Identification: Engaging contractors during the pre-tender phase aids in identifying potential risks and pinch points within the project. This proactive approach allows for the development of strategies to mitigate these risks before they impact the project timeline or budget.
  3. Cost Efficiency: By involving contractors early, projects can benefit from their expertise in identifying areas where costs can be minimised. This collaboration helps in formulating a more accurate and cost-effective project proposal, enhancing the likelihood of project approval at a favourable cost to the client.
  4. Teamwork and Collaboration: Establishing a collaborative environment from the beginning of the project fosters a sense of teamwork among all involved parties. This ensures that specialists and contractors work together smoothly, addressing challenges collectively and efficiently.

The Challenges of Late Engagement

Conversely, late engagement of contractors can lead to several challenges:

  • Increased Costs: Adding specialised elements like stone masonry after most logistical and design decisions have been made can result in higher costs due to the need for adjustments and potential redesigns.
  • Logistical Complications: Integrating heavy stone elements at a later stage can complicate logistics, such as lifting and placement, requiring costly modifications to the build process.
  • Limited Flexibility: Late contractor involvement often means reduced flexibility in addressing project challenges, leading to potential delays and increased costs.

The Path to Efficient Delivery

For a construction project to be delivered efficiently and cost-effectively, it is essential to involve contractors and specialists as early as possible. This early engagement facilitates:

  • Thorough Planning: Allows for detailed logistical and risk management planning from the outset.
  • Effective Resource Allocation: Ensures that resources, such as time and space for scaffolding and stone storage, are allocated appropriately.
  • Smooth Operations: Contributes to a smoother project flow, with all parties understanding their roles and contributions to the project’s success.


The early engagement of contractors in construction projects, particularly those involving specialised elements like stone masonry, is not just beneficial—it’s imperative. This approach ensures logistical and risk management concerns are addressed from the beginning, paving the way for a smoother, more cost-effective and efficient project delivery. By fostering collaboration among all project stakeholders from the earliest stages, projects can achieve optimal outcomes, satisfying both clients and construction teams.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is early engagement of contractors crucial in construction projects? Early engagement allows for thorough logistical planning, risk identification, and mitigation strategies to be developed in advance. This collaborative approach leads to a more streamlined and cost-effective project execution, ensuring challenges are addressed efficiently from the outset.
  2. How does early contractor involvement impact project costs? Involving contractors early in the project planning phase helps identify cost-saving opportunities and prevents expensive adjustments or redesigns later in the project. This proactive involvement can significantly reduce overall project costs and ensure the project stays within budget.
  3. What are some logistical challenges that can be mitigated through early contractor engagement? Early engagement helps address logistical challenges such as the planning for lifting scaffolds, storage space for materials, and ensuring the safe and timely transportation and placement of heavy elements like stone. Addressing these issues early prevents logistical bottlenecks during construction.
  4. Can late engagement of contractors lead to project delays? Yes, late engagement often results in logistical complications and the need for last-minute adjustments, which can delay the project timeline. Early contractor involvement ensures all parties are synchronised, minimising the risk of delays.
  5. How does early engagement facilitate better teamwork and collaboration on construction projects? By involving contractors and specialists from the pre-tender phase, a collaborative project environment is established. This early teamwork fosters clear communication and joint problem-solving among all project stakeholders, leading to smoother project delivery and enhanced efficiency.