For contractors, it’s costly and disheartening when project milestones aren’t met on time. It’s important to know how to avoid delays in construction so you’re not left scrambling.
Setbacks can happen for many reasons, so proper planning is key. Below are common factors for construction project delays and how to address them.
Poor communication and scheduling
Communication is necessary for the success of every job site. If there isn’t an effective communication structure in place between the field, office and customer, it can lead to delays and mistakes. Everyone should be part of an organized schedule, working off of the same data and staying updated on things like change orders, redesigns and job progress.
If there’s an error in the design phase of a project, it will likely show up during execution, hindering the project timeline. This is where it becomes crucial to thoroughly review designs before a project starts. Make sure all the right eyes have a chance to see the specs and approve them.
Speaking of approvals, they can sometimes take too long, keeping your crew from moving forward on a project. While you want items to be reviewed thoroughly, you also want them to be approved as quickly as possible. It helps if you can streamline workflows by automating tasks and having real-time access to data.
Budget inaccuracies are bad news for any project because, without the right funding, you can’t purchase the materials you need or pay your labor. It’s important to know up front how much all aspects of a project are going to cost so you can stay within your budget. It can be helpful to implement automated workflow software that generates regular updates that tell you if you’re within budget.
Unexpected changes can happen during construction projects. Perhaps it’s discovered in the middle of the project that more material is needed. You might need to be prepared to extend the deadline in order to make the change. Or, more compensation might be needed since you’re trying to fit more into the current work schedule. Be sure to track changes using change order forms.
Unavoidable environmental issues
Some delays are beyond our control, such as those caused by extreme weather. The elements can slow construction activity or bring it to a dead halt. Be open to rescheduling certain job site activities, such as pouring concrete, in the wake of unavoidable environmental situations.
It never hurts to keep water pumps, waterproof gear and other similar safeguards around the job site to help deal with the aftermath of these events. It’s all about being prepared before disaster strikes so operations can continue.
One of the biggest challenges in the construction industry today is finding skilled labor for the job site. Many veteran workers are retiring faster than new workers can walk through the door. Additionally, some crews are becoming overbooked when there are too many projects in play.
Construction project management software and similar solutions can help maintain productivity and keep your project timeline on track. It also helps to remind crews of how they can work more efficiently on the job site.
Know how to avoid delays in construction
Construction delays happen, but it’s up to you to do all you can to be proactive. Be mindful of the factors above when approaching your next project.