Construction Project Delays And How To Prepare For Them

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construction project delays and how to prepare for them

Construction Project Delays

Project delays are inevitable. So, regardless of project size, management teams should plan for project delays. Planning for project delays is part of project management strategies.

There are also Internal construction project delays . Delays related to issues within the organization itself. Typical causes are lack of planning, poor communication, and mistakes in design. These problems can have a great impact on the flow of construction projects.

Many construction companies encounter internal project delays. This is because they focus on getting new work and tend to work. It’s easy to estimate a project and get new work. The hard work comes when you have to manage the project. Being well prepared to manage projects beforehand, is often overlooked. The sooner you deal with the issue the better. Start by identifying the problem and cause. Thereafter you can develop workable solutions. Solutions that enable you to better control your project. Thus, lowering your expenses before starting the project.

So, to understand planning guidelines, understanding typical causes is key. There are many factors that contribute to project delays. Below are a few to pay attention to.

  • Inadequate planning of the project
  • Underqualified management
  • Insufficient teams
  • Schedule Management
  • Coordination issues
  • Design Issues
  • Weather conditions (extreme heat or cold)
  • Strikes
  • Material shortages
  • Scope changes
  • Principal contractor responsibilities, subcontractor responsibilities
  • Environmental Impacts
  • Discoveries during construction (such as historical archaeological sites or endangered species).

Guidelines and Planning For Delays

Delays can be very time-consuming and frustrating for construction teams. There are many factors outside of the project team’s control. These factors can often cause project delays that are not always predictable. So, to better prepare for temporary setbacks, companies should develop contingency plans. Contingency plans prepare for potential unexpected delays in their projects. The following guidelines should help construction teams plan for delays. So, Managing time, safety, scope, and cost together is a great start.

Managing Time

Make extra time into your schedule for unexpected problems that could cause delays. This will enable you to keep your jobsite running smoothly. It will prevent negative impacts to the schedule, safety, and the budget. These negative impaccts are sure to cause overruns in labor and materials costs.

Have enough time for a thorough inspection of the site before starting construction. This will help identify any potential problems from an engineering and structural standpoint.

Don’t fall into negligence by rushing through construction activities. Taking necessary precautions during the initial stages of a project can determine success. The dynamic nature of construction, causes teams to alter and update strategic plans. Every project is unique with different requirements. So, every project should managed as so. Sometimes negligence is lack of industry knowledge. So, it’s in the best interest of the project for teams to stay educated. There are many areas of possible neglegence. But here are a few common identifiers of negligence:

  • Providing submittals on time
  • Writing RFIs on time
  • Executing purchase orders on time
  • Reviewing and provide construction schedule feedback
  • Rreviewing and estimate scope changes

Managing Safety

Make procedures to lessen accidents on site by following project safety rules. Construction project managers must expect construction project delays caused by safety issues. Selecting appropriate personnel, and effectively managing site safety can help. These safety issues include, but not limited to:

  • falling equipment or materials
  • scaffold collapses
  • mold-related illnesses caused by exposure to moisture and poor ventilation
  • electric shocks from faulty wiring and overloaded circuit breakers
  • injuries from improperly functioning machinery (i.e., cranes)
  • occupational disease related. This can be chemical fumes, dusts, and smoke. Also, silica particles contained in construction materials, such as cement.

Managing Scope

Be prepared to detour from the original project scope. This happens frequently. Know the limitations of your construction team, so don’t attempt a feat beyond reach. Creating open communication with stakeholders helps mitigate changes in scope. Be sure to analyze the scope changes in depth, before agreement. This will help prevent costly overruns and losses due to further delays down the line.

Managing Cost

Managing cost includes unintentional mistakes or omissions in work planning, design, or construction. Construction teams need to be aware that negligence is costly. Particularly costly in the construction industry. There is one interesting thing about cost. It’s driven by everything else on the project. Manage your costs by managing time, safety, and scope.


Make a point to plan construction projects with these guidelines. Teams may reduce the effects of construction project delays. So, In turn, it will keep projects running smoothly. Thus doing so without sacrificing construction schedules or budgets along the way. So, make sure to plan out construction project schedules from the very beginning. Begin with the end in sight. Plan for delays and other possible complications that may arise along the way. Include these plans in project reports, as well as job site meetings. Doing this will help keep everyone on track and aware of what’s going on throughout an entire project. That way, if there are any unexpected problems or delays down the road, teams can calmly assess them. And thereafter, discuss how to resolve it while keeping project goals in mind.

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