6 Practical Tips to Help You Avoid Construction Delays
By Rachel Porter
The inability to finish on schedule is one of the main reasons why the cost of construction projects tends to balloon way beyond their budget. Critical delays can keep the project from moving forward, and even a slight injury or on-site accident can create substantial interruptions and put a strain on financial resources, especially if there’s not enough contractors insurance.
If you want to maximize your budget, you need to learn how to manage time and the construction site as a whole. Being preemptive and proactive are the best ways to ensure construction revenue protection and efficiently handle potential scheduling problems.
Whether you’re a construction manager, an architect, or a real estate developer, these tips will help you avoid construction delays on your next project.
1. Remember to Renew Your Licenses.
This one is probably the worst delay of them all because it’s unnecessary and completely preventable. As someone in the industry, you already know that a state-specific license is required to perform construction work in the United States.
These licenses expire and you’ll need to renew them before they do. You don’t want your license expiring while you’re in the middle of a construction project, putting everything on hold.
2. Clarify the Scope of the Project.
Unexpected changes in the scope of the project can happen while the construction is already underway. And if the owner changes their mind about a critical aspect or area, the entire project could experience a major setback.
You can’t do much about scope adjustments, especially when the owner is bent on making them, but you can make sure that the client already has a clear idea of how things are going to look before you start construction. If changes really have to be made, make sure to set realistic timelines, so everybody involved has a clear idea of how things will go moving forward.
3. Plan Things Ahead of Time.
Nothing beats a well-thought-out project strategy for staying on track with your deadlines. With a great project plan, project managers quickly identify and solve problems before they turn into costly delays.
Many contractors start a project without a clear timeline or prior communication with subcontractors. Don’t make the same mistake. You should always have a comprehensive project plan that includes every detail necessary to execute the project, as well as accounting for potential delays in the execution process.
Successful planning involves having contingency measures in place for unexpected circumstances that may arise. As a result, you’ll have a clear guideline of how to handle delays and blockers.
4. Work on Your Management Skills.
Another common cause of project failure is a lack of proper management. For any type of project, construction or otherwise, managers are the skeleton that holds everything together; they’re the ones responsible for planning everything out and keeping everything together.
It’s the construction manager’s job to make sure that everyone’s responsibilities are carried out in a proper and systematic manner. A great manager is capable of keeping track of how things are going at the site and avoiding delays while juggling the multiple components of a detailed construction plan.
5. Designate Clear Roles and Responsibilities.
Contractors, workers, subcontractors, developers, and managers all play a role in the construction process. Because of this, it's critical that everyone’s duties and responsibilities are distributed throughout the team so that there are no ambiguities regarding who’s responsible for what.
It’s important for project heads and managers to understand how to designate the appropriate duties to various members of the team and ensure that everybody knows the importance of accountability. Failure to define roles can leave certain jobs unfinished and lead to unnecessary delays.
6. Choose Your Contractors Well.
It’s almost impossible to take on an entire project on your own. You will need reliable subcontractors to help you complete the construction project – or phases of it – within the timeline.
The thing is; not all subcontractors practice the same work ethics as you do, and might even end up delaying the project instead of speeding things up. That being said, you need to be more meticulous with your hiring process. You should also schedule your subcontractors in advance to make sure that all the supplies are available when they’re needed and deliverables are finished on time.
The Bottom Line
Delays are a common occurrence in the construction business. But even though projects get delayed more often than not, as a construction professional, you need to be aware of how and why delays happen, so you can avoid them whenever you can.
Yes, it’s impossible to avoid all construction delays, but proper planning, good communication, and the use of the right tools and systems can help mitigate the damage they may cause.
When contractors and construction companies are well-prepared, they can find ways to reduce setbacks and keep the project moving forward despite the hurdles along the way. When projects are completed on time, profitability rises and, as a result, you gain more time and resources to pursue new projects.
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