6 reasons why your construction project will take longer than planned

If you’re embarking on a construction project, be prepared for delays. With multiple tasks, communication methods and contractors involved, projects can easily fall behind. Here are a few reasons why you should expect your project to last longer than initially planned, as well as some suggestions to help mitigate hold-ups.

Hondarribia-Irun - 6 reasons why your construction project will take longer than planned

1. Incorrect time estimates

Begin any construction project with a realistic timeline, accounting for the fact that the best industry professionals often have wait times just to arrange the first meeting. Coordinate with all architects, subcontractors and other consultants well in advance to establish a realistic time estimate, starting with a carefully drawn up construction plan. This should include all details of the project, including contingencies for potential delays.

2. Lack of communication

Project delays can often be chalked up to a simple breakdown in communication, particularly when there are many stakeholders involved in a large construction project. As part of the initial construction plan, define a communication protocol between contractors and the project management team. All parties should be aware of the timeline and whom to contact about small problems before they become larger.

3. Inclement weather

Weather plays a large role in the timeline of most projects, particularly when the bulk of construction takes place outdoors. While you can’t plan for natural disasters, be sure to keep an eye on local predictions to make allowances for poor weather days when planning your timeline. It might be possible to prioritise outdoor work on good weather days, and save indoor or planning-based tasks for periods of inclement weather.

4. Poor planning and tracking

According to the Modular Building Institute, studies have documented up to 50% waste when it comes to coordinating labour and managing materials in construction projects. Keep on top of your construction plan and boost efficiency by using a real-time tracking tool. Check in regularly during the construction phase and ask for daily reports so that you can adjust deadlines and costs as you go. When searching for a builder, look as much for project management skills as craftsmanship ability.

5. Increase in scope

Have you ever started a project at work, only for the goals or direction to change midway through? A creep in scope is a common situation in a construction project. In some cases the homeowner or developer may wish to increase the overall goal of the project, requiring a pause while the planners work out new estimates for time, resources and funds. You can view our property insights for ideas on value-adding projects to refine your goals right from the start.

6. Lack of funding

Finally, a lack of adequate financing for the full project can cause any construction plan to veer off course. Be sure to source your funding for all materials and contractors ahead of time, and check references carefully before hiring professionals to avoid unnecessary tacked-on fees. With accurate planning estimates and the assistance of financial advisors, you can expect your project to run more smoothly.

There are some reasons for delays that are unavoidable, whether it’s sudden illness or unforeseen changes in circumstances. Yet for many construction project delays, a solid plan and strong project management team is the best preventive measure.

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