• McCausland

Reasons Construction Projects Get Delayed


Construction projects destined for success typically have set deadlines, but ask anyone in the industry how rigid they are, and you’ll probably learn these are more guidelines than actual rules. The reality is several things can pop up and cause delays in scheduling.

Here are some reasons construction projects get held up and how smart contractors sidestep these issues.


1. Labor Shortages

Nationwide, 92% of contractors say they’ve had moderate to high levels of difficulty finding skilled workers, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s quarterly construction report released September 22. Without a team to complete the job, delays can creep in. Labor shortages can also occur after an injury on the job or when an illness spreads through the workplace. Of course, taking care of employees is a necessity. To attract skilled labor, some contractors are even reshaping their recruiting tactics to appeal to younger workers.

2. Budget Conflicts

Many construction projects get postponed due to budget conflicts. While one can often predict when a project will begin to go over budget, unforeseen challenges may throw things off. This leaves contractors and clients scrambling to develop a solution both sides can accept. While still in the planning phase, wise contractors recognize potential budget issues and consider solutions in the event they occur.


3. Subcontractor Challenges

Subcontractors are a valuable resource; however, occasionally a problematic subcontractor can slip through the cracks and cause trouble. For example, an untrained forklift operator can potentially shut down a work site after causing an injury or fatality. Savvy contractors carefully vet subcontractors—including contacting their references or previous employers. They're also afraid to speak up or alter their arrangements if any issues surface.


4. Communication Shortfalls

With the many moving parts in a construction project, open communication is a must. Clear communication and a communication hierarchy are key for any construction project. From the newest laborer to the most senior member of the board of directors, everyone must know from the start whom to talk to, when to talk to them, and what to do to facilitate the kind of open communication necessary for success. Smart contractors know a communication breakdown can delay a project fast.


5. Environmental Issues

Mother Nature rules! Heavy rain, severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural disasters can delay construction. In some cases, they cause severe damage that takes time to repair, delaying things further. While nobody can predict the weather, contractors can predict what may happen in the event Mother Nature intervenes and make informed decisions.