For those looking to use AI in the construction industry, project delays are the last thing you want. Construction delays have a lot of variables that factor into them, but knowing these and resolving them properly should give you an excellent chance to fast-track your project.
If you’re looking to streamline your activities, you need to know why delays are happening with many construction projects. Here are 8 reasons and how you mitigate these issues.
1. Budget Inaccuracies
One of the biggest issues you can experience is budget inaccuracy unless you’re using construction scheduling software. Every project has limited resources, with most project managers allocating specific budgets for every phase. To save money, most managers may underestimate the cost of raw materials.
Budget inaccuracies can lead to several delays that take time to correct unless stakeholders actively look after the project in real-time. For starters, a low budget means the on-site team needs to requisition further funding for raw materials and labor. This slows the timeline, as approvals and reorders need to happen.
Inflation can also cause inaccuracies, especially with the rising cost of products and materials. This change in value means those who don’t grasp real-time materials costs can find themselves in a problematic situation. While quotes are helpful, price changes in bulk may mean fewer raw materials.
Too much budget can also cause delay, as audits will likely happen to see at which stage the overbudget happened. You can immediately adjust the budget to fit actual costs and even inflation with the right construction schedule and estimating systems.
2. Force Majeure (Unforeseen Circumstances)
In construction projects, force majeure describes circumstances beyond human control. It is generally associated with natural disasters, wars, and earthquakes. Some countries also have laws in place that cover force majeure. These laws ensure that contractors and suppliers aren’t held liable for delays caused by natural disasters.
Things like earthquakes, floods, droughts, and storms can halt work, and while these events are not in your control, you can still ask for an extension of schedule.
Force majeure clauses allow construction teams to extend the timeline based on multiple factors beyond control. While most of these clauses need to be approved by the client, they will enable you to ask for an extension of a schedule when faced with natural disasters or incidents outside your control.
Not all unforeseen circumstances can cause delays, but many of them can push back your timeline. For example, snow does not always cause extreme delays, but heavy snowfall can prevent workers from doing their jobs, especially outdoor activities.
3. Project Scope Changes
One of the worst things with your project is a scope change. Scope changes can be initiated by multiple parties and include the client, contractor, and architect. Changes to the project scope often happen during the project, and contractors need to approve these changes.
Scope change requests are common in the construction industry. These can be as simple as changes in the workforce or pending design decisions to as dire as issues on the project’s foundation, safety, and design. Delays can be anywhere from a few weeks to even months when this happens.
Scope changes happen for several reasons. These include extra materials, changes to the team, or a change in design. When scenarios like this arise, project managers should consider the financial implications and determine if the difference pays off.
However, project managers must manage this carefully to avoid delays. Scope changes don’t always happen, and while this could mean an extra expense, it could also mean more profit.
4. Overhead Costs
Overhead costs are usually associated with construction materials and labor. However, overhead costs can also include legal costs, engineering fees, architectural fees, and consultant fees. These costs can easily be overlooked, and in the long term, they can add up.
any of these costs can also include insurance and management services. These are added, significantly hamper the project timelines because more money needs to be allocated. These costs need to be factored into the budget, and while you can reallocate funds, this takes time and can mean that the project runs behind schedule.
Overhead costs also happen because managers aren’t properly tracking their expenses. Project managers need to make sure they can predict their expenditures, especially when the budget is tight or limited.
5. Labor Shortages
Shortage of labor is a common issue in construction projects. While contractors try their best to find workers, they often hire people who aren’t qualified for the job. This can lead to safety issues when unqualified workers handle dangerous materials.
Shortage of labor can also mean fewer workers, conveying that your project is delayed because you need to hire more people. Furthermore, contractors can’t work overtime unless this is agreed upon, which can drain your budget faster. This means they need to work fewer hours, which can lead to delays as well.
Several reasons often cause a shortage of labor. Issues like low pay, high cost of living, and unemployment can lead to workers leaving their jobs. Low pay can also mean fewer people want to work overtime, together with potential strikes.
6. Subcontractor Schedules and Compliance
Subcontractor schedules can significantly slow down your project timeline, especially when they have poor compliance. Depending on their professionalism, some subcontractors don’t follow plans, which can mean your project timeline runs behind theirs.
Compliance can be problematic, too, as permits and licenses are a must to move forward with any type of construction. If your subcontractor does not have the correct type of permits, they need to secure them before starting with your project.
Poor subcontractor compliance can also mean contractors lose control, leading to delays. Contractors need to stay on top of their subcontractors, and this may require them to hire more people to stay abreast of this issue.
Subcontractors also need to cooperate with you and follow the construction schedule. This requires you to communicate with subcontractors, allowing them to understand your project better. This also allows you to monitor their schedules and work accordingly.
7. Inefficient Construction Planning
Poor construction planning can delay your project timeline significantly, and while contractors can blame this on inefficient software, the truth is that poor planning leads to these delays.
Poor planning leads to mistakes, and while contractors can minimize these, they still occur. These mistakes can delay the project significantly because contractors need to correct errors.
Efficient planning is crucial for construction projects. If you leave too much room for error, your project can end up delayed. A lack of planning can also mean contractors have to ignore other jobs, leaving them with fewer workers.
Construction projects need to include accurate timelines, and these need to be followed closely. This helps you manage your project better and gives you a better estimate on when your project will be completed.
8. Poor Communication
Proper communication is essential for successful construction projects. Without adequate communication, contractors can spend months on a project, lacking any consistent direction.
Communication between contractors and subcontractors is vital in keeping your project on schedule. Contractors need to ensure that subcontractors are following the timeline, allowing you to monitor their progress.
Communication between contractors and clients is also essential. While you don’t want your clients to micromanage your project, you need to let them know about any issues. This way, they can resolve issues sooner, leading to faster project completion.
The Bottom Line
Construction projects can have a lot of issues. Your project can end up delayed from shortages in labor, changes to the project scope, and inefficient labor. While these issues cannot be avoided, project managers can minimize them.
Using construction scheduling software allows project managers to make a project plan. This gives them an accurate timeline of when the project will be completed. With proper planning and communication, you can mitigate delays and finish your project on time.