How to Avoid the 5 Most Frequent Construction Delays

calander“Nancy, we’ll be out of here in six months”, replied Bob the builder.  He was confident that the addition to the back of Nancy’s home seemed routine and Nancy started planning accordingly.

What they did not count on was the “Big Five”.   My five recurring most common reasons for delays:

  1. 1.Poor planning- this concept can be found throughout all the parties involved in the project and can each affect one another.  It can range form the overly optimistic design team who miscalculates how long a revision will take to implement.  It can be the owner who fails to acknowledge that they needed an extra conference room in their office. During construction it can be in the manner the builder spreads information in a non-sequential manner to his sub-contractors. Think ahead, ask questions, plan accordingly

  2. 2.Unreasonable analysis– Knowing you may start a project that has weather related implications during an adverse season can be done-but the seasons’ affect has to be factored in- not ignored.  Hope is not a strategy.  Seek out those who have done it before and speak to them, research where the pit falls and slogs are, plan accordingly

  3. 3.Indecision– If the owner cannot make up their mind about the texture of the tile, and the tiler is holding up the painter and the electrican’s trim work- that lack of decision has a ripple affect and like a ripple- has the tendency to spread.  Most early decisions are the right ones, the over-analyzing and time spent seldom justify the time spent and havoc created by the delay

  4. 4.Unavailability–  The actual ordering and shopping of materials, equipment  and fixtures has to occur in a rational manner with “lead” times factored in to the schedule. From the foreseeable need of an excavator being rented during a certain period to kitchen cabinets being ordered with enough time to be fabricated, delivered and installed, the need to look ahead is critical.  Material shortages also occur and suitable substitutions need to be reviewed and obtained. Labor shortages at certain times of the year also happens depending on the trade and location.There is no substitute for due diligence and review.

  5. 5.Permit and inspections– Building departments are municipal agencies that help oversee the planning and construction of most projects. Their staff seldom has the ability to take on a big surge of new projects- accordingly their staff is spread thin and your inspection may have to wait longer than you expect…Or….the time it may take your permit to be issued if you submit during the summer vacation months when staffing is short-handed. Look ahead and speak the those who’ve done it before, understand their counsel and ask questions accordingly.



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