Why Construction Projects Are Delayed (and How to Prevent It)

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If you’ve ever been involved in a construction project, you know that delays are inevitable. More projects are even delayed now because of the pandemic. But you may not know some common reasons besides the pandemic why construction projects are delayed. By understanding these reasons, you can be better prepared to avoid or mitigate project delays. Here are five of the most common reasons for construction delays:

Poor planning

Lack of planning is one of the most common causes of construction delays. When a project is not planned correctly, it’s more likely to run into problems. Make sure you take the time to do your homework and create a detailed plan before starting any construction project. Additionally, you should follow these four tips to improve your construction planning.

Project Managers

An ineffective project manager can cause delays in a construction project. Ensure your project manager has the authority and resources to manage the project efficiently. Moreover, ensure that they get the appropriate training for their job. A project manager boot camp can undoubtedly help improve the quality of their work. They can now take PMP certification tests online. These tests cover the necessary subjects for project management. Once they’ve taken it, they can call themselves certified project managers.

Changes in scope

As construction projects progress, it’s not uncommon for changes to be made to the scope of work. These changes can be caused by anything from changing the client’s needs to making a discovery during construction. While changes in scope are often unavoidable, they can lead to poor project planning if they’re not managed properly. To avoid this, ensure a clear and concise scope of work that everyone involved in the project understands and agrees to before work begins.


Before beginning a construction project, it’s essential to ensure all necessary permits have been obtained from the local government. Failing to do so can result in fines or even work stoppages, causing delays for the project. To avoid this, work with an experienced team who knows and understands the permitting process and can ensure all paperwork is submitted correctly and on time.


The last tip for improved project planning is to have regular meetings with all parties involved in the project. This communication can help prevent misunderstandings and miscommunications that could lead to delays. Additionally, having regular check-ins with the client can ensure their needs are being met, and any changes in design or scope of work are addressed promptly.

A storm hitting a metropolitan city

Bad weather

The United States experiences 14 named storms every year. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about the weather. But if you’re aware that bad weather is possible, you can plan for it by adding extra time to your schedule. Here are two tips to help you prepare for bad weather.


One way to avoid delays caused by bad weather is to incorporate technology into your construction project. For example, drones can help track progress and monitor weather conditions onsite. Additionally, building information modeling (BIM) can aid in planning for potential weather delays by allowing you to virtually test and simulate different scenarios before construction begins.

Safety Equipment

Another way to prepare for bad weather is to ensure that all safety equipment, such as tarps and scaffolding, is readily available onsite in inclement weather. This can help protect the construction site and workers from any potential damage caused by bad weather.

Lack of communication

Poor communication is one of the leading causes of construction delays. Miscommunication between the various parties involved in a project can lead to confusion and errors that can ultimately slow down the progress of work. To avoid this, establish clear lines of communication from the outset and ensure everyone involved knows who to go to with questions or concerns.

Supplier issues

Having reliable suppliers is crucial for a successful construction project. But sometimes, supplier issues can arise and lead to delays. Be sure to thoroughly vet potential suppliers before making any commitments. Additionally, have backup plans in place if your primary supplier cannot fulfill their obligations. Here are three ways you can deal with supplier issues:

  • Establish a clear contract that outlines the expectations and responsibilities of both parties.
  • Maintain open communication with your supplier to address potential issues before they become significant problems.
  • Have backup suppliers if your primary supplier cannot fulfill their obligations.

Construction delays are, unfortunately, a fact of life. But by understanding some of the most common causes of delays, you can be better prepared to avoid or mitigate them in your projects. In addition, by planning properly, you can help keep your construction projects on track—and on schedule!

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