How to Avoid Delays in Construction Projects
Written By EVOLVE

No one likes delays. They can feel like a burden and lead to frustration. In the construction industry, delays can be disheartening and costly, as the more time that is spent on a project, the more it costs. There are many factors that contribute to delays in construction projects. From issues with suppliers to adverse weather conditions, and so many factors in between, it may seem like delays are inevitable. And sometimes delays just can’t be avoided. But with a solid action plan, you can reduce the amount of delays, and save money in the process.

Excusable vs. Non-Excusable Delays

Before starting, it is important to know the difference between excusable delays and non-excusable delays. While there are some delays that are inevitable, there are other delays that can be avoided. Excusable delays are delays that cannot be controlled. Examples  include natural disasters, pandemics, and adverse weather conditions, among other things. These kinds of delays are unavoidable and excusable. Non-excusable delays are those that can be avoided. These kinds of delays can occur as a result of poor planning, unclear roles and responsibilities, and ineffective communication. With non excusable delays, it is important that you and your team do whatever is necessary to avoid them.


One way to avoid non-excusable delays is by properly planning. Planning is an important part of any project; but how you plan can be the difference between a project that is completed on time and a delayed project. Poor planning can cause many setbacks, because without a clear plan, the project will lack direction. Your project plan should also include a game plan of how to tackle unforeseen circumstances, should they come up. By having a detailed project plan that everyone is on board with, you can do your part to avoid delays in construction projects.

Assign Clear Roles and Responsibilities

To go along with planning, it is important that each worker has clearly assigned roles in the project. Everyone should have a clear idea of what the project entails as a whole as well as their individual roles in the project. When everyone knows the role they play in the project, it will help everything run smoother, which can help the project to get completed on time.

Create a Timetable

To-do lists are a great way to stay on task, minimize distractions and complete a task on time. So why not take advantage of to-do lists in your construction business? Create a timetable that includes a project activity checklist. This checklist will highlight the different steps that need to be taken to complete the project, as well as the estimated amount of time expected to complete each step. Doing this will greatly help you and your team to stay on task, complete each step within the allotted time, and complete the whole project on time.

Start Early

A great way to ensure that a project gets completed on time is by carefully planning and starting early. Starting early doesn’t necessarily mean starting the project before the allotted start time; but it can mean having everything ready to go so that when the time comes to start the project, everyone will be ready to do so. Beginning early by planning effectively with the whole team and preparing everything for the start of a project ensures that the project begins well. This will help minimize potential delays at the start of a project that may cause the project to go on longer than necessary.

Distinguish Delays vs. Blockers

Before starting a project, it is important to know the kinds of delays that can occur. Delays and blockers are two types of problems that can prevent projects from finishing on time. Construction delays happen when things don’t go according to plan, while blockers are tasks whose completion is needed in order to take the next step in the project. Knowing the difference between delays and blockers can help you find a plan to combat both issues, should they occur.

Effective Communication

Small problems can quickly turn into delays if not communicated properly. Along with clearly defining roles and responsibilities in a project, it is important that as a team, you communicate effectively from the start of the project to the completion of it. This means that construction managers have to do their part to ensure that all team members are communicating throughout the duration of the project. By having clear lines of communication, you can quickly address problems as they arise and decrease the chances of these problems turning into delays.

While delays are sometimes inevitable, other times they can be avoided. And when you are able to avoid them, that can be very beneficial for you and your company. Not only will it save you time and money; but it can also help your company to develop a great reputation among customers. With proper planning, effective communication, and clear roles and responsibilities, you can be sure that you are doing your part to complete construction projects on time.  

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