Common Causes Of Construction Delays And How To Effectively Deal With Them

When it comes to starting a construction project and completing it, there are always various hiccups that can happen in between that can cause major delays and force you to extend the completion date. True enough, there’s always the possibility of a delay, but time is money that’s not only costing your clients but also you, whether it be in material costs, labor, or new projects to take on.

But delays are the very reason why construction project managers, contractors, and clients all need to allow for delays in the planning of the schedule. It’s during this time that the project manager will lay out all the potential reasons or causes of a delay, and based on what’s listed, they can actively plan possible resolutions.

This could potentially prevent those delays or at least instill trust in your clients that you’re indeed a trustworthy construction company/contractor that has the goal to deliver high-quality service regardless of delays. Before we get into resolutions for potential delays, let’s first look at the common causes of them.

Construction Delays: Common Causes and Solutions


Weather is one of the most unpredictable instances that can happen during a construction project. Of course, there is no way to predict if the weather will be ideal during a project from start to finish but you most definitely can keep an eye out on the weather forecast, and also use your best judgment based on the location of the project, length of time to complete the project, and what type of weather is most prone in that area.

From there you can plan accordingly for things like tents to cover tools and equipment or if workers won’t be able to show up. Having a plan for your equipment is especially important… If you rented or bought your heavy equipment, you need to do everything you can to protect it.

Along with protecting once the weather returns to normal, you should also look for signs of component and part wear and tear. Finding structural components is essential, particularly if gears and other parts were worn out by rust brought on by the severe weather. Instead of investing in new equipment in this situation, you might save time and money by catching up with the delays while ensuring the safety of your personnel.

Hiring an Unlicensed Contractor

In construction work, a project manager has to be very careful in who they hire. All too often there are “contractors” out here that do construction work but fail to get properly licensed. You might hire contractors for a job and find out that one of the contractors isn’t licensed or their license is expired. In this event, it can put a delay on the completion of a project but not too big of a delay.

The project manager can simply hire another contractor or wait for the unlicensed contractor to get their license. The great news is that if the project manager decides to wait for the contractor to obtain or renew their license, it’s not a long and drawn-out process. RocketCert offers pre-licensing, continuing education, and exam prep all in one place making the steps for getting a contractors license a breeze.

Taking On Too Many Projects

Whether it’s a contractor or project manager, they can sometimes get a little overzealous or overly confident in their abilities to complete projects and make the mistake of taking on too many.

More likely than not, when this happens, and a delay occurs, it pushes the other projects behind schedule as well, costing more money and more time. Learn your project limit and pace yourself. If you don’t have the manpower to complete the projects, don’t take them on.

Poor Communication

If you’ve ever watched any of the house flipping or house renovation shows, you’ll notice how if ANY type of change or concerns come up, the contractors always communicate it to the rest of the team as well as the homeowners.

It’s important that this constant flow of communication happens because not doing so can not only delay the project but can also bring the project to a complete halt. Maybe a client wants an open floor plan for the kitchen and living room but upon tearing down the walls, the contractor discovers mold spores everywhere…

That is something that can completely shut down a project because the home needs to be completely free from mold before contractors and sub-contractors can complete the project (for safety reasons).

This is something that would need to be communicated to the entire team as well as the homeowners because they will have to pay for mold specialists to come in to remedy the issue, which will cost them more money.

The key here is to remain in constant communication with the team of contractors and all other workers on the project, as well as the homeowners, so everyone can be on the same page. Invest in walkie-talkies or earphones with microphones so your crew can be in constant communication with each other.

Construction delays aren’t completely avoidable but preventive measures can be done to reduce the likelihood of them. Be sure to be mindful of the common construction delays listed above and the effective solutions that go with them. This will ensure your project goes as smoothly as possible.