The construction business is infamous for delays. Unfortunately, this infamy is not unfounded. Today, most projects are expected to go a minimum of 20 months over schedule and around 80% over budget. So, it’s clear that general contractors in Los Angeles need to do better. And yours can be the one to lead the charge! If you can prevent common construction schedule delays, you’ll be doing better than most of your competition. So take the time to learn more about the causes of delays in general contracting and how to avoid them. Both your clients and your workers will appreciate it. Not to mention, your reputation will improve which will, in turn, bring in more business. So all the effort you put in will be worth it.
Let’s start with the causes of delays in construction
Before you can come up with a plan on how to combat delays, you must first ask yourself: why are construction projects delayed so often? Only when you know the answer to that question will you be able to stop your projects from running past schedule. There are several common reasons for construction delays:
- Bad and unsuitable weather – there’s not much you can do about this beyond scheduling your work according to the forecast and hoping for the best;
- Subcontractors don’t show up on time – if this happens often, you should look for other subcontractors to work with;
- Lack of materials or faulty equipment – keeping good inventory is essential if you want to avoid this issue;
- Work is simply too slow – restructuring teams or adding workers can be the solution to this;
- Chain reaction – since construction is sequential work, a delay in one task often leads to delays further down the line and the only solution is avoiding delays every step of the way.
Not all of these factors are always relevant. Sometimes, just one of them will lead to serious delays. Other times, multiple reasons mix together to give you a cluster headache. You should analyze the delays you face to find out what the underlying cause is most of the time. This will help you focus your strategy for avoiding delays to target specifically the issues you most commonly face.
Prevent common construction schedule delays by planning ahead
Every construction project starts with a plan. You need to know exactly which design and construction services you’re providing, what your deadlines are, and how you’re going to make your clients’ ideas into reality long before you start working.
Create a detailed schedule
It seems fairly obvious but having a well-planned, detailed, and realistic schedule is vital to timely construction work. First, you’ll need to break down your project into stages. Then, you should break down those stages into steps. Give a timeframe for each of them – a timeframe you know your team can actually manage. Making an hour-by-hour schedule is a bit excessive, but you should have as detailed of a schedule as possible aside from that. Finally, make a contingency plan. This will help you keep up with the work even when you inevitably face some obstacles.
Hire subcontractors and rent equipment well in advance
You depend on your business partners. If they’re late, you’ll be late too. The first step to avoiding this is working with reputable subcontractors. But even the best subcontractors can’t do magic. So make sure you give enough time to your business partners to provide you with the goods and services you need. Rent equipment and book subcontractors well in advance to ensure their availability.
Keep track of your inventory and order materials in time
Construction work requires a variety of materials like steel, concrete, brick, wood, wiring, and more. After all, you can’t hope to construct a new home out of nothing. If you want your teams to keep working consistently, you’ll have to provide them with the materials they need. Make sure to order them on time – some may need to be imported from abroad, which can take time. Always keep track of how much you have of each necessary piece of material. That way, you can order more if necessary before your team runs out and needs to stop construction.
Prevent common construction schedule delays by improving management
Construction teams are only as good as the people who lead them. Quality management will, therefore, be crucial to avoid delays in construction.
Hire good and experienced project managers
Project managers will be the ones responsible for the day-to-day project operations. Scheduling workers, setting up daily tasks, following progress, communicating with relevant parties – these are all important tasks. You should only entrust them to a project manager who knows what they’re doing. Experience will play a key role in this.
Ideally, you’ll want to hire a manager who’s done the type of construction you’re doing. So if you’re planning a kitchen remodeling in Los Angeles, look for project managers who’ve worked on kitchen projects before. Of course, that’s not the only thing you should think about: you should also take into consideration their leadership style and how well they’ll fit in with your team.
Assign clear roles and distribute responsibilities
Construction is a team effort. No one can build a new house completely alone. Besides, it is much easier to stay on schedule when you divide the responsibility among people so that no one is taking on more than they can handle. But in order for this division of labor to function, everyone needs to know exactly what they’re in charge of. One of the key aspects of a well-functioning work team is clear roles. So make sure that everyone on your team knows what they need to be doing and who to turn to when they need help.
Keep lines of communication open
In construction, you must rely on other people. You rely on workers, managers, subcontractors, suppliers, designers, and more. To make sure that everything runs smoothly, you must foster good communication. Make it easy for different teams to contact each other when necessary. If possible, open multiple lines of communication like phones, emails, and even customized software.
Digitizing can help you prevent common construction schedule delays
In the digital era, there’s no reason to do everything by hand anymore. Instead, you can digitize your process. This includes software geared at construction companies, databases of information, quick communication, and more. All this can help you prevent common construction schedule delays by making it easier to analyze and resolve issues, reducing the time it takes to organize things, and giving you all the information you need to keep the project running and worth investing in. Top Rated General Contractors is a company that leads by example – we use quality resources to offer quality services. Get a quote from us and see for yourself!