How to avoid delays during a construction project

1 December 2016
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

When a delay occurs during a building project, it can cost you a considerable amount of money. You may end up having to extend the length of your construction contract or prolong the rental period for expensive construction equipment, portable toilets and electricity generators. As such, it's important to do your best to reduce the likelihood of delays occurring. The following advice should help you do this.

Draw up a realistic, comprehensive schedule

One of the most common mistakes people make when drawing up a timeline for their construction project is not taking all of the relevant factors that could affect scheduling into account. This can result in certain activities taking much longer than they had anticipated, which in turn can cause further delays during subsequent stages.

This usually happens simply because the person making the timeline isn't aware of these factors. As such, by developing an understanding of the ins and outs of a construction project and all that it entails, you can greatly improve your ability to create an accurate schedule and avoid delays. 

Everything, from the weather and site conditions to the number of labourers hired for the project and the type of materials and equipment used will affect how quickly the work gets done. If your site has buildings on it that need to be demolished before construction work can commence, for instance, this could easily increase the length of the project by a week. Similarly, if you've chosen tiles as your preferred roofing material, rather than asphalt, this will have a significant effect on installation times, as the process of cutting the tiles to fit the exact shape of a roof can take quite a while.

Another example would be if you choose to use copper pipes rather than CPVC pipes for your property's plumbing system. In addition to all of the usual plumbing installation steps, such as creating trenches for waste pipes, core drilling holes in the concrete foundation for waste and vent connections and fitting water lines, the plumbers will also need to spend time cutting and soldering the copper pipe joints; this can add several days to this stage of the construction project.

Prepare for weather-related delays

Severe weather can cause serious delays to construction projects. Heavy, persistent rain showers can make for an uncomfortable work environment for labourers, can saturate building materials and even cause excavations to collapse. Heatwaves can also be troublesome; high temperatures increase the risk of workers developing heatstroke, which can in turn impact productivity levels.

Whilst you can't control the weather, you can reduce the chance of it negatively affecting your project. Harsh weather conditions needn't cause serious delays, provided you are prepared for them. If heavy rain is forecasted, for example, you can ask your contractor to set up temporary storm drainage to prevent water from flooding the excavated areas. You may also want to make sure that labourers are provided with weather-appropriate rain gear, such as waterproof jackets and shoes. In cases where they need to carry out tasks outdoors, it may be a good idea to set up portable tents for them to work in.