Common Causes of Construction Project Delays



Construction delays are inevitable. Even if your organization has the best planning and risk management processes in place, unforeseen circumstances can still result in a project being delayed. However, there are some practices you can put in place to reduce the likelihood of delays occurring. In this article we discuss some common causes of construction project delays and how you can avoid them when planning for your next project.

Lack of Clarity

The lack of clarity in the project scope, plan, schedule and budget is one of the most common causes of construction delays. When there is no clarity on these things, it leads to confusion among team members about what’s expected from them. If a contractor does not have a clear understanding about your expectations for them then they will struggle to deliver results that satisfy you.

Clarity is also important in other areas as well such as:

Insufficient Planning

In the construction industry, there are a variety of projects that can be delayed by insufficient planning. Inadequate planning could result in delays in safety measures or lack of proper materials. It’s important to have good planning skills when it comes to construction because it can help you avoid these unexpected hiccups and keep your project moving forward smoothly. One of the best ways to prevent any delays is by being prepared for everything that might happen at any given time during construction.

While planning out your project should be something every business owner does before starting any kind of project, even if it’s just a small remodel job at home, this task becomes even more crucial in case you’re working on larger scale endeavors like building an office building or shopping mall where there are multiple steps involved with getting things done right away – not only do these types of projects typically require more work overall but they also require precise coordination between all parties involved including architects who design blueprints based on what clients want (or need) so everyone knows exactly how much money needs spent before anything else happens during construction process itself.”

Unforeseen Conditions

Unforeseen conditions are a risk that is difficult to manage. When you’re building a home, there are so many things that can go wrong—and often do. You might encounter problems like broken pipes or bad weather, which can delay your project even if you’ve planned for them in advance. The best way to keep this risk from hurting your project is by hiring an experienced contractor and making sure they have the right tools to get the job done right away.

Inaccurate Forecasting

Accurate forecasting is crucial to effective project management, but it’s also a challenge. There are many reasons for inaccurate forecasting, such as:

  • Poor communication between stakeholders
  • Change management issues
  • Unrealistic deadlines and expectations

The best way to avoid these issues is through effective project management techniques like the critical path method (CPM), which requires accurate estimation of time and cost. With the right software and tools, you can easily identify bottlenecks in your workflow and fix them before they become too expensive or disruptive. Once you have a clear picture of how long each step will take, you can plan more accurately than ever before!

Unresolved Disputes

Disputes can be caused by a number of factors, including: inadequate communication, lack of clarity, insufficient planning and underestimating activities. When you are in charge of managing the project and risks arise, you will have to make decisions on how to deal with them. Some people make the mistake of not taking these risks seriously enough. For example, they may choose not to take out insurance against fire damage or they may not put aside money for unforeseen expenses. Similarly, they may fail to involve their subcontractors in decision making because they don’t want them knowing too much about your plans or costing structure. In other words, recovery is the best possible outcome when the risk of delay is unknown!

Underestimating Activities

There are many reasons why projects can go off track, and one of them is underestimating activities. The main causes for underestimating activities are:

  • lack of knowledge about the project and its activities
  • lack of knowledge about the project activities

Poor Risk Management and Planning

Poor risk management and planning is a common cause of construction project delays. Risks are not properly identified, managed, controlled, monitored, reported or mitigated; therefore they remain unresolved.

Inadequate preparation in the early stages of a project can lead to problems later on. For example:

  • A design team may not have conducted sufficient research into local materials availability before starting to design their building. If this lack of research results in the use of materials that cannot be sourced locally then it could result in delays when it becomes necessary to import them from overseas suppliers whose capacity might already be full because other projects are being carried out at around the same time or whose prices might increase due to increased demand for these items from other clients.

Recovery is the best possible outcome when the risk of delay is unknown.

Recovery is the best possible outcome when the risk of delay is unknown.

The importance of recovery can’t be understated. If you’re not prepared for a project to go over, it’s time to revisit your assumptions and make sure that you’ve built in enough time for unexpected delays.


In conclusion, it is important to realize that risks are part of every project and they should be examined thoroughly before the start of any construction process. If you are in the midst of a project going “sideways”, delayed/behind schedule, deficient, overbudget or otherwise then please give the construction analysts at The GeoFocus Group a call today. From expert opinions/witness services to turnkey recovery and completion services we can assist you to ensure that your project achieves completion.



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