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What are the most common causes of construction delays?

On Behalf of | Sep 20, 2023 | Construction Law

According to NOAA, the hurricane season in Florida runs from June 1 to November 30. During this time high winds and flooding are the biggest risks.

For those in the construction industry, these hazards often lead to project delays, but weather is not the only issue facing contractors in this state. There are other prominent issues that could put projects off their timelines.

Supply chain disruptions

Delays can occur due to disruptions in the supply chain, such as late or damaged materials and equipment. In some cases, global events or weather have caused widespread challenges in shipping and transportation.

Labor shortages and strikes

A shortage of skilled labor in the construction industry can lead to delays. Additionally, labor strikes or disputes can halt work entirely or slow down progress significantly.

Design changes and scope creep

Changes in project design or scope, whether initiated by the client or due to unforeseen issues, can result in delays. They will require modification of plans and may lead to the need for different permits or other legal documents that can take time to obtain.

Regulatory approvals and permits

Obtaining necessary permits and approvals from local authorities can be a time-consuming process. Delays may occur due to bureaucratic hurdles or changes in regulatory requirements.

Unforeseen site conditions

Discovering unexpected site conditions, such as hidden utilities or unstable soil, can disrupt construction schedules. They also may require adjustments and remediation efforts to solve the problem before work can resume.

Equipment breakdowns

Mechanical failures or breakdowns of construction equipment and machinery can bring work to a standstill. Work cannot resume until after repair or replacement of the broken equipment.

Subcontractor issues

Subcontractor delays, whether due to scheduling conflicts, labor disputes or financial issues, can greatly stall a project timeline.

Environmental and safety concerns

Compliance with environmental regulations and safety protocols can sometimes slow down construction activities, particularly when unexpected environmental issues arise.

Construction projects, whether large-scale infrastructure developments or smaller building projects, often face delays that can have significant consequences, such as increased costs, frustrated stakeholders and even legal disputes. Understanding the most common causes of construction delays allows project managers and stakeholders to minimize their impact and ensure timely project completion.