How can you avoid construction delays?

Construction delays can feel like an inevitable part of the building process — but they don’t have to be. You can effectively eliminate serious construction delays, keep projects running smoothly and avoid expensive litigation over problems just by following a few basic rules.

Here are some of the basics that you need to remember when you’re aiming to keep a project on track:

1. Plan ahead for delays and blocks

Bad weather, a sick contractor and delays with materials due to transportation issues can all slow a project down. You need to plan a little wiggle room into your schedule so that minor delays and blocks can be accommodated without throwing everything into disarray.

2. Have a dedicated construction manager

Every big project needs one person to make sure that all of the individual parts are functioning well together. You don’t want to leave the job to the head of each team and hope they coordinate well.

3. Use detailed planning tools

Make use of software services designed to ease projects along and keep everyone on the same page. Having everything laid out in writing makes it easier for everyone to understand their part of the job and know what needs to happen next.

4. Have a clear hierarchy of responsibility

When there are “too many cooks and not enough kitchen help” confusion will reign. Assign clear responsibilities to each party in your project and make sure everyone knows to whom they report.

5. Communicate often and clearly

You want to communicate with your builder, subcontractor, owner or architect often — but don’t do it only by phone or in person. Follow up each verbal communication in writing so there’s no mistaking what was said.

If, despite your best efforts, a serious construction delay lands you in litigation, make sure that you speak with an experienced litigator about your legal options.