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7 Causes of Onsite Construction Delays

Traditional onsite construction is susceptible to delays and overages. Here are some major causes of construction delays in tradition construction.

July 15, 2019

It’s become an axiom of the modern construction industry that projects will take longer and cost more than what was agreed on in the original contract. Developers often feel like it’s impossible to complete a project without experiencing an overage or delay because they’re at the mercy of a number of factors outside their control. This doesn’t have to be the case, however, especially when developers use innovative methods such as modularization to avoid, and in some cases, eliminate such issues.

The following list details common causes of construction delays and why the majority of commercial construction projects experience overages, and how modularization with iBUILT can reduce these:

1. Inaccurate Project Estimates

One of the more common causes of delay for construction begins with inaccurate project estimates. While stakeholders and project managers want to get a construction project started as soon as possible; if you have an issue with scheduling or budgeting right from the start, the project is unquestionably barrelling towards overages. Estimates usually suffer from over expectations, without factoring in the uncontrollable nature of onsite construction methods, such as labor shortages, inclement weather, and other such indeterminable factors. Also, due to the aggressive quality of bidding, estimates may irreparably suffer.

This is why it’s so important for the success of a project to plan ahead for accurate and realistic deadlines — iBUILT does just that transparently.

2. Changes in Design

In traditional construction, developers will often change their ideas of the design after the building has already started. Adjustments to floor plans, materials or other features frequently involve expansions to the budget, and always involve additions to the timeline.

Modular units must be precisely engineered for assembly on the foundation. As such, iBUILT allows for multiple rounds of revisions before construction starts, so our clients are completely satisfied with the design before it is finalized.

3. Poor Site Management

Time management, design integrity, and quality assurance are some of the important qualities of project management for onsite construction. Regrettably, onsite construction has its pitfalls and many projects run into overages due to poor onsite management.

Construction management isn’t easy. From project to project delays occur, but it doesn’t mean that construction delays can’t be minimized.

Delays in construction projects can be reduced with modular construction. Modular construction can improve the construction schedule of any complex project. iBUILT specializes in the management of time, perfecting the offsite development so the onsite portion of the build is seamless.

4. Contractor Miscommunication

Traditional construction typically requires multiple contractors responsible for different aspects of the build. With so many parties working on different tasks, there is plenty of room for miscommunication, which leads to disputes over accountability. When a problem arises, they all tend to blame each other, which further slows progress.

In fact, disputes between contractors can result in an average delay of nearly 16 months.

iBUILT eliminates the need for additional contractors. When only one company is responsible for every aspect of the process from design to installation, there is no opportunity for lengthy disputes.

5. Weather

Construction projects are commonly halted as a result of unpredictable and unavoidable conditions, such as:

  • Rain or Snow
  • Excessive Heat or Cold
  • High Winds

Deluxe Modular has the ability to move as much as 95% of the construction process indoors by assembling modular units inside our Berwick, Pa. facility while onsite crews prepare the foundation.

6. Labor Shortages

Traditional building processes require labor specializing in onsite construction and associated trades. Over the past decade, though, the supply of labor in the construction sector has been shrinking. This is partially due to layoffs that took place in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and less youth entering the industry. This shortage of available labor results in crews being booked for more projects at a time, which extends the timeline of each.

Deluxe Modular is able to hire from an abundant pool of factory labor, since our modular units are assembled in our factory, rather than the job site.

7. Lost and Wasted Materials

Constructing a building onsite creates a number of opportunities for unnecessary waste and lost materials. For example:

  • Leaving building supplies exposed to the elements can result in damage.
  • Lack of security on an open job site can leave materials vulnerable to theft.
  • General confusion associated with a disorganized job site, with multiple teams working alongside each other easily resulting in misplaced materials.

Building modular units in a controlled facility along an assembly line means necessary materials are always secure, protected and easily accessible to crews.


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