Having been in the world of construction for several decades now, our team has witnessed our fair share of construction mishaps and issues. Often, our staff have been called in under various circumstances to clean up a mess left by another construction company. Given our experience, we thought that we would share some of the most common reasons that construction projects fall apart, as well as how to keep them from happening to your project.
One of the most common, and most avoidable, reasons for a project failing is poor planning. Poor planning can take many forms. It could include schedules that are so tight that they don’t allow for surprises or delays, which are common. Conversely, it could mean that a project has too loose of a timeline, meaning things take longer than they should which increases costs. Here, having a planning team that is experienced in your specific kind of project is invaluable.
As the project is underway, it’s also important to have people closely monitoring the timeline and constantly thinking about any potential roadblocks. It’s incredibly easy to underestimate a project, but it should be avoided.
Productivity problems at all levels of a project can also prove damaging or even fatal. This is because every piece of the project is important, so one group being unqualified or slacking off can have a ripple effect. From the general contractor side, it’s important that you vet any subcontractors heavily since they will reflect on your organization as a whole.
From a project owner’s perspective, it is also important to vet the companies that will be involved in your project. Even if you don’t vet everyone, it could be beneficial to research as much as the team as possible to ensure you get the best result.
Inconsistent Project Management
Another huge project killer that we have seen multiple times is inconsistent or poor project management. Any construction project requires many different processes working in tandem and in step until the final product is ready. Depending on the scope of the project, this can be a monumental undertaking. This is why good project management is crucial. They act as a conductor of an orchestra, making all the moving parts flow together.
Inconsistent or poor project management may overlook a certain aspect of the job going awry, or may not keep up with the schedule outlined in the beginning of the project. Sometimes this can lead to delays, but it can also lead to the complete failure of a project.
To prevent this, only hire project managers who have the necessary experience for your project. Asking for past work and detailed explanations of their process can confer some insights.
Scope creep is commonly understood as a process where the original work estimate slowly grows during the project. Scope creep is common in many industries, not just construction, but can be very costly depending on the project. Scope creep can happen for a variety of reasons:
- Poor design specifications/planning
- Poor preliminary work (like site surveys)
- Client requests that consistently fall outside the original agreement
- Unknown conditions that arise during the project
Despite the main reason, scope creep can be a slow killer of a project. Construction companies take projects under certain expectations; when those expectations are significantly exceeded, it can put the entire project in jeopardy.
To avoid scope creep, it’s important that the client and construction team have a clear understanding of the project beforehand. Many times, a gap in communication is the main problem, so clarity and a trail of communication is key to keep everyone on the same page. From the construction side, adding a premium charge for add-ons is a good way to ensure that a client is up front with their desires for the project.
Surprise Conditions & Delays
Surprise conditions and delays are also a common culprit in failed projects, though they often aren’t explicitly anyone’s fault. This can look like a natural disaster, unexpected regulation changes, lagging government approvals, and more. The risk of these kinds of issues can be mitigated by simply staying abreast of weather expectations and local, state, and federal construction regulations.
There are times when delays can be traced back to poor management or planning, like not getting the right permits or licenses for the project. This should be handled in the planning process, which could save time and money down the line.
Choose Hannah Constructors For Your Next Project!
Looking to avoid all of the potential problems that could plague your next project? Our experts at Hannah Constructors are happy to help! We bring decades of experience creating all kinds of commercial structures to every new project we work on.
To learn more about our team and how we bring your project from the drawing board to real life, contact us today via phone, email, or through our site.