Five project deadline delays (and how to avoid them)

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If you’re in the process of refurbishing either a single commercial property or a series of properties, it’s highly likely that you’ll be working to strict deadlines. The old adage that time is money frequently rings true in the business world, and the ability to work to the deadlines established at the outset of a project allow more efficient planning.   When so many refurbishment deadlines are delayed, knowing the typical traps and failings in advance can help to ensure your own projects stay on track.  Here’s a rundown of five common project deadline delays and how to avoid them.


Unrealistic expectations

Perhaps the most common cause of a project deadline delay is, in fact, an over-optimistic deadline. When a project needs doing you’ll want it doing quickly, but tying yourself to an unnecessarily stringent deadline is guaranteed to cause problems.  Allowing yourself and your subcontractors enough time to complete the job to the required standard and to account for any other additional delays down the line is a much more efficient way of working.


Inaccurate job costing

Before you undertake your construction or refurbishment project, you’ll inevitably have to establish a budget as well as a deadline.  When offering project management for a refurbishment or upcoming construction project, as Building Surveyors we are able to provide realistic budget costs based on your outline brief.  It’s crucial that job costing is executed with the utmost accuracy at this stage, as otherwise a project can run over budget resulting in cash flow problems and likely delays.


Unprofessional contractors / subcontractors

While some project deadline delays occur as a result of poor preparation on behalf of the client, others are perhaps more difficult to avoid.  There are, of course, reputable contractors, but we’ve all seen the fabled ‘cowboy builders’ who cost individuals and businesses thousands of pounds with their unprofessionalism.  The wrong contractor can see your project beset with lengthy delays you couldn’t have accounted for.  Because of this, it’s important to do your research thoroughly and act on reliable recommendations and accreditations.  A project management team such as our own should also be able to recommend contractors they have worked with in the past.


Unforeseen logistical issues

Most construction projects will be beset by the occasional ‘acts of God’ that could cause a delay.  Depending on the severity of the problem, the delay may be minor or it may be significant.  Structurally unsound buildings, the presence of hazardous materials or even extremely inclement weather can hold up projects, and sometimes it’s impossible to prepare for such occurrences.  You need to establish a deadline and a budget that can account for a worst-case scenario should something go wrong; with our experience, we can assess the project programmes, produce a risk register and build in contingencies that will help to reduce the impact on the project.


Miscommunication between parties

A lack of communication can quickly derail a project, causing lengthy, inconvenient and expensive delays.  Several parties will be involved in the refurbishment of a commercial property, from your business to  building surveyors, contractors, sub-contractors and local authorities.  If you want your project to go ahead without a hitch and to avoid delays in future, ensure that channels of communication remain open and clear throughout the entire process.  Things might be ‘all clear’, but sometimes ensuring that you have a weekly call to confirm this means that any minor challenges can be flagged before they become full-blown problems.


There are numerous factors that can derail or delay a project deadline, but a well-drilled and well-organised project ought to have the momentum to get over the line on time.  Here at Bradley-Mason LLP we offer client-specific Project Management services that will ensure your deadline and budgetary requirements are met from the ground up, providing you with one point of contact to simplify the process as much as possible.  If you have a project to undertake this year, contact us to ensure that it gets done on your terms, not anyone else’s.


DISCLAIMER: This article is for general information only and not intended as advice. Each project has its own set of unique circumstances, all potential issues should be investigated by a surveyor on a case by case basis before making any decision.

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