How To Deal With Commercial Construction Delays?

Delays are widespread in the construction industry, and in the commercial sector, it can be a big problem. According to McKinsey and Company; 98% of the mega projects with a budget of more than $1 billion face delays and cost overruns. Most of these delays are due to weather, low productivity, and commercial building delays.

Large construction projects and commercial buildings need extensive planning and coordination. Delays are inevitable when it comes to commercial projects; however, you can mitigate these risks and deal with delays and avoid disputes.

5 Ways to Avoid Commercial Construction Project Delays

If you start construction on a commercial project, you need to look out for possible delays. Here are five key steps to avoid and deal with delays on your commercial construction projects.

Step 1: Ensure a Realistic Schedule

No contractor wants to tell the client that the completion will take longer during the bidding. But what is worse is breaking the news of the delay when the deadlines are near. Therefore, contractors need to create realistic schedules that leave enough room for dealing with unexpected delays and issues.

The first step to do that is to identify potential problem areas on your project; that may hinder the work on site. After identifying these areas, you must ensure space in your schedule to deal with these issues.

Familiar Sources of Construction Delays:

The following are some of the familiar sources of construction delays:

  • Permits
  • Drawings
  • Delivery of heavy materials like HVAC.
  • Contract Bonds
  • Environmental Issues
  • Site Conditions
  • Frost Laws

Step 2: Be Aware of Environmental and External Conditions

Maintaining a productive working environment is vital for commercial construction. Thus to avoid construction claims, one must be aware of external and environmental conditions; that are out of the contractor’s control and may lead to construction delays.

Factors To Consider:

The following are some of the factors to be aware of:


You cannot control the weather; therefore, your construction site must always be prepared for the adverse. There are a variety of precautions to take, e.g., protection against natural calamities; like hurricanes, floods, tropical winds, etc., that may affect equipment supply and deployment schedules.

Public Utilities:

When it comes to commercial construction, one must be sure of how to work around public utilities from day one. The contractor needs to coordinate with the municipal authorities regarding power lines, gas lines, public transit, and sewers.

Environmental Regulations:

Familiarize yourself with all the water, air, and soil quality regulations in your state. It is crucial if you are working with toxic materials or near streams.

Step 3: Address Change Orders as Quickly as Possible

“Change is inevitable,” and this old saying is very appropriate and relatable on construction projects. If appropriately managed, change orders are not something to fear. But for proper management of change orders, you need to have a management process in place.

When it comes to change orders, you must get in touch with construction claims consultants to negotiate these orders in your benefit.

6 Processes to Address Changes Orders

Here are some tips on developing an efficient change order process:

  • Relate the change order to the original contract and identify details and changes.
  • Review all the construction plans in detail to make sure every team understands the nature of these changes.
  • Never ignore or delay a change order and act on it instantly.
  • Maintain an open communication channel with all the stakeholders and parties, from upper-level management to the construction site.
  • Establish a plan of action by incorporating the change order, and don’t be afraid to increase the project timeline. 
  • Keep all the documentation related to the requests, changes, and negotiations.

Step 4: Prioritize Communication when Commercial construction Delays Happen

Commercial construction delays involving large projects tend to be complicated and have a cascading effect; that results in various issues down the lane with time. These delays add up and result in construction disasters of huge magnitudes and a pile of problems. Therefore, to avoid this ripple effect, you need to ensure open communication with all the parties.

Who Must Know the Delays:

Below mentioned are some of the people that you must inform regarding the current situation:

Project Managers:

They should be the first people you need to contact in case of project delays. Because, they are responsible for coordinating the construction project.


Subcontractors have a tight schedule; therefore, it is necessary to inform them of project delays.


Logistics and material supply chain can be easily disrupted if you don’t communicate with the suppliers ahead of time. You don’t pay for storage when the job site is not ready for equipment or supplies.

Financial Stakeholders:

owners and stakeholders may not be present on the site, but you must inform the upper management nonetheless.


If your commercial construction delay may affect the public utility and other related aspects; you need to inform the government body regarding delays to avoid legal issues.

Step 5: Get Help from Construction Claims Consultant

Last but not least, if things are heating up and you and the party is failing to reach an agreement; your best option is to get in touch with the construction claims consultants. To ensure that the situation gets resolved in your best interest; with less hassle, you will need these experienced experts to be on your team.

These professionals have extensive experience with different types of construction-related issues and disputes. You can use their expert opinion to deal with all the involved parties; and make sure the dispute is resolved at the earliest. The consultants can help you both on-field and in the courtroom to resolve complex commercial property issues.

Smartly Handle Construction Delays

Construction delays in commercial projects can be costly and frustrating. However, with proper planning, communication, and expert help, it is possible to prevent these delays. Be realistic and be honest with all the parties that you are working with and handle construction disputes with patience.

Ensure you get in touch with construction claims professionals to help you deal with your claims; and make sure you win your claim successfully.

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