Mitigating delays

29 Oct Mitigating delays

The two biggest causes of delay and unexpected costs are the weather and mismanagement. Whilst the weather is out of your control (although this could be a consideration for the start date of your project), mismanagement is something that can be mitigated to a greater extent. Take a look below at some of the impacts which may arise from severe weather conditions and mismanagement.

The most common forms of unforeseen costs after the Substructure and Pre-construction tend to be:



Bad weather in Q1 2018 cost the UK an estimated £1bn per day.

Construction Contracts do not always define adverse weather conditions, so it is down to the Contract Administrator to adjudicate, which could lead to disputes.

  • What time of year is the project taking place? Are foundations being dug/ filled in overtly hot/cold weather? This is also something to be considered during the bricklaying phase.
  • Cold weather
    • Sub-zero temperatures make it impossible to lay bricks.
    • Health & Safety; low temps. affect concentration and dexterity of workers in already high-risk environment.
    • Transportation costs- Road conditions for deliveries. Similarly, if the site is muddy, it can be dangerous for truck drivers as well as other road users.
    • Concrete doesn’t set below certain temps, affecting foundations, brickwork, screed.
  • Hot and dry conditions
    • Water in concrete and masonry evaporates too quickly
    • Dry bricks absorb water in mortar, forming a weak bond
  • Wet weather
    • Trouble excavating
    • Pumps to remove water



Mismanagement can be put down to poorly preparing and organising your professional team. Instructing experienced and reliable professionals is key to the success of a project.

  • How active is the Architect in the project? – This is interlinked with what type of contract is used. Regardless, it is no doubt easier to build a project if the person who designed it is there to guide
  • Has the Developer employed a professional Project Manager? Experience of Project Manager is central- the more complicated a project, the need for someone to coordinate the ideas from all parties and the logistics of the project (as described below). A good project manager will provide efficiencies in every aspect of a development.
  • Organisation of the project manager- Do they have a clear idea of when things should be happening. Most often implication of poor organisation arises towards the end of the project, with Sub-Contractors working on top of each other and Utilities quotes not being provided.
  • How hands on is the developer?
    • It is important for all involved to have Clear Goals of what they want for the project. A changing of scope mid-project will understandably frustrate time and cost scales.


A well thought out utility plan is key to ensuring that delays are mitigated as much as possible.

  • How difficult will it be to make connections to the development?
  • This has been sighted as the most common cause of delay in construction projects.
  • Thing that need to be thought about:
    • Access, where the connections will be made. Existing infrastructure may have to be moved or closed temporarily.
    • Route of the utilities, potential obstructions being considered.
  • Contact with the relevant suppliers should have been made, quotes acquired, by the project manager/contractor as early as possible.
    • Gas
    • Water
    • Drainage
    • Telecoms
    • Electric
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