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6 tips on sticking to your construction deadlines

[fa icon="calendar"] 2/4/17 10:00 AM / by SAMTRAC



Even on the small scale of renovating your home it seems that no matter what turnaround time your builder promises you, there’s always some delay or another. Sometimes the hold-up is perfectly legitimate; other times it looks suspiciously like the result of people not bothering to deliver when they originally promised. It only takes missing a few small deadlines and the next thing you know, the whole project is off schedule. 

If you work within the construction industry, it’s essential to take proactive steps to avoid any delays.


Delays pose three big issues

  • Who (or what) caused the delay and should those affected have expected that kind of delay?
  • Will the delay postpone deadlines?
  • Will the price be increased to compensate for additional costs imposed by delay?


But first – you must identify your deadline

You can either identify a specific date and time, or you can set a length of time that runs after a specified date or event. If you use the second type of deadline, be careful to avoid controversy about when the time starts. And when you’re setting your deadlines, check to ensure they don’t expire on weekends or holidays.  

Once you’ve set your deadline, here are six tips to keep to your construction deadlines. 


Tip #1: Communicate clearly

Ensure all your communication is

  • frequent
  • clear
  • definite.  

All your information should be accurate and unambiguous. If something isn’t clear, ask for clarification.


Tip #2: Understand the task

Establish a clear goal for completing the task before you initiate the project. This is your team’s chance to ask questions and thoroughly get to grips with the work’s scope. If the schedule is unrealistic, now is the time you and your team would discuss shifting the deadline – not halfway through the project’s development. 


Tip #3: Document every detail

This includes any discussions that occur during an impromptu or casual meeting. That way you always have a record of what everyone has agreed to. Documentation is the key to making sure that disputes are recognised early and rectified before they get out of hand. It can also be used to record problems you’ve encountered on a job site and the steps you have taken to resolve them. Having a log of exactly what happens can help as a reference tool in case these problems emerge on future projects. A log can help you understand any delays or issues that may come up during one project so you can improve your planning for future projects. 


Tip #4: Ensure everyone understands their role

Ensure that not only you know your obligations and rights, but that everyone in the team is aware of their roles; this will make them more likely to follow procedures. 


Tip #5: Use technology

There are many different construction management software programmes that will help keep your project on task and within budget. These programmes will allow you to:

  • keep an organised schedule
  • manage your customer list
  • manage photos and documentation
  • keep track of your budget
  • enter job-site logs.


Tip #6: Select the right product

A project can be right on time or even ahead of schedule but then the main component for your project doesn’t arrive on time. Lead times can be the life or death of construction projects. Develop a relationship with manufacturers or distributors who offer quality products with fast lead times and easy installation. This will speed up your project, making both you and your client happy. 









Topics: safety tips, HSE and Productivity, construction, Safety



SAMTRAC International is the leading occupational health, safety and environment (HSE) management e-learning training course that provides students with the foundational and fundamental knowledge critical to occupational HSE management.

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