11 Construction Project Management Mistakes to Avoid

April 1, 2021
contractor working at computer|11 construction project management mistakes to avoid

How to Stay Profitable by Avoiding the Most Common Construction Project Issues

A construction project consists of a range of smaller projects concentrated in specific disciplines to make a modern structure. Plumbing, gas, HVAC, electrical, communications, framing, drywall, concrete, grading, painting, specialty finishes: all of these aspects are commonly used in creating a modern building. However, several errors can happen during the construction process that can cause serious issues with the project's profitability and timeliness. These errors average as much as 20%, However, they're not the only thing that can cost you profitability on your next project. Here's a look at the top 11 construction project management mistakes you'll want to avoid.

11 Construction Project Management Mistakes to Avoid

1. Not Reading the Construction Project Contract

On a contract that can cover a structure that will cost anywhere from hundreds of thousands to hundreds of millions of dollars or more, failing to read and comprehend everything in the fine print can cost you your business. Read it thoroughly to understand everything expected of your team and your subcontractors.

2. Not Using an Estimating Service

Are you sure that you caught everything in that takeoff? What about that odd assembly? Can you substitute a similar material that you've got a surplus of or at a lower cost? Because estimating services only focus on determining the exact cost of materials, they can avoid costly mistakes when they're preparing your project's estimate. 

3. Not Having Appropriate Safety Training

Even though construction only accounts for 6% of the job force, it accounts for 20% of the fatal work accidents, making it a high-risk career. That's why it's important to address safety concerns before starting the project and enforcing safety regulations during construction to avoid accidents that cost you higher worker's comp premiums and crew morale.

4. Disorganized Materials Delivery

You know that you need materials for a project, but you don't need them all at once! Imagine the chaos if all your material arrived at the same time. Even worse, imaging needing to finish up while having to wait on long lead-time materials. Having a solid supply chain plan in place makes a huge difference.

5. Not Having a Kickoff Meeting

Before the project starts, a kickoff meeting with your customer and subcontractors gets everyone on the same page. This helps you discover possible delays, cost problems, and similar issues. Plan to review all the project's details and the customer's expectations, then review schedules, expenses, work scope, and similar details.

6. Not Communicating

When you're GC of a project, keeping up with communications is vital. Whether it's weekly status calls or meetings, share progress with your subcontractors and customers, leaving enough time to deal with issues that have arisen. This helps keep any problems from getting out of hand.

see 1build in action - book a demo

7. Continuing Work Without Change Orders

Is there a project ever completed that didn't have changes in scope? Whether it's your customer or subcontractors, managing change orders properly is vital to profitability. Continuing to work without one creates waste, and in many cases, customers aren't required to pay for work they didn't contract for, so get it in writing.

8. Getting Behind on Paying Subcontractors

Though it's important to pay for work as it's being done, falling behind on subcontractor payments not only hurts your reputation, it delays your current project. Plan on paying ahead of schedule can result in paying for uncompleted work while late payments can cause you to lose their services for the project.

9. Poor Assessment of Time and Budget Required

It's estimated that the average cost overrun for a construction project is as high as 27%. Though your customers want to save money while hearing that the project will be done quickly, realistic goals are vital to meeting your customer's expectations. Get your team and subs to agree to your commitments to keep everyone accountable.

10. Mismanaging Completion Dates and Punch Lists

When is the project supposed to be completed? What are the specs? Is there wiggle room or do you need to stick exactly to the plan? If you're not keeping track of these issues, you may find yourself with an unhappy customer. Similarly, ensure that all the tasks are completed and that the customer understands the payment schedule.

11. Assuming All Projects Require the Same Closeout Documentation

Projects are always unique in some way, and that often shows up during the preparation of closeout documentation. Different project documents are required for residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional builders. Make sure you know what's required before you get paid. By watching these potential issues, you can ensure that you avoid potential setbacks for your construction project as you go through the building process's various phases. Part of that process is making sure that your numbers are correct from the start to avoid budgetary issues, which is where 1build's professional estimating services can come in handy. Please feel free to reach out today with any questions, for a free demo or to get more details

1build provides an easy-to-use integration with construction supplier catalogs and purchasing systems. Get access to millions of construction materials with our API today