Note from Kalen: This article is directed towards Australians, but of course, it applies to countries across the globe.

If you’re on the hunt for home builders in Melbourne or across Australia, chances are you’re researching online and seeking people’s recommendations. One thing you’re probably concerned with is efficiency, to get the job done on time.

A delay in construction is time overrun beyond the contracted, or agreed upon, completion date. Delays can cause significant financial and personal stress. Every homebuilder wants to avoid paying more than what they have allocated, especially if money is tight.

Here’s what you should know if you’re building with an eye on the bottom line, and want to know the common cause of building delays.

1. The Contractor

There are many reasons contractors might cause delays building homes. Perhaps it’s due to their experience, or lack thereof, resulting in poor site management or underestimating the project’s complexity. They could experience financial difficulties along the way, which is no one’s ideal scenario.

Therefore, in addition to researching your contractor thoroughly, ensure the relevant insurances are organised and confirm their registration. Improper planning also makes your project more likely to languish, like through a disorganised coordination of trades. Get the schedule set before you begin!

2. Labour and Equipment

A slow site might be due to labour productivity, poor qualifications of your builders or the efficacy of their equipment. Especially if you have a non-standard build, you might struggle with the actual supply of labour if specialist skilled workers are in short supply.

Unforeseen circumstances also slow a project and include the effect of subsurface conditions like soil, or a high water table, or just inclement weather. You can’t do much about the weather, but timing your build to avoid wetter seasons along with proper site assessment prior to commencement helps reduce these potential slowdowns.

3. The Client

The person who a home is being built for is often the cause of delay. Basically this is when they’re either too rigid, or conversely, too vague. A vague client takes a long time to make decisions and often communicates poorly with their construction team.

This can drastically slow progress. On the other hand, if you interfere too much, make too many changes as you go along, or resist necessary, but unanticipated modifications, extra time will be needed to find a suitable resolution. Therefore, finding a contractor that you can trust but can also deliver the style you’re seeking in a home, is important.

Remember also, delays in financing and payments also mean work on site typically slows down.

4. The Budget

Being aware of potential delay factors helps you to plan better and communicate more effectively with your builder. However, best practice is to have 20% contingency in your budget.

Know how you’ll access these funds, including how quickly you can actually obtain them. Some people will downgrade fittings or décor, others will sell assets, redraw on loans or borrow from family.

Whatever your situation, have a plan in place so you know how you can avoid delays on your side which can also equate to additional costs.