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Reasons Construction Projects Go Bad

Reference Number: MTAS-1464
Reviewed Date: 05/12/2023

Engineers — by Alton Heathcoat, representing the Society of Professional Engineers

  • Poor understanding between the parties involved
  • Failure to receive timely approvals and permits
  • Design errors
  • Designing to "wants" not "needs"
  • Design changed to fit budget
  • Poor onsite inspection
  • Poor contractor quality
  • Untimely delivery of equipment, reports, payments

Contractors — by Ron Crutcher, representing the Association of General Contractors

  • Poor plans and specifications
  • Unclear areas of responsibility and authority
  • Delays: weather, deliveries, design details
  • Payment delays
  • Disputes: Who can stop work?

Owners — by Larry McElroy, representing Consolidated Utility District, Rutherford Co.

  • Delays: TDOT, other utilities
  • Misunderstandings between parties involved
  • Too many bosses
  • Professional incompetence of the parties involved
  • Gray contract language

Financial — by SCORE members

  • Incomplete forms and applications
  • Inadequate financial resources
  • Incompetence of the parties involved
  • No central clearinghouse

Construction Managers — by Earl Sizemore, P.E., representing Sizemore Consulting

  • Poor communication
  • Poor plans and specifications
  • Inexperienced contractors
  • Financial confusion, pay requests, change orders, retainage, payment delays

Legal Perspective — by R. Loy Waldrop Jr., representing Lewis, King, Krieg, Waldrop & Cantron, P.C.

  • Poor direction and project definition
  • Project and funding mismatched
  • Personnel quality
  • Poor conflict resolution

Root Causes of Failed Construction Projects
Shortage of:

  • Skill
  • Effective Communications
  • Knowledge
  • Time
  • Money