The Top 5 Challenges in Commercial Construction and How to Overcome Them

Commercial construction projects face numerous challenges that can impact the outcome of your structure and your Return on Investment (ROI). To create solutions for these challenges and provide you with the best ROI, your commercial contractor should be able to adopt effective project management strategies and anticipate challenges that may arise specifically in your project, and they must be aware of issues affecting the industry as a whole. This includes careful planning, utilizing their industry insights, and building experienced project teams. By identifying potential delays early on and implementing strategies to address them, your commercial contractor can minimize the impact on the project schedule and ensure timely completion - providing the best results for your investment.

1. Material Costs

Material costs are a major challenge that commercial construction projects regularly face. The construction industry has witnessed a steady increase in material costs in recent years. Factors such as global economic growth, increased demand for construction projects, and limited availability of materials have all contributed to this upward trend. 

Keeping a close eye on material prices is essential. Prices for construction materials can fluctuate and need to be monitored. Regularly reviewing market trends and engaging in proactive discussions with suppliers can help contractors identify potential cost-saving opportunities and help ensure there are no significant changes in project expenses. By also establishing long-term partnerships, contractors can secure a more reliable supply of materials.

Another approach is to explore cost-saving alternatives, a process often called Value Engineering or Value Management. Contractors stay current on industry advancements and communicate with architects and engineers to identify these alternatives.

Effective project management is also crucial to managing material costs. Your construction team will continuously assess material requirements, ensure accurate forecasting, and minimize wastage. By carefully tracking material usage and ordering, project managers can avoid unnecessary expenses and optimize the use of materials.

Despite the challenges presented by material costs, your commercial contractor can navigate these obstacles with proper planning, proactive communication with suppliers, and diligent project management. 

2. Potential Delays

Potential delays are a common challenge that commercial construction projects have to prepare for. These delays can occur due to various factors, such as unexpected site conditions, supply chain issues, or changes in project scope or labour availabilty.

When a site is not thoroughly assessed before construction begins, it can lead to unforeseen issues such as unstable soil, hidden underground utilities, or environmental concerns. These unexpected conditions can disrupt construction timelines, increase project costs, and call for adjustments to the building's structural design or foundation. To mitigate these challenges, it's essential to conduct comprehensive site assessments and ensure that the project's design and construction plans account for potential site-specific obstacles. 

Changes in project scope can also contribute to potential delays. As design modifications, client requests, or unforeseen obstacles arise, project teams must adapt and adjust their plans accordingly. However, if these changes are not effectively managed, they can disrupt the entire project timeline and result in additional risk and costs. The constant flow of clear communication is key on commercial developments.

While there are issues that can be mitigated, some things are out of a construction team’s control, such as the weather or supply chain issues. Poor weather conditions can prevent construction from progressing. However, an experienced contractor will factor potential delays into the initial project timeline.

Careful planning and proactive risk management are essential to minimize potential delays. Conducting thorough site assessments, anticipating and addressing potential challenges, and regularly reviewing project schedules can all help identify and mitigate risks that may lead to delays.

3. Poor Project Scheduling

In that same vein, poor project scheduling can create challenges for your commercial construction project. This is where the expertise and experience of a trusted commercial contractor like Stretch Construction benefits clients. With decades of experience in commercial construction projects, Stretch excels in anticipating challenges and creating comprehensive solutions during the planning phase. 

Ineffective project management is a leading cause of potential delays in commercial construction projects. Effective project management requires careful planning, clear communication, and proactive problem-solving. Without these factors, issues such as scheduling conflicts, productivity bottlenecks, and coordination problems between trades can arise.

Stretch leverages our industry knowledge in your favour to develop thorough project schedules that take into account labour availability, material deliveries, and potential obstacles. This ensures that the project progresses as planned, minimizing the likelihood of delays and ensuring timely project completion. That is why we deliver your construction project on time and budget.

4. Unskilled Workers and Insufficient Workforce

The construction industry has grappled with a shortage of skilled workers for years. This shortage poses a significant challenge to completing projects on time and within budget.

An insufficient workforce can lead to delays at various stages of the construction process, leading to additional costs.

To tackle the challenge of limited unskilled workers and an insufficient workforce, construction companies prioritize recruiting and training efforts, and developing partnerships with subcontractors. 

We have seen significant growth within our workforce recently to help ensure we can support our client’s expectations and vision. Stretch has also developed solid relationships with skilled subcontractors across Western Canada that have been vetted to ensure that your commercial construction project receives the best results.

5. Industry Demands and Economic Constraints 

The success of a construction project can depend on real estate demands and economic growth in the area, which can make determining the intended use and design of the building challenging. Economic growth plays a crucial role in the success and viability of construction projects, as it impacts the demand for new infrastructure and development.

Staying up-to-date on economic trends and market conditions is vital for construction companies to make informed decisions and help clients adapt their strategies accordingly. This includes closely monitoring factors such as construction spending and business confidence levels.

Contractors with industry connections that provide market statistics can help guide your decision to invest in a development and what kind of structure and design to pursue. These insights contribute to creating the best return on investment. For example, Stretch Construction has contacts in property management to provide you with real-time information, such as lease timelines and rental rates.


Commercial construction projects are not without their challenges, but with the right strategies and expertise, these obstacles can be effectively managed to ensure a successful outcome and a favourable Return on Investment (ROI). By knowing what challenges you face, such as material shortages, economic impacts and a limited workforce, you will also know how to mitigate these problems if and when they arise.

With the right commercial contractor, such as Stretch Construction, armed with experience, industry connections, and effective project management, these challenges can be navigated successfully, ensuring your construction project is completed on time and within budget, ultimately maximizing your ROI.

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