Top 6 Challenges General Contractors Facing Today

Have you ever thought about what it takes to build your dream house or an impressive workplace?

While the construction job is complicated and involves many processes, some issues are likely to hit the project. A general contractor has to go through increasing material and labor costs, labor shortage, competition, shrinking profit, and safety to complete your dream project. Here is a rundown of such challenges being faced by a general contractor on any given day of his work.

Labor Shortages:

The construction industry is going through a shortage of laborers and workers. The industry had to shed more than 2 million jobs during the economic downturn and struggled to get employment back to normal numbers. Many laborers either retired or were sacked. Most of them have started working in other industries as well.

It is also worth mentioning that most construction workers are aging out, meaning that they are on the cusp of retirement. However, the retiring rate is bigger than the admission of a new generation in this industry. Amidst the challenge of talent shortage, many construction firms have created in-house training and apprenticeship programs as well as teamed up with state and local governments to create programs to attract and train new talent for careers in construction.


Safety has always been a top concern in the construction industry. In fact, this industry has witnessed the most number of workers’ deaths. No wonder why contractors are more serious than ever before to protect their workforce from injuries and accidents. They are investing in certain training programs to educate the workers on safety and safe working practices. Accidents can be easily prevented when dangers have been minimized and safe work practices are strictly enforced.

Rising Cost of Materials:

The average base price of construction materials such as steel, aluminum, and timber has increased due to the newly enforced tariffs. This has increased the overall construction cost. No wonder why many contractors have started to add clauses in the contract to make room for changes in material costs. Most materials are supplied from China and due to COVID 19; there might be a hindrance in the supply chain in an attempt to slow down the spread of coronavirus. Therefore, such disruptions can affect the cost of materials.

Communication Challenges:

Communication is a vital part of any profession, but it becomes more important when work is divided amongst various parties. Without clear communication, important tasks can get delayed and the team can remain unaware of a problem until it’s too late to take an action. Therefore, it is important to have an efficient communication system in place.

Unrealistic Expectations:

Some clients and stakeholders are not clear with their goals. In other words, they are not sure what they want. Whether they want to get a project done within a deadline or on a limited budget, there might be some issues caused by unrealistic expectations. While some things are feasible, some things are beyond control. Working with unrealistic goals can actually impact productivity.

The optimal solution in this scenario is to tell your client everything beforehand. For example, if you think that this remodeling might not happen the way the client expects, tell them why this is not achievable.

Delayed Cash Flow:

Not all clients are good at making timely payments. Getting paid on time is something that keeps any construction business up and running. And if payments are not made in time, it could affect a contractor’s cash flow. This can cause a shortage of money for other projects and resources.

So these are some common issues a contractor is likely to go through during his course of work. Well, every industry has its unique challenges and the construction business is not an exception. To deal with all these issues, a contractor needs to be visionary, dedicated, proactive, and clear with his goals and policies.

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