Common challenges of residential construction projects

Written by LetsBuild

Follow us


Share this story

Lean ebook cover

The Association of Professional Builders’ 2022 annual report on the state of residential construction included some alarming findings:

  • Almost one-third of global residential construction projects were delivered late in 2021.
  • Less than half of residential builders understand their fixed expenses per job and per day.
  • More residential projects went over budget in 2021 compared to previous years.

It’s no wonder the residential building sector is facing more challenges than ever.

In addition, respondents from the United States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand listed their biggest challenges in residential construction, with the top two being subcontractor delays and sourcing materials delays.

However, we want to dig a little deeper into the challenges that residential builders face today.

Free ebook: Quick guide to Lean practices for construction professionals

What residential construction challenges are project managers facing today?

We all know about the supply chain disruptions and skilled labour shortages that have been affecting the industry since 2020, but we’d like to discuss four residential construction challenges that aren’t talked about as often.

1. Industrialisation

Modular construction is becoming more popular among residential builders and homebuyers, presenting new challenges for residential construction. The global market size for modular construction was almost $138 billion in 2021, and it’s projected to grow to $271 billion by 2030.

This rise enables industrialisation and is pushing many residential building companies to take an off-site and product-based approach, creating building components in a more controlled environment.

But even though industrialisation can help lower construction costs and reduce building times, the lack of skilled workers makes it unrealistic for many companies to follow suit.

2. Increased complexity and project volume

The global market size of residential construction is expected to continue growing rapidly, bringing with it higher project volume for residential builders and more complex processes overall.

One of the significant results of this increase is more competition between construction companies bidding for projects. The challenges that competition presents are even more problematic for unspecialised builders who don’t have target segments in which they can build a genuine competitive advantage.

More to read: The top 5 construction project management challenges and what to do about them

3. Sustainability and standardisation

As the global conversation about climate change continues to be a hot topic, residential builders face increasing pressure to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainable building practices.

And at the same time, governments in many markets understand the importance of standardising building codes for factory-built products, bringing additional challenges even to those residential builders who are taking advantage of the move to modular.

4. The digitalisation of planning & processes

The APB report we mentioned earlier includes some other interesting information: Success and resilience in today’s residential construction industry require companies to embrace technology. This challenge is for those home builders who fail to modernise—how will they keep up?

They won’t.

Digital technologies can help solve most of the common residential construction challenges, like the ones we’re talking about today and others, including poor time planning for repetitive tasks, miscommunication on the job site, and decreasing labour productivity.

Big residential construction projects | LetsBuildThe next chapter in residential building: Project management software

Residential construction is at a crossroads; supply chain bottlenecks, labour shortages, and all of the other challenges that home builders constantly face come amid high demand for new housing.

However, even with all of these challenges, there’s never been so much opportunity for growth. But it’s time for residential builders to come to terms with the fact that the old way of managing projects doesn’t work anymore—you need more than Excel and WhatsApp to stay on top.

In addition, nearly half of residential builders surveyed by APB named implementing one-solution-fits-all cloud applications that save time and increase productivity as their number one priority for 2022. There’s no doubt that this software is the key to overcoming these residential construction challenges.

Further reading: 3 ways to avoid defects in construction

Overcome your residential construction challenges with the right tools

Construction management software is changing how the world builds, and we’re at the forefront of that digital revolution.

It’s time for residential builders to get on board or get left behind. Here’s how we can help:

LetsBuild for on-site lean coordination

LB Coordination is a multi-storey residential building solution for site managers who want to overcome their residential construction challenges and block out repetitive tasks by trade, location, project, and time.

If you’re struggling to measure project performance, schedule your subcontractors, plan efficiently, and keep all of your teams in sync, this is the app you need to stay ahead of the game.

Deliver leaner residential projects, coordinate trades and subcontractors, and break down silos—try LB Coordination for free.

LetsBuild for multi-project schedule communication

Designed for residential construction, volume housebuilders, and repetitive projects, LB GenieBelt is the perfect tool to help you tackle the residential construction challenges that stem from miscommunication.

This dynamic cloud solution keeps you and your team on the same page with real-time progress reporting, online and offline communication, and the planning tools you need to stay on top of your data.

Stop missing deadlines, avoid double booking, and quit wasting time on repetitive processes—try LB GenieBelt for free.