You’ve probably heard of this situation: you’ve started a construction project and prepared a nice schedule, but once you’re on the ground, things don’t go as planned. It takes longer than expected to obtain permits, or other obstacles arise. This article describes five of the most common problems encountered on a building site and explains how to avoid them.
1. Vandalism and crime
When we think of the risks of the average construction site, we usually think of vandalism and theft. Thefts can be committed by opportunistic thieves, who happen to pass by and see something to take away, but also by future inhabitants who come to see the construction site and always find something useful. Therefore, take a good look at how the construction site is to be secured and take the appropriate measures. Proper protection starts with a good fence, high-security collars, and anti-lift systems.
2. Unexpected extra costs
In almost all cases, contractors are faced with unexpected costs. The temporary interruption of a construction site due to, for example, theft of tools or building materials leads to both direct and indirect costs: direct costs have to be paid for the replacement of materials, while indirect costs are incurred for the remuneration of workers who are not able to continue their work but still have to be paid.
In addition to flight problems, the weather can also have an impact on the site, and it may take longer than expected to obtain a permit. So always make sure you are well prepared before starting work. Have the calculations done by an architect, and make sure you have a realistic schedule. Make sure you always have room for maneuvering in case something does not go according to plan.
3. Poor communication between stakeholders
Whether it is a new construction or a renovation, a construction site involves many stakeholders, from the client to the contractor and from the manufacturer to the installer. However, communication is poor on many construction sites, and good cooperation agreements are not common. Furthermore, the various parties involved do not only speak French but also English, Polish or Romanian, which can lead to major misunderstandings.
It is essential that all speakers agree with each other. Therefore, make sure that there is one person in charge who knows what is going on. This person will be responsible for checking that everything is going according to plan between the stakeholders, as well as for making the final decisions. For good communication with the neighborhood of the site, you can provide canvases with explanatory text.
For example, surround the site with banners on which the schedule of the construction site and the contact details of a responsible person are indicated so that the neighborhood knows what is going on and who to contact if there are any questions. Near the entrance to the construction site, you can hang banners on which the construction site regulations and safety instructions in force on the site are indicated in several languages. You can also put up information on how to optimize the logistics of a construction site.
4. Safety on the building site
According to the authorities, the number of (fatal) accidents in the construction sector rose sharply in the first half of 2016 compared to the previous year. Accidents often occur because safety instructions are not followed. For example, not wearing a helmet or hearing protection can have serious consequences.
Therefore, make sure that a supervisor is in charge of the workplace and that workers are called to account if they do not follow safety instructions. In addition, workers should not only protect themselves but also be protected. For example, you can take safety measures yourself by choosing ear protectors to protect workers from hearing damage.
5. Organisational problems
Construction sites regularly face organizational problems, especially where space is limited, as in urban centers. There is not enough room for suppliers to unload their goods, things cannot be put away after they have been used, and everyone still has to fit their car somewhere. Where space is limited, we recommend semi-permanent fencing.
This means that the fences are hung on posts, and there are no blocks sticking out at ground level. Also, ensure you have a strict schedule so that everyone does not have to unload simultaneously. And make sure there is a separate area with a fence to park all the cars.
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