The 10 most common construction site problems

You surely recognise it: you have started on a construction project and have made a wonderful plan, but things go wrong during the process. Permits are taking longer than expected or there are other obstacles. In this blog, we describe the ten most common construction site problems and how to prevent them.

Top 10 construction site problems

1. Vandalism and criminality

If you consider the risks on the average construction site, you can assume that you will be dealing with vandalism and theft. For example, there is the opportunist thief who happens to pass by and sees that there is something to be gained, but also future residents who come to the building could always use something. Therefore, look carefully at how the construction site should be protected and take appropriate measures. Proper security begins with proper fencing, secure couplers and anti-lift security


2. Unexpected extra costs

During the construction process, there are almost always unforeseen costs. If a process is temporarily halted by the theft of, for example, tools and building materials, this will entail both direct and indirect costs. Direct costs for replacing the material and indirect costs because the staff cannot proceed and must continue to be paid. Besides theft, the weather can have an impact or waiting for a permit can take longer than expected. Always make sure that you are well prepared before the construction starts. Have structural calculations made and ensure realistic planning. Always keep a buffer on hand in case something does not go to plan. 


3. Poor communication between parties

Whether it concerns a new construction or renovation, there are many parties involved: from client, contractor and manufacturer to installer. However, on many construction sites, communication leaves much to be desired and proper cooperation agreements are lacking. Moreover, often not only English is spoken, but also Polish or Romanian, for example. This can lead to major misunderstandings. All these people and parties must be well attuned to each other. Therefore, make sure that there is one person who is reported to and who knows what is going on. This person checks if everything is going according to plan between all parties and also takes the final decisions. For proper communication with the area surrounding the construction site, you can provide text banners; for example, around the site, stating the planning and contact details, so that the area knows what is about to happen and who to approach if there are any questions. At the entrance, banners can be provided, in multiple languages, with the building regulations and safety requirements on site. Or, for example, give instructions to optimise the logistics on a construction site. 


4. Safety on the construction site

According to the Government, the number of (fatal) accidents in construction in the first half of 2016 increased significantly compared to the previous year. Accidents occur because safety regulations are often not adhered to. For example, not wearing a helmet or hearing protection can have harmful consequences. Therefore ensure that there is direct supervision by a supervisor in the workplace and that construction workers are approached if they do not comply with safety regulations. Not only do construction workers have to protect themselves, they also need to be protected. For example, you can take measures yourself by, for example, opting for Noise Control Barriers to protect employees against hearing damage.


5. Layout problems

Construction sites regularly face layout problems; particularly if space is limited, such as in the inner city. There is too little room for suppliers to unload their products, things are not cleaned up after use and then everyone has to find a space for their car. When space is limited, we therefore recommend assembly of semi-permanent fences. In this way, the fences are suspended on poles and there are no protruding blocks. Also ensure a tight schedule, where not everyone has to unload at the same time. And let all cars outside the work area park on a separate site with a surrounding fence. 


6. Completion

After months of construction, the project is finished. The house or new commercial building is ready and only its completion is yet to be achieved. Often there are still many defects after completion, such as damage to doors and frames or technical defects in, for example, the heating system. The contractor is no longer liable as from the completion agreement. If the client wants to claim for repairs, he/she needs to raise this in a timely fashion. Another common problem for completion is theft. In the case of housing, theft often takes place during the finishing phase of a home, just before completion. The number of valuable materials increases, for example: kitchens, boilers, meter cupboards and expensive sanitary facilities. You therefore temporarily need additional security.


7. Bad weather: the weather putting a damper on things

In the UK, we unfortunately do not have year-round summer temperatures. Construction can therefore be at a standstill for a prolonged period of time, especially in winter due to severe frost or snow. This not only causes delays in the construction process, but also has economic consequences. After all, labour costs simply continue. By taking limited restrictive measures, it is possible to simply continue working under extreme weather conditions. For example, you can cover part of the construction site or shield against wind and precipitation by applying canvases or tarpaulins on the fencing.


8. Unauthorised persons on the construction site

You will want to prevent unauthorised persons, such as playing children or curious spectators, from entering the construction site. They can run all kinds of risks, such as falling into holes or pits, drowning, getting trapped or being electrocuted. You can discourage unauthorised persons by installing an anti-climb temporary fence with High Security clamp and anti-lift security. This can be extended with electronic detection. Hazardous areas, such as pits or holes, need extra fencing surrounding them.


9. No quality control

Whether it concerns renovation or new construction projects, the completion must meet quality requirements. However, this is not always the case. Buildings exhibit structural defects, such as leaks, cracks or subsidence. Timely quality control can prevent repair costs and consequential damage. Make sure, for example, that an experienced supervisor is appointed to ensure quality. This person keeps an eye on the progress of the construction process and shares his/her findings with the client. Heras, for example, has internal quality inspectors who monitor the quality and safety of the assembly partners and their own fitters.


10. Construction errors

Unfortunately, our fences are sometimes incorrectly assembled. For example, a tie-wrap is used to connect fences instead of fencing clamps. Unauthorised persons can therefore enter the site more easily. Such errors are prevented by letting our staff take care of the assembly. Would you rather do it yourself? Then watch our assembly instructions or request a consultation meeting.

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Picture of Darran Chissell

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