Ever seen shows like “First Time Flippers” or “Holmes Makes it Right”? As an industry professional, it must be difficult to see some of the construction failures on those shows.
While a show like First Time Flippers is there to broadcast the inexperience of a novice house flipper and hopefully educate the audience, Mike Holmes’ show actually fixes mistakes of other construction companies. There are instances where homeowners paid for all the work and it was shoddy at best when completed; but also cases where the job is half done and the construction company just ups and leaves.
Unfortunately, reality can sometimes be like those TV programs. Construction companies lacking integrity may leave a job incomplete before taking the money and running. Or, perhaps what you see more commonly is just outright construction failures.
What can happen when a job fails?
To answer that question, we say simply… many things can happen when a construction job fails. But we want to use a recent example to paint a picture for you.
You likely heard about the bridge collapse in Miami, Florida on March 15 that killed six people and injured ten others. While investigators are still trying to uncover what caused that 950-ton bridge to collapse, there has been a lawsuit filed against the construction company that built it, citing negligence.
Though this is an extreme example, and as of the writing of this post we don’t know what truly happened, a construction failure on the part of that company could have caused that accident and those deaths.
That’s why we want you to have a little more cognizance around construction failures – mainly, what are some of the most common reasons why they happen?
- Unclear expectations: Jobs should never be rushed. However, if you start the project with one outcome in mind and halfway through the scope changes, you may feel like you have to rush to get the project done on time and on budget. We know you always want to make your clients happy, but it’s never a good idea to rush a project. Next time, make all the expectations clear from the get-go; and if the client wants to switch gears tell them a realistic timeline for completion that leaves you plenty of time for completion and quality checks.
- Unreliable workers: We know everyone gets to be where they are through learning and training, but in construction quality matters. If you’re working on a big, important job (like a major bridge), it may be best to select only your most experienced workers. Also, if you have some team members who are habitually lazy or unreliable, don’t count on them alone. You don’t want to have an accident because an undependable employee missed a step.
- Miscommunication: When all parties are not kept up to date on important aspects of a job, things get missed. Not only that but miscommunication can cause delays and budget issues. There should always be a chain of command so when things like specs, design, plans, and budgets change everyone is in the know. This leaves very little room for error and failure.