Whether you’re a contractor or a client, mistakes happen during construction projects. It takes several moving parts and team members to complete the project, which increases the statistical odds that something will happen. While construction mistakes can be common and costly, and small issues may turn into much larger problems, many are largely avoidable.
Our team has made and witnessed plenty of mistakes and learned some hard lessons. Below we share some insight that could help contractors and clients alike.
Start with Communication
A large number of construction mistakes happen when lines get crossed, directions get lost in translation, or a simple detail isn’t shared with another team member. Create a culture of communication at all levels of the project; there’s no shortage of tech tools to help with this, and there are many that are specifically designed for construction pros.
If a problem does arise, this culture of communication will encourage team members to speak up if they do encounter a problem or make a misstep. Everyone up to the stakeholders needs to be aware of what’s happening to mitigate risk early on and minimize damage before it delays work or stops the project altogether.
Human error happens, and the more people there are on a project, the great chance of someone making a mistake. While automation tools can’t fill roles that require skilled human labor, they can streamline many processes along the course of the project, eliminating some chance of human error.
When things like data entry, invoicing, accounting, and even payroll are automated, it frees team members up to work on the high-value tasks that keep projects on track — and mistakes at bay. Even using project design automation can alert managers and stakeholders to any changes that could be a red flag.
Check the Contracts
All agreements, large or small, should be put in writing with no uncertain terms. This keeps all parties accountable and on the same page, and offers a clearly defined scope of work. Doing so means that all parties understand their role in the project and don’t need to assume as to what they should be contributing — something that can lead to work that either isn’t done correctly or even at all.
Contracts also provide a paper trail should legal disputes arise as a result of construction mistakes made. While construction projects don’t frequently end up in court, the more evidence there is, the quicker a resolution can be found when there is documentation to support any claims.
Keep up with Quality
Remember that you get what you pay for whether it’s labor, materials, or even subcontractors. Don’t automatically choose the cheapest bid; when contractors cut corners, a project can suffer and mistakes can occur. Ultimately, these mistakes will cost much more than a more expensive contractor or better materials.
This is also an important reminder for contractors. It’s not worth it to pad profit margins by choosing cheaper quality construction materials. Not only is it crucial to give clients the quality work they expected, but it also helps to build a reputation that can lead to growth and long-lasting relationships with clients that boost the bottom line.
Don’t Skimp on Safety
The construction industry is by far one of the most inherently dangerous to work in. When safety mistakes are made, people can be injured or even killed. Each project has slightly different safety requirements depending on the scope of work, so it’s a mistake to assume that safety training is a one-and-done type of thing.
When hiring contractors, ask direct questions about their safety standards and training methods. If they can’t answer clearly (or at all), run far away — without these policies and procedures in place, it’s almost a guarantee that mistakes will be made.
Ultimately, working with the right construction contractor will go a long way towards avoiding common, costly, and even deadly mistakes. Our 4th generation award-winning team are experts at staying on time and budget. You get clarity and transparency with us, not chaos and confusion. If you appreciate quality, efficient work instead of the commercial construction roller coaster, be sure to choose us.
Our strong commitment to quality and safety, along with using only the finest subcontractors, allow us to produce a superior product. We employ only the best union carpenters and laborers and personally carry out many tasks. This allows us to maintain our high standards, and have the ultimate control over schedule and quality — consider us for your next commercial construction project.