Don’t Let Invisible Construction Errors Go Unnoticed

looking-for-invisible-construction-errorSome of the most common building mistakes aren’t visible to the human eye. That’s why we call them “invisible construction errors.” They can occur behind the walls, within the ceiling, or beneath the floors…where you’d never see them. However, these errors can cause problems in the future and should not be accepted.

When building your dream home, or remodeling your existing home to meet your growing needs, you put your trust in the hands of the contractor. You trust him or her to fulfill their promises of what is to be built, using the skills, techniques and materials promised in the contract.

Most of the work is performed by hired professionals. Whether they are employees of the contractor or subcontractors, they are hired because they are experienced in their areas of construction. However, mistakes can be made during the production process, and sometimes the attempt is made to cover them up rather than lose time and money correcting the problem during construction.

But how would you, as the homeowner, know?

Be present

We understand that you have to go to work, but try to look in on the project every day. Inspect the work and question anything that looks suspect or out of place. The more you know, the better. Try to direct your questions to the supervisor on the job and keep open communications with that person throughout the project. Knowing you are looking in regularly will keep people on their toes.

Monitor the materials

You may think it a cheaper option to go with less-expensive materials, but consider how they will hold up in the long run. You don’t want to be repairing or replacing items within a few years. Spend the money on quality materials and closely monitor that the quoted materials are actually the ones being used on the job. Do not accept substitutions of cheaper materials made without your consent.

Look before walls are closed

Before the team puts up the final wallboard, look at the plumbing, electrical, HVAC and other systems that are located within the walls. This is the time to spot invisible errors while they are still visible.

Hire an outside construction supervisor

Since you cannot always be on the job site, hire someone who can check in on a regular basis on your behalf. This construction supervisor works for your side, not the contractor’s, and monitors the work of the hired team as you would if you had the construction knowledge, looking for cheats or errors in the work. Something like placing the floor joists too far apart can save the team time and money, but will create a potentially-unstable underflooring, and you would not have the knowledge to know that the work was sub-par yourself. The littlest details, down to the size of the nails, can make a big difference.

What to do if you suspect an error

If you suspect that something is “off” with your job in Northern Virginia, bring in a construction consultant, like Först Consulting Group. We can review the work and provide our unbiased professional opinion. If a problem is found, we can document the evidence for dispute resolution or legal cases, and provide options and price estimates for repairing the damage. We can also advocate on your behalf as a go-between between you and the contractor. If you find a problem, don’t wait. Contact Först today.

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