Sunday, April 21, 2013

Can I hang around the building site of my new custom home?


I’m having a custom home built for myself, do you think that the contractor will mind me hanging around the job site?


This is a great question and with a lot of Contractors it is a very sensitive issue. On one hand as the homeowner you have the right to be there to see what you are spending all your hard earned money on, but on the other hand it is a serious health and safety issue. Having a person standing around that isn’t involved in the construction industry is the easiest way to get hurt. Construction sites are a very dangerous places, so dangerous in fact that they are considered one of the most dangerous places to work other then in the mining industry. If you are going to be onsite there are certain things you should be doing first;

You should inform you contractor of the days and times that you are going to be there.

You should be wearing the proper safety equipment such as safety boots, hard hats and clothes that make it easy for you to be identified.

Depending on what stage they are at in the construction process you also should be wearing ear protection, dust protection and/or eye protection.

There are other considerations you need to think about when planning to spend a lot of time at the site of your new home. Construction workers are not used to being watched by a homeowner all the time and it can create real friction if your there too much. Usual habits that are always done by a bunch of construction workers will be curtailed which can cause undue stress to the workers.  What I mean by this is that a construction site is a bit of a planet on to its own, it has its own music, its own language and its own way that people treat each other. You standing on the site watching them disturbs all that, all this can hurt the productivity of the home being built. In construction not everything goes perfectly, 90% of the time everything goes right, it's the 10% of the time when something goes wrong that they have to correct or reapply that can cause stress. You watching them make a mistake can actually make things worse and this can cause you as the home owner stress thinking about the cost, when normally you wouldn't even know it happened.

Now I’m not saying that you should never come on the site to see how it is going, what I’m saying is that you should pick the times that you are going to go there. One of the smartest things you could do is find out when the workers have their coffee breaks and show up at that time. Bring the crew some coffee maybe a donut and you will see productivity rise after your visit along with moral. When you show up during their break you will not interrupt anything productive that they may have been doing.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

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