UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Constructing a new building comes with its fair share of challenges. Site owners often make mistakes during the construction process that can lead to costly issues down the line.
To ensure a successful construction project, it is important to be aware of these common mistakes and take steps to avoid them.
Experts in the field provide valuable insights and recommendations to help site owners navigate the construction process with confidence.
Rushing the Project
One of the most common mistakes site owners make is rushing the construction project. Setting unrealistic deadlines and trying to complete the project quickly can result in compromised quality and increased chances of errors.
In early 2002, Chris Muhumuza started constructing his country home in Rukungiri District in Western Uganda.
One of his rare visits to the site was when the land was being levelled. The land was slanting and the underlying rock needed to be crushed to achieve a levelled ground. After levelling the ground, construction commenced in June of the same year.
Muhumuza wanted the project complete by December 2003 so that he could celebrate his third wedding anniversary during the festive season and with the peace of mind of occupying a newly built house.
“I did not plan on renovating the house less than 20 years since occupying it. By end of 2010, the lower side of the house had started developing small cracks. With time, the cracks kept widening. The garage that was located on the lower side of the house started detaching from the house,” Muhumuza recalls.
It is crucial to allow sufficient time for proper planning, design, and execution of the construction process. Rushing can lead to shortcuts being taken, subpar workmanship, and potential structural issues.
By taking the time to thoroughly plan and execute each stage of the project, site owners can ensure a more successful and durable outcome.
Telling Engineers What to Do
While it is important for site owners to be involved and informed about the construction progress, it is equally important to trust the expertise of the engineers and technicians.
While Muhumuza was often absent from his site, Lydia Nassande was always present at hers in Kiira, a Kampala suburb, while constructing her three-storeyed building.
Aware that workmen sometimes connive to steal materials, Nassande would be at the site on most days, except when she was at the hardware shop buying materials.
At some point, Nassande stepped in to check the work progress, including the ratio of the mixture of sand to cement.
When they reached the second floor, a few inches after casting the ring beam, Nassande realised the builders were adding more brick layers before the final stage of roofing.
“I realised the third floor was to be high and I asked the engineer not to add other brick layers,” Nassande recalls.
The first and second floors are now in the finishing stages. However, after putting up the ceiling of the second floor, Nassande now realises the height from the floor to the ceiling of the second floor is such that when you jump high, you can easily touch the ceiling.
She is left with no option but to rent out the house with its low ceiling because no adjustments can be made at this stage.
Micromanaging the construction process and insisting on changes without fully understanding the implications can lead to unintended consequences and costly mistakes.
It is essential to rely on the knowledge and experience of professionals and heed their advice. Open communication and collaboration between site owners and engineers can help strike the right balance and ensure that the project stays on track.
Considering Quality and Suitability of Materials
Choosing the right construction materials is crucial for the durability, safety, and overall success of the project. Some site owners make the mistake of opting for excessively unique or unfamiliar materials, which can lead to complications during construction and may not offer long-term reliability.
It is advisable to select readily available materials that are well-suited for the intended purpose of the building. This includes considering factors such as cost-effectiveness, ease of installation, and environmental impact.
By prioritising quality and suitability, site owners can avoid unnecessary challenges and ensure a more efficient and sustainable construction process.
Choosing the Wrong Team
The selection of contractors and professionals involved in the construction process is a critical decision that can greatly impact the project’s outcome.
Opting for the cheapest option without considering qualifications and experience can lead to subpar workmanship, delays, and additional costs.
It is essential to choose contractors and professionals who have a comprehensive understanding of the construction process and a proven track record of delivering high-quality results.
Site owners should prioritise value and expertise over cost to ensure a smooth and successful construction experience.
Ignoring the Surrounding Environment
Neglecting to consider the surrounding environment can result in an unpleasant living experience and potential issues with the building.
Factors such as sunlight exposure, neighbouring properties, and the overall landscape should be taken into account during the design and positioning of the building.
Maximising sun exposure and ensuring proper orientation can contribute to a comfortable and energy-efficient living space.
Additionally, assessing the impact of neighbouring properties and considering potential changes in the future can help avoid undesirable situations and maintain a harmonious environment.
Learning from Common Housing Mistakes
In addition to the mistakes site owners make during construction, there are also common errors made in the housing sector. Some of these mistakes include:
- Failing to establish land boundaries before construction: Conducting boundary openings to clearly define the land’s dimensions can prevent conflicts and legal disputes.
- Neglecting the safety of materials: Investing in the safety and protection of costly materials on the construction site is crucial to prevent theft and loss.
- Cutting costs excessively: Trying to save costs by reducing material quantities and putting excessive pressure on builders can compromise the quality and durability of the building.
- Neglecting architectural plans: Working with professional architects and obtaining approved architectural plans ensures that the design meets safety and functional requirements.
- Engaging quantity surveyors: Hiring quantity surveyors to provide accurate bills of quantities helps in understanding the project’s scope and cost.
- Building in wetlands: Constructing in wetlands may initially seem cost-effective, but it can lead to long-term challenges such as flooding and mosquito infestations.
- Choosing cheap labour: Opting for the cheapest labour may result in unprofessional workmanship and a lack of expertise on the construction site.
By learning from these common housing mistakes and taking proactive measures to avoid them, site owners can enhance the construction process and achieve a successful and sustainable outcome.
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