How to Get it right first time in Construction

Written by LetsBuild

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“Get it right first time” is just a bit of common sense, but something often forgotten about both in our professional and private lives. It always saves time and it often saves money.

As far as construction is concerned, it is a principle which should dominate the thinking of everyone concerned in any project. That starts with the Client getting their needs and their Brief sorted; to their Architects and Consultants preparing their drawings and specifications and then to their contractors once the project starts.

Now for the Clients, this can be difficult, we know. Usually the people they have involved to do this have never been involved in a construction project in their lives. To them it is just a complication added to their Change Management project.

Architects and Consultants should do better but they, too, have a couple of major obstacles to overcome. The first is their Clients’ inexperience. The second is that none of them are perfect, not the way we builders are. 🙂

For now, though, I’ll just talk about the contractors. This topic, really, is a continuation of “De-Snag as you go”. It is an argument that de-snagging should be made totally unnecessary. – well, almost, because we all make genuine mistakes. However, if a little extra thought and attention is given to it before each and every Task is started, those mistakes can be almost eliminated.

One example of this lack of the extra attention that comes to mind is 12 Ladies Toilet cubicles. The piping and hanging of the cisterns was done in a hurry before the cubicle partitions went in. A quick check showed them to be about 200mm. to the left of where they should have been. That meant that 3 men had an extra unpaid day on the job and 2 broken cisterns to replace at their own expense. What that did to their other contracts, I don’t know, but we had to delay the arrival of the cubicle sub-contractor. They couldn’t come, because of their other work, until a week later. Now we did make up the lost time, but that plumbing subby could have been hit with LAD costs that would have put him out of business…

Now the funny old thing about this is that if, on a project, the site management can get on top of “De-Snag as You Go” and get a Team-Spirited culture established, then the trades will do their damnedest to “Get It Right First Time” – every time. That goes an awful long way towards saving additional expenses for everyone. It also goes a long way towards avoiding Delay and anyone being threatened with LAD costs. It also makes work far more of a pleasure.