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There is no excuse for poor workmanship, but our building project managers come across it all the time.

We work with a number of property developers on a regular basis, and often asked by them to oversee the refurbishment and redevelopment of large, older properties. Poor workmanship is often found in these kinds of buildings. The project below is a good example of what can happen if you do not select the right trades-people, and then do not monitor their work onsite.

Poor Workmanship in an older property

We are currently in the initial pre-construction stages of a new renovation project in London for a regular property developer client of ours.

bad workmanship masticThe property is a tired 19th century multi-occupancy building. Our project manager had been visiting the property to help draw together the schedule of works for the renovation, when he came across this poor workmanship in one of the dilapidated bathrooms.

To the right of the shower cubicle is a line of mastic sealant. Mastic is an elastic sealant that is commonly used to seal joints, prevent water leakage and generally look neat and finish off the work. It comes in a variety of colours and is used around baths, showers and sinks etc. When applied properly the mastic bead is generally about 5 mm wide. Carried out correctly, by a plumber or mastic specialist, most people will never notice it’s there. However, in this case the mastic has been applied in 7 or 8 layers to a width of almost 50 mm. In fact it is almost a structural item! The reason this has been done is that it is covering up some other shoddy work when the shower cubicle was fitted.

Pick your builder carefully

This example illustrates the cumulative effects of poor workmanship. One piece of bad building work covering up another. It is a stark reminder of the need to be careful about who you employ to carry out your building works.

In this case the shower was probably fitted years ago by a local handyman to save money. But the walls and floors of older properties like this are not usually plumb. Therefore fitting showers can be problematic and issues like this can occur. In our experience, this kind of job is therefore always best dealt with by an experienced plumber or carpenter who knows how tackle the challenges these problems present!

Oversight can prevent poor workmanship

If you are planning a major building project you will want to make sure you do not suffer from poor workmanship. It’s generally therefore a good idea to get a professional to oversee your project.

A Quantity Surveying or Building Project Management company like CLPM can help you from the initial stages to completion.

Poor workmanship can be prevented by better planning. It’s important to draw up a comprehensive schedule of works and select the most appropriate builders to tender for the works, and we can help you by doing this for you. We can also brief the builders and ensure they are clear on what needs to be done and your timescales.

Once the tender quotations are received back, we can then analyse the returns and help you choose the team that most closely matches your needs. In some cases this might include specialists as well as a main contractor. Our team can also draw up a building contracts and one of our building project managers can then oversee and check the construction works onsite.

Although there is a cost to appointing a project manager we can protect you from poor workmanship and help you avoid the financial costs of dealing with the results of bad building work. Having a project manager overssing your building project will make sure your builder builds to your architectural plans and will help ensure you get a quality result.

You can find out how CLPM could help you organise your building project by calling 01923 896550, emailing or completing a contact form.

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Our Construction Project Management and Quantity Surveying Services cover London, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, and West Sussex. We provide Energy Efficiency and Heating System Advice across the UK.
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