Wastages in Building Construction, Causes and Remedies

Wastages broadly caused by inefficient planning can cause you to spend double the amount of money you ought to spend on a project if not more ,yet the building may not still be in perfect shape in comparison to the ones that was properly handled. These are causes with the remedies.
(1)Improper planning-Before you open up a site it is important you decides on what to do and at what stages tasks will be done so that you don’t end up prolonging some tasks and not doing some until when it will affect other tasks on site. This will cause wastages to arise on a site for example you decide to paint the building before you realised there are some spots that needs to be patched , obviously wherever the repair is done you will still need to paint back which is a loss/wastage to the project.
(2)Unskilled labour- one of the fastest ways to lose money on site is using quacks or unskilled labour to do some important tasks, you may have been charged less but at the end you’ll spend more money repairing the work the unskilled labourers did.
(3)Money not released ontime by clients-Delay in payments affects planning and will also affect the cost of labour because more days will be spent completing a projecvt that could have been done in a specified time frame.
(4)Unscheduled disbursement of funds-Despite that there shouldn’t be delay in payments, releasing money carelessly or without proper account can give your builder/contractor a false impression there is plenty of money to be made which may cause excesses on his part.
(5)No schedule of work-There must be a document containing how a project will be carried out, the time allocated to each task and showing how the task will overlap each other and help to achieve a wholesome project.
(6)Untested Artesans-There is no harm in using different artesans for your projects but tested and trusted hands help in no small measure to reduce waste and saves time since they are already used to the contractor/builder.
(7)Inexperience workforce-This will affect the general outlook of your building yet you’ll spend more repairing badly done jobs.
(8)Not buying materials in bulk-Buying materials only as at when needed from retailers around will cause you to spend double the amount you ought to use for a project, avoid it if necessary.
(9)Improper storage-Store should be provided either onsite or buildings nearby, and the store must be secured with locks and keys and if possible a security man to monitor activities. Materials should also be protected from rain and other negative environmental conditions.
(10)Theft-When there is no adequate monitoring/security theft is bound to occur.
(11)No or improper account-How money is spent, materials coming to site, how is being used and for what purposes need to be put into considerations if not, when is difficult to trace materials abuse by workers is inevitable.
(12)Overzealousness or too know on part of the client-I can’t count how many clients have told me they are builders themselves just because they have built some houses before. These people put themselves at a risk because the professional on site won’t like to teach you what you don’t know since you now claim to know soo much.
(13)Ignorance of basic steps/stages in construction-Not knowing anything at all even if it has to be through reading from the internet may put you at a greater risk from a contractor that wants to outsmart you, if left alone taking over the site may be difficult and chaos in management of materials is inevitable.
(14)Check and balances every week is important from material bought, materials supplied, to work done.
(15)Using substandard materials-Substandard materials will make you loose money rather than gain through repairs that will be caused from those materials.
(16)Unstable working force-It will take time for new workers to get used to you and what you really want in a building. So avoidable mistakes will occur which will cause corrections and wastages.
(17)Buying materials without specifications or your workers help accompanying you to the market may not be too good, you may end up buying materials not suitable for your project which will invariably leads to waste.
(18)Improper siting during Design and construction-You must decide where the gatehouse, septic/soakaway tank, gen houseand other ancilliary buildings must be before construction , if not this will lead to major redesign/reconstruction which will eventually ends up in wastages, for instance it is better to locate your septic/soakaway tank to fall in line with slope of site and placed at the lowest part of site this makes placements of pipes less strenous to achieve because your plumber won’t be digging much soil.
(19)Lack of foresight during demolition-There are sites you have to do some demolitions of old buildings onsite before new construction, for a well planned site, the rubbles from the demolitions will still be useful.
(20)Contractual matters should be clear and stated in black and white between the client and contractor to avoid arguments at the tail ends of the project.
(21)Delay due to human factors like deliberate absence by workers or strike action can cause loss of time and money, which will eventually adds up when prolonged.
(22)Delay due to environmental factors like rainstorm can affect a construction site which can lead to waste. Imagine if you had mixed cement down for some work only for the rain to affect you during execution of task.
(23)Improper handling of government part-This can lead to a major waste or entire loss of project , for example if you were building in a government acquired land the government of the day can wake up one day and demolish the entire building. There are areas where town planning approval is very important, so if your plan is not approved, government agencies from local to state can disturb your project which may also lead to lost and wastages especially when building is tampered with.
(24)When no room for overlapping of task . Artesans should be encouraged to work side by side except for some cases to avoid material and time wastages.
(25)Weak or bad designs in buildings-Using quacks to design a building for you will definitely make you to pay more and may even leads to total collapse of building.
(26)No site investigation of site before moving to site-This is one of the major and most important steps to take before embarking on any project. If the place is waterlogged or you question the soil integrity , do a soil test, check how safe the place is for your materials to be brought to site? where will your workers stay? where will they sleep? where is food coming from? and how about toilet? If all these are not planned for, you’ll be surprised at man hours to be wasted by your workers because of these.
(27)Divertion of money meant for a task for another is lack of proper planning and can lead to wastages too.
(28)Also give the professional onsite to exhibit his trade, otherwise out of annoyance he may leave you with your antics to waste your resources.
(29)Employ security guards if necessary to avoid thefts.
(30)Site must be fenced to avoid encroachment, things falling out of site to gutters infront and unwelcomed intruders to site.
(31)Prolonged Land dispute can also affect a construction project from incurring loss and wastages.
(32)Effects of vandals/area boys especially when your site is close to where they are fighting, they can also be a serious nuisance on site and disrupt activities if not properly handled.
(33)Overstepping building boundaries- When you build beyond acceptable line infront, the government or other authorities may compel you to break part of your building. This is common with houses close to major roads.
(34)Improper handling of Omo onile.
(35)Building on waterways, under high tension wires etcespecially in a densly populated area is illegal and a big risk. The environmental problems can remove your building either by flood , poles falling and breaking your house or worst government have unimpeeded access to demolish your building.

An architect with decades of experience


  1. I have said it time and again that your concise, precise, analytical and indeepth details is extremely superb and sincerely unequal in all building analysis i have seen both locally and internationally. please keep it up, we are following.

  2. I must say you’ve helped me answer a very important question i’ve never asked myself. You’ve given me great insight and i appreciate your work of excellence in this regard. Thank you

  3. sir, i am very grateful,u’ve educated me so much bcos dis things are not taught in skools.thanks sir.

  4. This is great and practically correct. I am a Builder and I am thrilled with your write up…
    God will continue to increase you…

  5. Tnx for your priceless info.

    Please on what type of roof is good to use and what company do you recommend based on quality and fair price.
    Thanks once again.

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