CivDesignr Journal

A collection of articles and ideas on construction and maintenance. By Alan Howard BSc. Civil (UWI - Trinidad), MEng. Civil (U of Toronto)
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Posts tagged "Mistake"

How a short term fix becomes a long term solution

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As I was driving home today I saw a house with a typical split system unit. The indoor portion (evaporator) of the unit had all the lines running through a hole in the window back to the outside portion (condenser).

Seeing that made me wonder how a situation so obviously “makeshift” could have become a permanent solution to a problem and I remembered all the conversations i’ve heard consultants and contractors have over the years about how soon they would “get back to that” and “this only temporary” only to find that years down the road the temporary solution was lost in the crush and no-one got back to it.

Never let a consultant/contractor on a site push temporary fixes as a way to “put to bed a thorny issue” or brush aside a concern. That little extra effort to make a permanent fix in the first instance will pay dividends later in your project when you realise you don’t have the time or energy to enact the permanent fix.

How to tell when something is wrong on your project


There are three quick “rules” i use to quickly assess whether there is a problem on your construction project.

Visit site regularly - There is no way around it you need to visit your site to monitor progress. Take pictures so you can record progress as well. This will be important to protect your investment should your contractor try to pull a fast one.

Beware of crowds - You should be wary of crowds on your site. Especially if crowds disperse on your arrival. This is a tell tale sign that something is up on your project. Ask questions and take a first hand look at the area.

Stalled progress in one area - Another bad sign, this usually means that the contractor is stuck for one reason or another. Ask a question here as well.

Just remember these quick and simple rules and you will be able to pretty quickly figure out whenever something is up.