Why DO new homes have so many defects?
I sometimes picture potential new home buyers asking themselves the question “why do brand new homes have so many defects”. Well here is my opinion on such matter.
I have worked on building sites for many years and have seen
the progression within the trade first hand. Back in the day people took pride
in there work right from the tradesman up to the top directors. It was “quality
not quantity”. This can easily be seen from looking closely at older homes and
even stone walling the majority of these have stood the test of time and will
most definitely out live all of us.
20 yrs on and how the tides have turned. Contractors of this day and age unfortunately for the new home buyer adapt the attitude of “quantity not quality”. My feelings on this are simple its all about money and targets. For me the building trade shouldn’t be about hitting targets it should be about delivering a promise, a promise to provide the quality that people have paid for.
It all starts at a very early stage when jobs are issued for pricing. Numerous companies are in to price the job and start off with their best price to complete the job. Then in steps the main contractor searching for discounts and slowing chipping away at all contractor prices. Eventually leaving the bear minimal profit. However, with all the competition jobs are signed for this way. This resulting in only one winner , the main contractors as their profit margin only increases where everybody else’s decreases.
Once the job starts that’s when pressure is applied to all concerned to hit targets and have houses complete by whatever means possible. Now a number of factors could impact the way houses are completed hence the high number of snags found on completed properties. Here are a few factors to consider :-
- Maximise profits with substandard materials
- Put too much pressure on contractors to complete too much in a short space of time
- Contractors will have to employ poor workforce to try and accommodate the above.
- Site management is a major part of the site and a lot lies with them. Some are very lazy.
- Sites in turn are too busy to work on resulting in trades working on top of each other.
- Material management plays a big part in completion dates. A late delivery doesn’t delay the end result or date that always stays the same. Then all the above come into play even more.
- Not enough money available to pay for quality as time is money.
- Dates are not realistic and not programmed well enough to ensure that quality is of the upmost.
There are several ways in my opinion that the quality of houses can become far better, and the number of snags reduced significantly. One of those is using a service like New Home Quality Control provide.
We are a professional snagging company that doesn’t leave any stone unturned. Our detailed reports speak for themselves with many very impressed and happy customers. Site management should be selected with more due diligence. As from experience a lot of the management we meet on site haven’t got the knowledge or understanding to produce the quality that’s needed to provide the customer with the product they have dreamed of.
Prices should be looked at seriously as the old saying goes “you get what you pay for” is more often than not the case. If prices were increased, then I’m confident that the quality will dramatically increase as tradesmen can concentrate on the job in hand rather than struggling to earn their days wage which compromises the quality resulting in many snags being left.
Unfortunately, the list does go on. Having said all this not all main contractors are the same as you can see in one of our previous blogs with the league tables for awards etc. These can also be seen on our facebook page.
Concentrate more on quality rather than quantity and build a relationship with new and old customers alike. Work with contractors who can then make promises they can keep rather than always falling short and compromising the build. We understand that the house building market is a business and has to make a profit but by being greedy it won’t last forever. Get things right from the very start and the rest will follow leading to a new build house being snag free just as it should be. The sooner cowboy builders are exposed the better for everyone.