Myth busting special: Are builders really messy, unorganised and bad at communication?< Back to Blog


When an average person thinks about builders on a construction site, there are often some immediate ideas that come to mind, many of which tend to be on the negative side – the site will probably be dirty and unorganised, the project will no doubt run over schedule and over budget and the whole thing will be run by people with, let’s say, not the best communication skills.

But do such thoughts paint an accurate picture of the modern building site? Or are they just myths – a legacy from past and out-of-date modes of working?

Let’s see if we can do a bit of myth busting here and find out:

BUILDING WORKS ARE A DIRTY/MESSY BUSINESS

Although the words ‘spotlessly clean’ might not apply during any construction phase, the truth is that most modern building contractors understand the need for their sites to be well-organised and tidy. (This is required both for the site to run efficiently and to meet health and safety standards.) Today’s contractors plan their operations carefully so that materials are properly sorted/stored and instruct their teams to keep things as tidy as possible at all times.

When a project is completed and ready for handover to the owner, it’s customary for the construction team to carry out a final round of cleaning and a ‘white glove test’ on the space.

PROJECTS WILL ALWAYS RUN OVER SCHEDULE AND OVER BUDGET

Yes, some projects do exceed their budget or fall behind schedule but this is certainly not what happens in the majority of cases.

Early meetings between developers, architects, contractors, subcontractors and owners usually take place during the preconstruction phase and this kind of upfront planning is what helps ensure everyone plays their part in delivering the project on time and on budget.

Of course there are times when unforeseen circumstances interfere with the end result (e.g. bad weather or unexpected permit requirements) but, bringing in the construction team at the early stages helps to ensure solutions to such problems can be found quickly. 

Using project management software and apps also helps contractors to ensure everything is well monitored and that quick adjustments to the schedule can be made in ways that still keep everything on track.

BUILDERS ARE BAD AT COMMUNICATION

Good communication is critical within any industry but this is particularly true of construction sites where contractors must liaise with a whole host of people on a daily basis – suppliers of materials/equipment, owners, developers, architects, safety advisors, planners, subcontracted trades and labour, for instance.

To ensure the schedule of works run smoothly and in line with the owner’s wishes, most construction teams hold weekly team meetings plus daily briefings when things are more urgent. Contractors often communicate daily with owners (or their site management representatives) so as to share updates and resolve questions. And, where humans may once have failed in the communications game, modern technology has provided many brilliant solutions. Here at Sheriff Construction, we use everything from secure cloud-based systems to share important documents to WhatsApp team groups for quick updates.

DON’t stress it!

While large developers completely expect their construction sites to run like any other business environment (tidy, streamlined, efficient and with high levels of communication among the team), someone who ventures into smaller projects or perhaps household renovations may well be fearful that their plans could be hindered by a disorganised or unhelpful builder.

However, in most cases this kind of fear is based on the kind of common misconceptions outlined above. Today’s builders often take great pride in both the work they produce and the way they deliver it. For Sheriff Construction, qualities like customer service skills, tidiness, good communication and planning capabilities are just as important to us as how well someone can lay a brick or install a roofing component.

Construction projects are unlikely to ever be totally stress-free but the time has come to dispel those myths. Knowing the builder is on their side, we believe owners and developers should overwhelmingly feel excited (not stressed) about their upcoming plans!

06.08.2019

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