Who Is Watching The Quality?
How it used to be
I am showing my age now but I remember when there used to be a reasonable level of supervision. . . . this was how things were when I built my first house 25 years ago.
There used to be a foreman based on site to keep an eye on things.
Also the inspection of various aspects of the build was subject to independent inspections by local authority inspectors, electrical inspectors, and plumbing inspectors.
That’s not to say everything was always perfect but compare with the current situation!
How things are now
A modern builder employs a Site Supervisor (SS) who may be responsible for the build of 10, or more, houses spread over several suburbs . . . . . . With travelling and office management how often does the SS visit? and how long does he spend?
The Building Inspector is engaged directly by the Builder to ensure compliance as an “Independant” Inspector . . . . . But with a builder directing ten of thousands of dollars to the “Independent” Inspector for 10’s if not 100’s of houses per year how independent are they going to be? . . . . and how thorough?
Electrical and plumbing quality is now measured by what is known as “Quality Assurance” . . . . What this means is:
- The trades person is ‘responsible’ for the quality.
- The trades person submits paperwork to their QA organisation.
- The QA organisation checks the paperwork submitted on a small sample of the projects submitted. . . To avoid problems some trades persons use agents to submit their paperwork so what can you rely on?
- The QA carries out site inspections on a very small sample of the projects submitted. . . . but what about the rest of the projects? When I worked in a rural town asked all the plumbers if they had ever had an inspection . . . not one said they had!
All the above saves money . . . . but are you getting the quality you deserve?
What can you do?
Well by reading this Blog you are becoming better informed.
By researching, and spending some time on regularly visiting the site, and asking questions, you can demonstrate that you are interested in quality.
You could also consider spending a small proportion of the total build cost in getting your own inspector to check up on the build.