How to Supervise Building Projects

To supervise building projects you first have to identify the most important part of the building project that cannot be overlooked. Building projects include some elements in common, like design, estimation, financial and legal issues, and supervision as well. This article gives an insight on “how to supervise building projects”

If you are saddled with the responsibility to supervise building projects, you should know that it entails a whole lot than shouting orders.

Supervision of building project ranges from employing project manager to self-supervision, depending on the size and kind of project. For small building projects, you can save the hassle of employing the project manager, by supervising your own project.

If you decide to manage your own building projects, you are committing yourself to a lot of work, stress and the daily site visits for at least a year. This implies that you will be involved right in at the deep end, and taking a lot of responsibilities. However, getting a building constructed can be very easy if you dedicate enough time to your project and follow the necessary steps to completion of your project, with proper coordination of the personnel’s involved. These are the things you have to put to bare:

  1. Have your budget.

Once you are ready to start your construction, make sure to have a clear budget, showing how you will spend your money on each element or item on your building project. You may seek the services of a professional estimator, hence may save millions or hundred thousands of naira.

  1. Contingencies.

Whatever your estimate, our economy is besieged by unending inflation. One of the things to put into cognizance if you are to supervise building projects is that you will always be expected to spend more at the end of the day, so earmark at least 20% of the estimate for your building for contingencies. But make sure you don’t stretch your budget to the limit.

  1. Get a capable and reputable contractor

How honest is he and which of his past jobs can he point to? Who can stand for him, or recommend him to carry out your job? Make sure this person is actually capable and qualified for the job.

  1. Get your building plan approved

It is important to get approval for your building plan and obtain a building permit from the statutory authorities. Since you never know what the future brings, the government can decide to turn your building into a road or even a seaport (you never can tell these days).  In that case, what will you use to fight back or at least be paid compensation for your property? If you are a businessman with an approved plan, you can turn your property as collateral to obtain loan from the bank to help your business.

  1. Mind the safety and welfare of the workers.

The safety of your workers on site is very important for a smooth progress of the works to project completion. To avoid disasters, make sure your contractor stipulates his health measures for his workers especially in a large building. You can also provide a canteen for the workers’ welfare and free drinking water to prevent dehydration. A clean latrine or toilet is also mandatory.

When you are not sure of a step you are about to take, don’t hesitate to ask the professionals before you embark on it. It may ruin your plans and you may land in a problem with which you have to incur greater cost of solving, than seeking professional advice. Building professionals can be of immense benefits when you need them at short notice and at little cost.

When purchasing materials, always go for the best quality. Don’t hesitate to ask for discounts as you will be shocked by the amount of money that will be returned to you. When your contractor is offering you a deal that is too sweet and too generous to your purse, then you may be heading for disaster. Building work is not always as smooth sailing as some people will make you believe.

Whatever kind of material you are purchasing; make sure they will be ready when you need them, in their right amounts. Where you store your materials is also important. Are they safe from theft, dampness and excessive heat? Are they free from deterioration and loss of strength?

Using an artisan (bricklayer, carpenter, welder etc) to do the job of a professional like Architect, Structural Engineer or quantity surveyor is not advisable on your site. Make sure everyone is qualified for the job at hand and don’t allow any contractor to decide for you. You are the boss and pay only when the job is satisfactory.

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