Why is my building still defective?
To the building owner their problem often appears to be obvious – cracking of internal walls, damp or build up of moisture or sticking doors for example.
While all of these can appear to be a simple fix, without accurate diagnosis of what is causing the problem, the fix often ends up being cosmetic. And all too often temporary, much to the building owner’s frustration.
Does this sound familiar to you? It certainly does to the Mr Right team, and is a common tale of woe that we hear from new customers.
Quite simply, buildings are subjected to many forces acting upon them that can result in defects. Diagnosing those defects requires skill, a thorough understanding of building construction and knowledge of the materials used to create the building.
Unfortunately your average tradie won’t explain this to you, and may well not have the necessary skills to fix your problem, hence you end up with a band-aid solution.
Bear in mind that most tradespeople – plumbers, carpenters, tilers – are specialists in a particular field and very good at what they do, but will not have a wide enough area of knowledge to address challenging building problems.
For example, for a simple leak from a roof or plumbing fitting then your local plumber is probably the person to call, and most will be able to fix the problem. If you have water leaking through walls, tiles, windows or doors, the problem will usually be outside their area of expertise. In this case you might need a building engineer or leak repair specialist.
Also bear in mind that often the person who built the problem will not be the one best qualified to fix the problem.
Who you gonna call?
With apologies to Ghostbusters, ‘who you gonna call’? There are six key things you need to consider (in our opinion) before picking up the phone.
- You need to be calling someone who specialises in maintenance and repair work on buildings, someone with the required depth of experience.
- You should be looking for someone with a proven track record – ask for recent references.
- You will be looking for a cost-effective solution to your building problem – find someone who understands this and shares this ethos.
- Not one you might think of as high on your list of priorities, but your chosen supplier needs to demonstrate a high degree of written and verbal communication. This is essential. Fixing building issues often requires complex and effective communication with a number of contractors or parties.
- As difficult as it sounds, not all building problems are fully ‘fixable’. While this might not be what you want to hear, you will know you are talking to the right person if they can present you with a range of possible solutions with different costs and levels of effectiveness.
- After meeting a possible supplier, you need to be convinced that they have a high level of care about the outcome of their client’s building problems.
Hopefully this post will help point you in the right direction if you have ongoing building issues at home or in your business. We’re obviously more than happy to talk to you if this is the case. Our one promise is that if we don’t think we are the right people for your job, we’ll say so. And hopefully we’ll be able to refer you to someone who can help.
All the best, Martin.