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The biggest problem with construction defects and how you can fix it with innovative apps?

03.07.2019 | 5 min read | Written by Alexandra Hasek

Construction defects are very common to arise in a construction project and it gets worse due to poor management and unstrict supervision of the site. Besides the major consequences of the defects which are cost overrun and project delay, there’s a third hidden aspect which is the burden and stress of managing these defects for the construction managers and engineers. An unanticipated defect can cause the whole site to run for a solution and put extra workload over them until its totally repaired. PlanRadar, the defect management software conducted a survey among 160 users in early 2019 and the results showed the following: Sander van de Rijdt, managing director and co-founder of PlanRadar, said, “The majority of our users spend between one and five hours a week working on the construction defects.” “About one in four lost between six and ten hours, and one in ten put the extra effort by the management of construction defects even more than ten hours a week.”. Half of the respondents estimated that digital management and documentation of construction defects could save up to five hours per week, and around one in five sees time savings of six hours or more as far as possible. Innovative defect managing software as PlanRadar is making a significant change in the construction industry by offering a simpler method to track and record each defect in the building until it is completed. It’s no longer happening that you see a defect on site and forget recording it and then realize it back at the project delivery. The used ticketing tool saves time and enhances productivity on site in an integrated improved technique. In this article, we will give you the main insights you need to know about construction defects. What are its major types, causes, and the consequences behind it?

What are the most common construction defects?

Construction defect is basically divided into two main majors, structural and nonstructural. First, the structural defect is any defect in an auxiliary component that has a negative effect on other parts of the building and threatening the safety of the facility. They can be caused by structural, mechanical, electrical or environmental factors. In addition to the design defect that is also categorized as a structural defect because it affects the performance of the building. According to PlanRadar survey, the most serious defects occur mainly in fire protection and in planning. Around one in three faults in fire protection and around one in five in the planning process are considered by the project participants to be significant. Faults on the façade (20 percent), on the roof (16 percent), on the windows/glazing (15 percent) and on the drywall and on the shell (14 percent each) are often severe.

The good order situation of planners and contractors increasingly leads to unfocused and hasty work“, criticizes Domagoj Dolinsek, managing director and co-founder of PlanRadar. “The frequency of defects does not say anything about their meaning. In particular, trades that, if in doubt, cause dangers to life and limb in the event of doubt, such as electric or fire protection, must deliver professional and qualitatively perfect results, even under time and cost pressure.

Second, nonstructural defects, they are any fault that occurs within the building that is not affecting other parts of the facility and not formulating any harm. These defects are such as in brickwork, plaster works or dampness of colors. Either it’s structural or nonstructural, any kind of defect in the property has a negative effect on the building role-fulfillment, know the reasons to find the antidote.

What are the causes and consequences of having a construction defect in your project?

Construction defects frequently arise because of different reasons, however, it’s better to know the origins because prevention is better than cure. If you know where the leakage is, then you can easily seal this breach. Some construction defects happen because of improper design or material deficiency or even poor workmanship. According to UKessays here are the most popular 35 causes of construction defect.

  1. Lack of inspection
  2. Making use of inexperienced, unqualified inspectors
  3. Avoiding and ignoring inspection completely
  4. Non implementation of corrective actions during the construction process
  5. Inaccurate measurement
  6. Making use of defective or damaged formwork
  7. Excavations to close to an existing building and exposing the foundations
  8. Non-conformance with waterproofing specifications
  9. Inability to read and understand/interpret drawings
  10. Insufficient concrete cover
  11. Improper construction of cold joints
  12. Loss in adhesion between materials
  13. Stripping formwork too early
  14. Unacceptable soil compaction procedures
  15. Inadequate curing procedures
  16. Lack of communication
  17. Non-compliance with specifications
  18. Inability to read and understand/interpret drawings
  19. Insufficient site supervision
  20. Lack of communication between the owner, architect/engineer, project manager
  21. Employing unqualified supervisors
  22. Speedy completion of certain activities specifically where equipment is on hire
  23. Unqualified labor force
  24. Multinational construction experience
  25. Defects resulting from the wrong selection of materials
  26. Using materials unsuitable for the climatic conditions
  27. Using cheap materials
  28. Making use of expired materials
  29. Inadequate storage facilities
  30. Misuse of equipment
  31. Equipment not performing to specification
  32. Lack of proper equipment
  33. Cross-referencing and detailed referencing on drawings lacking
  34. Conflicting details on drawings
  35. Details of sections on drawings lacking


If it was too late to avoid the defects and you dropped into one of them, you will surely suffer from one or all of the defect’s consequences. Cost overrun, project delivery delay, dissatisfied customer and bad reputation are the main consequences of repeated defects at work. According to PlanRadar survey, the additional costs caused by the occurrence and repair of construction defects amount to at least 2% of the construction costs for every fifth participant in the project. One in five also puts them at 1-2% of the construction sum. It’s not a trivial number when we are talking about mega-million projects. Find your way to achieve the best results and the least defects.

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