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Construction Short Cuts

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07 September 2018

Remember Building Rule 101 "Measure twice cut once".

I have recently been involved in a small boarding house project that undertook defects work.

Access was required from the allotment boundary to the main entry door.  As the house was elevated from the street frontage, a stair was proposed at the main entry door with the application of a wheelchair platform lift.  Although a ramp was suggested earlier on, the client had decided that the ramp would not be installed due to the aesthetics of the building.

Although this sound simple enough, the builder failed to construct enough steps treads to the stair hoping to reduce construction costs.  The builder failed to understand that be removing the 2 treads meant that the path of travel (RL’s) from the property boundary to the stairs/platform lift would be steeper than what was required.

This slight “cost cut” resulted in the stair needing to be modified and additional walkways, footings, slabs, retaining walls needing to be provided.  The add issue with this was that the new works had to cross finished grassed areas and manicured/designer landscaping.

The defect works delayed the OC an additional 3 months, architects re-engaged to issue new drawings, client forced to submit S96 with council – which resulted in additional total costs of $100K+ of work.

Overall, shorts cuts are not always short cuts…..

REMEMBER – BUILDING RULE 101 – “MEASURE TWICE CUT ONE”.     

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