What causes building defects and why they happen
Understanding the root cause of building defects and why they’re so common
Defects can happen at every stage of the building and construction process. However, studies have shown that 50 to 60% of defects happen because of design issues or could have been preventable with better design. This means that 40 to 50% of defects arise in the construction phase.
While knowing where defects are most likely to happen is helpful, knowing why they happen is the key to taking steps to prevent them. The root cause of defects in Australia is largely put down to two major categories: human error, and organisational practices in building and construction.
Human error includes poor workmanship, incompetence, poor supervision, lack of skills, lack of knowledge, and lack of motivation which leads to forgetfulness and carelessness when working.
Issues with organisational practices referrers to the operational issues between the builders or developers and property owners. Major organisational issues include churn — key project managers leaving the job, lack of project control, regular changing of plans or minds, and the lowest bid or cost wins mentality. Meaning property owners will often pick the cheapest builder, developer, product tender, or tender which results in sub-optimal outcomes.