Building a house can be a satisfying experience, but it often comes with many challenges. For instance, Pakistan is prone to extreme weather conditions, which often lead to problem during construction. The most common problems include cracks in walls, leaks in roofs, and foundations that are not level.
Graana.com, Pakistan’s smartest property portal, takes a look at some of the most common house construction problems in Pakistan, and offers potential solutions.
Common House Construction Problems in Pakistan
There are many problems that are faced during the construction of a house in Pakistan. Some of them are discussed below:
- Safety Issues
- Lack of Technology
- Shortage of Skilled Labour
- Variance in Expected and Actual Costs
Many houses in Pakistan are constructed without following proper safety guidelines. As a result, a number of related accidents and injuries take place.
Common problems include using substandard materials, lack of trained personnel, and inadequate supervision.
Many precautionary measures can be taken to ensure the maximum possible safety during house construction. Some of the most important ones are discussed below.
Before starting work on-site, every worker must be aware of all safety construction rules. Each employee should also receive site-specific training to identify high-risk areas and offer emergency management solutions.
Entry and Exit Points
Designated entry and exit points should be available for machinery and vehicles to ensure pedestrian safety at high-traffic places.
Extreme weather patterns can pose significant safety risks. If there is a natural disaster, for example, your on-site emergency plan should clearly outline how employees should proceed.
Lack of Technology
One of Pakistan’s most common construction problems is a lack of digital tools. With the advancement of technology, there are new ways to construct more efficient and durable houses. However, in Pakistan, the construction industry has not kept up with such innovations due to a number of factors, such as the high costs involved and the lack of skilled workers. As a result, many houses in Pakistan are built using outdated methods and materials, which leads to a number of problems like poor quality, high failure rate, and a safety risk for the occupants.
In order to address these issues, the Pakistani government needs to invest more in digital solutions for the construction industry.
Shortage of Skilled Labour
Another common problem that you can face during the construction of a property is a shortage of skilled labour. This is due to several factors, including the lack of training opportunities for workers and the low wages paid for construction work. As a result, many workers are forced to leave the construction industry for better-paying jobs.
This ultimately causes delays in construction, cost overruns, and a decrease in the quality of work. You can expect this problem to continue unless the government takes steps to improve the training and education of workers in the construction industry.
Variance in Expected and Actual Costs
It is common for construction costs to deviate to some degree from the estimated or expected cost. The cost increases might not always be in the construction company’s or the house owner’s control.
In Pakistan, a number of factors exacerbate this problem, including the country’s political instability, lack of transparency in the construction industry, and a general lack of regulations. As a result, construction costs can vary widely, and it is not uncommon for actual costs to exceed initial estimates by a significant margin.
There are a few solutions that can help you overcome this challenge.
First, you can sign a cost-plus contract, where the contractor agrees to reimburse the owner for all actual costs plus a fixed fee – which can help minimize the risk of cost overruns.
Another solution is to use a lump sum contract, where the contractor agrees to complete the project for a fixed price. This can help control costs because the contractor is responsible for any overages.
Many construction issues become visible only after the interior and exterior work has been completed. Following are some of the issues that are commonly faced.
- Gaps and cracks in patios and decks
- Cracks in driveways and sidewalks
- Grading and draining issues
Gaps and Cracks in Patios and Decks
Gaps and cracks in the exterior are other problems you can find, even in newly constructed houses.
There shouldn’t be any large gaps between the house and the platform where the deck or patio connects to the property. You can check the deck, outdoor stair rails, and garage flooring for cracks or openings.
Concrete cracks may signify a soil issue or a fault with how the concrete was laid out. Gaps between objects like doors, hose bibs, pipes, or windows may indicate a water intrusion issue.
Cracks in Driveways and Sidewalks
Concrete cracks may signify a soil issue or a fault in the concrete installation. This is due to the fact that concrete expands and contracts in response to variations in the weather, specifically temperature.
This can result in fractures and breakage when driveways and sidewalks are constructed as one large concrete slab.
Grading and Drainage Issues
You should also make sure that your gutters are positioned such that water flows away from the foundation rather than toward the building itself. The cause of many moisture problems in crawl spaces and basements is poor grading.
The foundation can take a few years to settle, even if the grading is done properly. This is because natural changes in soil take place over some time. Two major factors that play a role in foundation settling are time and weather.
Moreover, it does not matter whether you have used bricks, concrete or stone – all these materials are porous, so water can seep into your basement.
If this occurs on your property, you might need to add more soil to the area around the house’s foundation to prevent water from accumulating in your basement.
Following are some of the common indoor problems that you can face due to poor construction.
- Cracks in drywall
- Nail Pops
- Truss Rise
- Flooring issues
Cracks in Drywall
Drywall is a ubiquitous material you can use to construct walls and ceilings in homes and offices. Unfortunately, it is also prone to cracking, especially when it is not properly installed or maintained.
Cracks in drywall can range from small hairline cracks to large gaping holes, and various factors may be responsible, from settlement and expansion to moisture and poor installation.
While most cracks in drywall are purely cosmetic, some can actually weaken the structure of the wall or ceiling, and all should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
During construction, many indoor issues can arise that can cause problems for the project as a whole. One such issue is nail pops, which occur when nails loosen in their position, leaving a small hole in the drywall.
This can happen for a number of reasons, such as improper nailing, incorrect nail size, or seasonal expansion and contraction of the wood framing.
Nail pops can be a nuisance, but they are relatively easy to fix. Simply drive the nail back into the drywall with a hammer, then fill the hole with spackle or joint compound. Once dry, sand the area smoothly and repaint or re-texture as needed.
If you notice any nail pops, you should repair them as soon as possible to avoid further damage to the building.
Truss rise is another common indoor issue that you can face due to construction. It occurs when the truss system, which supports the roof, rises from the walls. This can cause the roof to collapse, which can be extremely dangerous.
It can result from different factors, such as the thermal expansion of the steel used in the truss or the weight of materials used in construction.
There are a few ways to prevent truss rise, but the most common is using straps or cables to hold them in place. You can also use special brackets designed to keep the trusses from moving. If you’re concerned about truss rise, talk to your contractor about the most appropriate way to prevent it.
Although many factors can contribute to flooring problems, the most common cause is improper installation. Others include poor quality materials, substandard workmanship, or damage from construction traffic.
There are a number of ways to avoid flooring problems during construction:
- Make sure to select a reputable contractor with the experience to install the type of flooring you want.
- Use high-quality materials and make sure they are installed correctly.
- Avoid construction traffic and other sources of damage to the flooring.
By following these tips, you can help ensure that your floors will be durable.
To read more about the construction sector of Pakistan, visit our blog.