When building a house, even experienced planners and construction companies can make mistakes during the construction phase. Simply because several companies (e.g. electricians, plumbers, etc.) are often involved in building a house and coordination difficulties can therefore arise. But how can you prevent construction defects and damage as well as delays? In order to have more security, the builder can hire a building supervisor who monitors the building process for him. The commissioning of a building supervision is voluntary and leads to extra costs (depending on the scope of the building supervision) of approx. 0.5 – 2.5%.
the essentials in brief
- The local construction supervision monitors the processes on the construction site, controls the quality of the individual work steps and acts exclusively in your interest.
- It depends on the agreed scope of services of the construction supervision, which aspects of the construction process are checked.
- The avoidance of construction errors and the resulting damage justifies the additional costs for professional construction supervision.
Professional construction supervision – necessary or superfluous?
In order to check whether your own house is being built as agreed, it is unfortunately not enough to take a tour of the construction site at the end of the week with a checklist in hand. However, if you do not want to spend every day on site and do not have the necessary specialist knowledge to check the quality of the services provided step by step, you are well advised to hire a local building inspector. It is entirely up to the builder to decide whether or not to commission building supervision. A construction supervisor checks and controls the construction process, which means that construction errors can be avoided, which pays off later because the consequential costs of defects, which are found in more than half of new construction projects, are often much higher. It is therefore worth investing in a building inspection. Depending on the scope of services, the costs are 0.5-2.5% of the total construction costs. (You can find an overview of all additional costs in our ancillary construction costs checklist with prices during the construction phase .)
Quality check on your behalf
But what exactly are the tasks of construction supervision? The construction supervision represents your interests as the client on site and exercises the domiciliary rights on the construction site. This means that the instructions of the building inspector must be followed. In addition, anyone who comes to the construction site must first report to the construction inspector. The construction supervision monitors the cooperation of the companies involved and checks whether your house is actually being built as shown in the plans and in the quality stipulated in the contract. She also keeps an eye on regulatory compliance and meeting deadlines. By constantly checking the work of the companies working on the construction site, any defects are identified immediately. However, the construction supervision not only recognizes any errors, they also document them and – in order to avoid delays – arrange for them to be rectified immediately. The completion of certain trades is checked during the regular acceptance of individual construction stages. Important dates for this are, for example, before filling the excavation pit, after completion of the roof structure or after installation of the building services. But not only the services of the construction companies are checked, the construction supervision also monitors the construction costs. In order to recognize possible cost overruns, it is particularly important to precisely define all the services included in advance. In this way, the construction supervision can check whether the surcharges charged by the companies for “special requests” are legitimate and process additional or reduced cost claims. (These tips will help you avoid costly traps when building a house .)
How do I choose the right building supervisor?
The top criterion for choosing the construction supervisor is qualification and trust. The service of construction supervision may only be offered and provided by appropriately authorized and qualified persons or companies. Professional groups such as civil engineers, master builders, civil engineers or engineering offices are particularly suitable. Your choice should fall on a person who is well versed on both a theoretical and a practical level and, in particular, with detailed technical questions. But be careful: the construction supervision is not the construction management. The construction manager normally works for an executing company, while the construction supervision acts exclusively on behalf of and in the interests of the client. In order to avoid any conflicts of interest, the contractual delimitation of the services and liabilities – on the one hand between the executing companies and on the other hand between the client and his representatives – is particularly important. (We have prepared other typical hurdles during construction and how to overcome them in the articles Baubungsch – From house dream to nightmare and The dangers of building a house .)
Although hiring a local construction supervisor is not mandatory, it is recommended for more complex construction projects, especially if the client himself is not experienced in construction and does not want to spend a lot of time on the construction site. The local building inspection can save the builder a lot of time and effort, but also causes costs. Nevertheless, the costs for construction supervision are usually lower than those that arise from construction errors that are discovered later.