It is enough to visit the construction site at the beginning, at the end of the construction, and rarely more than once a month during the construction if you have only one main contractor who will build the house from start to finish.
If, on the other hand, you take on the role of building organization and hire more subcontractors and/or procure materials, you must visit the construction site more often: at the very beginning of construction, at the end of one and the beginning of the next phase, at least once during the execution of each phase and during the supervision of inspection officials.
Why is it important to visit the construction site of the house?
This activity is very important for you as an investor because, if implemented properly, it ensures that you avoid all long-term problems that may arise after the completion of construction and can cost you dearly.
You should never forget that those you supervise are better technically versed in the matter than you are, but you are more motivated to find and eliminate mistakes.
The investor is simply there to offer another pair of eyes, draw attention to something that seems disputable to him and protect his interest.
How to properly prepare for a construction site visit?
Since it is clear how important this activity is in the process of building your house, here is a short and simple guide that will help you prepare even though you have no previous experience.
• Make a schedule of visits before the start
It should be in line with the construction plan and your role in it (as we described above). If you have a schedule like this it allows you to balance your other commitments, not to forget something important and skip it.
• Follow the pace of construction
The layout is not carved in stone. Stay in touch with contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers and adjust the schedule if there are justified delays or shifts during construction for any reason.
• Visit construction site when weather is nice
It is important to come to the construction site when it is nice weather. When there is rain, strong wind or fog, the possibility of injury is increased. In addition, you can’t see clearly everything that is happening because the protective foils are often stretched, it is harder for you to move around the construction site, more time is needed for any activity and it is harder to record observations.
• Wear appropriate clothing
As with anything in life, safety comes first! Make sure you go in comfortable clothes in which you can easily bend, jump and stretch. Even though it is very warm outside, you must have long sleeves. You need non-slip shoes, as well as gloves, and a protective helmet.
• Always make an announcement
You are not an inspector, you do not need to determine what someone is doing wrong, you are an investor and you need to make sure that in the end, everything will be as planned. Don’t be tempted to come unannounced, it can’t bring anything good. Announcing your arrival may help constructors to prepare reports and questions you really want to hear.
• Come with a checklist
Even professionals in this business, and especially you as someone who is in this ad hoc, should have a pre-formed list of activities and points to visit. Its content depends on the stage of construction and if you do not have the necessary technical knowledge to compile such a list, seek the help of your architect.
• Prepare questions
Ask everything, literally everything that interests you or is unclear to you! There are no stupid questions, there are only stupid answers. The conversation removes all doubts or detects problems that need to be overcome before moving on to further construction.
• Pick up notes
Write down everything you notice! For the given explanations you can ask for a second opinion and you have a clue and proof, if something later becomes disputable, who said and promised what.
• Take photographs of the construction site
Take photos of everything! Keep these photos with your other construction documentation! You may need it one day when you decide on a major repair, reconstruction, or upgrade. In any case, it is a nice memory. You don’t need super high-tech camera, drones, DSLR, or other gear. Work with what you have. A cellphone can be enough.
• Be kind to everyone
Never lose your temper! From the outset, it is important to establish long-term positive relationships in order to have allies when unforeseen problems and challenges arise.