How to deal with hazards of renovation projects?

A residential renovation project without any hazards, one would dream of it, but it doesn't exist! Fortunately, in the face of these unforeseen challenges, the imagination and agility of the professionals often prove to be invaluable. Discover 9 hazards... and the solution that saved the day!
Construction
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  • Stories of renovation site hazards
The "surprises" of a renovation project
From the temporary roof to the dog sitting, from the team spirit to catch up on an installation error, to the missing load-bearing wall... Craftsmen, construction managers or private individuals: they have entrusted us with memories of hazards on their renovation sites. A selection.

Renovating a house or an apartment: the most beautiful project. And a whole adventure, too, with its many surprises... some are good, others less happy, sometimes funny, test the creativity of the teams in charge of the site. They are called "hazards" and no renovation site is spared.

Because they are universal, because they force creativity, inventiveness and a certain form of zen, we sought their "best" memories of renovation site hazards from construction managers, construction professionals and individuals who had to deal with them.

THE PRODUCT IS OFF-BUDGET

The glass door

Hazard: On a renovation site, the client wants a special door with two fixed glass parts on the sides. Small problem: this door model destined for large hotels far exceeds its budget.

Solution: The professional who worked on this site manufactured the two fixed glass parts himself, reproducing the decorations of the client's dream door. This initiative made it possible to keep the visual aspect desired by the client, while preserving a reasonable budget.

Laurent Brand, Construction manager, La Maison Saint-Gobain

IT'S NOT THE RIGHT PRODUCT

A dark tale of a joint

Hazard: The wall tiles were finally installed in the bathroom... except that we had failed to tell our contractor what colour we wanted the tile joints to be. We often think that it is obvious... history has taught us that it is always necessary to specify the slightest detail. Why? Because the tile joints are grey. We wanted them white.

Solution: The construction manager who coordinated our site enlisted the entire team (electrician, plumber and tiler...) to scrape the joints and redo them in the desired colour.

Elise T., individual client

Change of heart

Hazard: The customer has selected a product for his site on his own. Once installed, he realizes that this does not correspond to what he wanted.

Solution: For the rest of the project, the professional comes into the store with the client to help him select the correct products. The professional is best placed to reassure and guide the client on both the aesthetic and qualitative aspects: he knows the products he is installing, he is informed of new products and market trends. Sometimes he even advises the interior designer....

Laurent Brand, Construction manager, La Maison Saint-Gobain

Out of stock

Hazard: The craftsman has had all the products necessary for the installation of our parquet floor delivered directly to his home. Once the work is underway, he realizes that the skirting boards are missing. When he calls him, the supplier tells him that he is out of stock!

Solution: The contractor immediately called the Plateforme du Bâtiment (a French distributor of materials, dedicated to professionals), which made the skirting boards available to him within 1 hour at the nearest retail store.

Sylvie H., individual client

THE BAD WEATHER

The Flood

Hazard: We are on an extension project. When a huge storm occurs: torrential rains that do not stop, strong winds...

Solution: The contractor on site urgently built a temporary roof to keep everything dry because tarps alone would not have been enough. Without this roof, the construction site would have been flooded... and could not have made any progress.

Laurent Brand, Construction manager, La Maison Saint-Gobain

THE COORDINATION OF TASKS

The drywall worker was in a rush

Hazard: The drywall worker who makes the formwork to shelter the networks (electricity, Internet, telephone) carried out the work even though all the networks had not been completed. The dismantling of the formwork then appears mandatory.

Solution: We have had a technical trap door built within the formwork to facilitate maintenance and allow networks to pass through at any time (during and after the construction project). A coordination of tasks in accordance with "coactivity" (when several professionals from different companies work on the site) which can be ensured by a construction manager.

Aurélien D., Construction manager

THE SURPRISES OF THE BUILDING

The load-bearing wall has disappeared

Hazard: The client contacts us in order to create an external insulation and a modification of the framework. During the visit we notice that he actually broke many walls, some of them bearing the attic floor on which we were going to modify the framework... Consequence: the house is completely weakened.

Solution: Before undertaking anything, we advised him to have a design office visit to validate the viability of his project... and especially to obtain a recommendation for implementation that took into account the fragility of the house.

Karine Heyse, Sales Director Ile de France Service Rénovation, La Maison Saint-Gobain

WORK ON OCCUPIED SITE

Noise pollution

Hazard: Demolition work causes noise pollution for the neighborhood (composed of elderly people and young children), even if the regulations allow noisy work to be carried out between 7am and 10pm.

Solution: We have agreed with the neighbourhood on a loud noise schedule and have even offered them personal protective equipment, including earmuffs.

Aurélien D., Construction manager

A story of hair

Hazard: The client wants an interior renovation of his house. On the site, we discover that he has a dog that turns out to be quite shy and, above all, loses its hair. Unfortunate when it comes to repainting everything. To add to the comical situation, one of the building professional's employees is afraid of dogs.

Solution: We organized a dog sitting, to avoid the degradation of the paintwork while it dries.

Karine Heyse, Sales Director Ile de France Service Rénovation, La Maison Saint-Gobain

THE RENOVATION HAZARDS CHECKLIST

To limit the hazards:

  1. Plan the project with all the professionals
  2. Beware of offers that are too low
  3. Schedule the project during the summer months
  4. Use easily replaceable materials
  5. Limit the use of unusual techniques

Photo credits: Capture PB/Shutterstock, hanohiki/Shutterstock, Photographee.eu/Shutterstock, Zivica Kerkez/Shutterstock, Getty Images