We discussed Purchasing Building Materials For Your Home Building Project in a previous article. In that article we said that you must ensure you understand how the material will be off-loaded when it arrives on your project, whether that's a new build home, or a renovation of an existing home.
In this article we look at planning building material deliveries, what to check before you offload the materials, then protecting your building materials
Planning construction material deliveries
You probably have limited space to stack and store materials when you are building or renovating a home so you need to plan deliveries so items arrive just before they’re required for construction.
In many cases you may have to offload the trucks, and this has to be done safely and in a limited time. Accident offloading reinforcing steel. For instance, trucks delivering concrete come in six cubic metre (six cubic yards) loads (sometimes four, five or eight). Smaller loads get charged at a higher rate. But concrete goes off usually within four hours so the truck needs to be offloaded and the concrete placed in this time. But, concrete suppliers also charge extra if their trucks aren’t offloaded within a specified period (often fifteen to thirty minutes) and these charges can quickly mount up. Worse still, some suppliers may refuse to wait long periods while you organise to offload their vehicles or finish other tasks. Of course with concrete trucks you don’t want to be waiting for the second truck of concrete while the concrete that’s already been placed sets, which could result in a ‘cold joint’ in the concrete which impacts the structure’s integrity. So concrete suppliers must be aware of the gap you want between the trucks. See Understanding Concrete - Why Builders Need to Know More
Deliveries have to be carefully planned and timed. You should:
Checking your construction materials
Before building materials are offloaded the delivery documents should be checked to see that the materials are in fact for your project (you won’t be the first project to offload materials which weren’t intended for them) and that the materials are correct. You definitely don’t want to be placing concrete in your house that’s of a lower strength than what’s specified.
Check that the construction materials are of the right quality. Defective and broken materials should be reported on the delivery document and the supplier should be notified immediately in writing. Preferably the defective and broken materials should be returned to the supplier on the same vehicle.
Storage of construction materials
Building materials should be stacked so they’re accessible and in a manner that they won’t topple over (even in a strong wind) damaging the items and even injuring someone. Materials shouldn’t be offloaded where they’ll block access to work areas, or block, or restrict, public walkways and roads.
Some construction materials must be protected from the sun or rain. They should be kept under shelter or covered by tarpaulins. Tarpaulins must be securely tied down after items are removed from the stack. Handle materials carefully so they aren’t damaged.
Light items, such as roof sheets and boards should be tied down so unexpected winds don’t blow them into the air, which is dangerous and damages the materials and the items they come in contact with.
Expensive items that can easily be stolen should be locked in sheds or chained on the property. Theft of building materials is costly and results in delays.
Managing your construction materials
Building materials are expensive so you don't want them damaged, stolen, or wasted. You also don't want to be paying for damaged materials received from the supplier, or for materials which you did not receive. Delivery trucks which are kept waiting to be offloaded could cost you extra money, or possibly the truck could go back to the depot before you've offloaded your materials and you may have to wait a few days before the materials are delivered to your project again - which will cause delays and result in additional costs.
Other useful articles
Good communication with your building contractors is vital
Why are you waiting for materials for your home construction project?
Will your home build project finish on time
This is an extract from the author's book 'An Introduction to Building and Renovating Houses: Volume 1 Hiring Contractors, Managing Construction and Finishing Your Home'.
© 2021 This article is not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission from the author.
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Paul Netscher has written 2 easy to read books 'An Introduction to Building and Renovating Houses - Volumes 1 and 2'. An Introduction to Building and Renovating Houses Volume 1 deals with Hiring Contractors, Managing Construction and Finishing Your Home. and Designing your ideal home Volume 2 deals with Finding Your Ideal Property and Designing Your Dream Home.
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I’m a construction professional, author of several successful construction management books, and a home owner. I’ve made mistakes in construction management, I’ve seen others make mistakes, but importantly I’ve had multiple successful construction projects and I’ve learned from the mistakes. I want to share these lessons and my knowledge with you.
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