Common Construction Blunders, and How to Prevent Them

In Customer Information by Fred Arnold

If you are a do-it-yourselfer or even a seasoned trades-person, there are any number of common construction blunders that are preventable when sensible actions and steps are taken to avoid them. So, what are some of the most common construction blunders, and what can be done to prevent them?

Safety Issues

One critical blunder in any construction situation is a complete lack of awareness of safety issues. Anyone working on any job or project needs to be attentive to their own safety and the safety of others. This is especially true when working with power tools, sharp-edged hand tools, wood, sheet-rock, scaffolding, ladders, machinery, electrical equipment and chemically based products. Even if you have done a procedure a million times and feel comfortable doing it, never skip on doing your due diligence and performing every safety procedure. It only takes one misstep to lose a life.

Goggles, headgear, gloves, work shoes, respirator masks, and close fitting clothing are all necessities to maintain a safe work environment. A first-aid kit, access to running or bottled water and electrolyte replacement liquids should also be considered essentials on any construction site. A phone or cell phone for emergency calls is also a necessity. Safety goes a long way in attributing to a job well done.

Unattainable Projects

Blunders are easily made on projects that are beyond a person’s skill level, whether novice or professional. Roofing, high ladder work, electrical wiring and plumbing projects, or similarly related jobs can present difficulties to anyone who is lacking in the necessary skill set to complete and deal with certain projects. This is a much more common issue with DIY projects where you may have just read a guide and have little experience.

To avoid blunders and possible injuries any highly technical, risky or unattainable job should be left to true experts in their fields of specialization. Particularly when you are working with electricity it may be best to call the experts.


Whether you are measuring a piece of sheetrock, cutting trim, adjusting countertop pieces or dealing with any materials that require clean and accurate measurements and cuts, blunders with both can throw off and stall an entire job as well as create added expenses with the replacement of materials. If a person is into eyeballing measurements, mistakes are likely to occur. Always think longer as opposed to shorter when dealing with inexact measurements and cuts.

Even professional crews may be guilty of this. Without proper training and safety precautions, a crew working with electrical equipment may inadvertently cause a problem due to an unfamiliarity with the electrical system. In this example, it would be worthwhile for the team to know of the common dangers and how to prevent the worst, such as an arc flash, from happening. If while on the job, or doing your weekend project, you ever feel you are in unfamiliar territory do not be afraid to speak up and get help.

Proper Tools

Blunders will undoubtedly occur when the proper tools are not available for use. It is difficult to follow through on a project without them. A good example is utilizing a drill of low voltage to penetrate a brick wall for running wires when a hammer drill with a masonry bit will do the job. To prevent blunders with unproductive tools, a construction job, small or large, should be analyzed and inspected for the specific kinds of tools that are necessary to do the job right and efficiently. Anyone familiar with tools knows that without the right ones, mistakes are going to occur.

Essential tools should be on hand while working any job, and this includes safety equipment. Helmets, gloves, and safety glasses are just as important as your shovel, wire cutters, and drill.

There is no doubt that blunders can occur with any construction job, but those mistakes can be few and far between when a common sense and well thought out approach is taken with each project. Following a step-by-step process, and getting input from inspectors and trade experts will go a long way in preparing for any future projects and prevent common mistakes which can lead to significant problems.