5 mistakes that a general contractor can make which drastically decrease the lifespan of the building

Surely for you as an exacting investor it is essential that your building will not only be useful but remains to be in good condition.

A lot of general contractors – especially those which deal with sales of sheet and panel – only give guarantees on their products and buildings which are regulated by law. AND sometimes they cannot even comply with these guarantees.

Now you can learn those 5 typical mistakes which can show you those general contractors with whose work you will probably have problems later on. (Don’t get us wrong we don’t talk about swindlers, craftsmen-doing-it-at-home but the “technical experts” of serious companies and the mistakes that they commit.) 


1. Rusting resulting from cutting on the spot

The source of the problem is that for some reason (the planner calculated it badly or the one-off panel or sheet wasn’t produced precisely etc.) the sheet or the sandwich panel has to be cut on the spot. Since in these cases only a hand flex is available the craftsman uses that.

The part cut by a flex is doomed to be inaccurate with uneven edges but the real problem is not this. When doing the cutting dust starts to fly which stuck onto the panel and then later on it starts to rust because of the dust stuck on it.

If it is inevitable to do the cutting on the spot then it is done by an expert who knows to keep the distance so the dust will not cover the other material found in the area and covers the surface to be cut as much as possible. Or at least he wipes off the dust that is created.

In case the dust causes rust unfortunately it doesn’t only cost aesthetics mistake on the building but it is a material cost to repair or replace the faulty element if it is possible at all. In the worst case the lifespan of the whole building can decrease significantly. 

2. Corrosion caused by overtightening the screw

Since the sheets and panels are mounted to the steel structure by screws it is absolutely natural that these screws have to be tightened securely and hard. Trouble happens not when the crews is not properly tightened but when it is tightened too hard. In this situation the surface is damaged and there can be dents and cracks and then the material starts corroding immediately along these.

The aesthetic and financial damages arising from corrosion have been dealt with previously.

How do professionals know that the screw is properly tightened and not overtightened? Well, they pay attention and they do not tighten the screws routinely but they pay attention to every lashing point. We can put it like this, “their hands” know how much they can tighten the screw but for this you need a lot of experience. 

3. Leak caused by inaccurate sealing

When constructing a building the elements fixed on the steel structure have to be joined to each other as precisely as possible. But the surface has to be sealed along the joints as well.

If the sealing is not right (usually they don’t put there enough sealing material or they put it at a wrong place or some parts receive the sealing material and others don’t) then the liquid (precipitation) finds its way along the joints.

There are contractors who state that no sealing is needed since their joints are so precise. We don’t doubt that the panels join precisely but we know the nature of precipitations and we know that they can even get into the micro cracks. And from then it is just a logical step that sonner or later it will cause damage.

On the one hand, it is unpleasant in spring and autumn when rain is dropping from the roof or the wall is seeping and on the other hand don’t forget about winter when the precipitation freezes in the cracks and it rips the panels and sheets along the joints.

Probably we don’t need to describe what great damage it can cause in the building or in the materials, tools stored in the building. 

4. Material defect cause by bad storage

Material defect caused by bad storage mostly happens in two situations. It is typical that the contractor convinces you with a “buy-it-now-cause-it-is-cheap” slogan the materials which are to be built in later saying it is enough just to put them down somewhere in the area and cover it with a canvas and that is it. When you want to begin the investment you just take it out.

Unfortunately, usually this is the most expensive “cheap now” purchase.

The materials have to be stored in proper circumstances otherwise they start to rust and bend etc.

The second situation happens when contractor companies store bigger amount of materials – of course not in the most convenient way – because they could buy them at a very good price. Then when they undertake an execution of a building they convince the investor to build in their materials offering some discount on it – though that discount is compared to the market price then.

In both cases the honest investor is ripped off who trust the “experts” advice since they know better cause they are the experts.

Companies, be it a contractor or a sales company who want not just the money of the customer but it is important for them that the buyer, customer will be happy too, all advise them to buy the materials when the construction starts or have them produced.


5. Frequently changing “expert” staff

How can you know if the people working on your hall are good mechanical experts?

The most you can do is to check their previous work. Though this is not a gurantee for anyting either if the “experts” change fast it can happen that the building you examined is all right but because there could be less-qualified experts on your construction it can happen that your building will not be so precisely executed.

But don’t be lazy! Check 1-2 of their previous works. This is always a good starting point.

If you see that there are signs of rust on the recently finished building or that the areas next to the screws are bent spectacularly or you see mistakes by the joints of the sheets and the panels then you can be sure that they are not the right men for you!

But you should ask how long the people have been working there. If the staff changes too frequently it shows that something is not right with the company. In these cases it is better to be cautious. It can even happen that before the repair work guaranteed in the contract the company goes bankrupt and you cannot validate your guarantee and you can say goodbye to your money.


These mistakes in the execution can make the construction much more expensive. So please check the contractor thoroughly, ask people where they had worked before or even choose a general contractor instead.

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Choose an experienced general contractor!

If it is important to you that your building will be well usable and cost-effective in the long-run or if you are only looking for part tasks of the construction please turn to us with confidence. Besides our main activity of general contractor we provide steel structure production, trapezoid sheet production and sandwich panel distribution and delivery, as well.

Contact Us

Cellspan Building element producer and distributor Ltd.

4233 Balkány, Kállói street 95.
Phone/fax: +36-42/400-509
E-mail: level@cellspan.hu
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