The 10 Most Commonly Damaged Fixtures During Residential Construction
Construction projects are very complex. There are many construction workers, subcontractors, plumbers, and electricians working in different areas at the same time. This, combined with dust, debris, and heavy building materials, often leads to damage to expensive home finishes such as cabinets, countertops, doors, etc. Here is a list of the top ten fixtures that tend to get damaged during the build process:
1) cabinets – In residential construction, cabinets are often one of the most expensive and easily damaged fixtures. According to the NAHB* new construction cost breakdown, cabinets cost an average of about $10,395 to install in a new home. They tend to be installed fairly early in the construction process, so they can be easily damaged by stucco spray, the impact of misplaced tool belts, and the general carelessness of subcontractors. A great way to prevent damage to cabinets is to use thick adhesive foam like Protecta-Foam to cover them. It is easy to install and protects cabinets from splashes, dust, dirt and sudden impacts.
two) doors – Just like cabinets, both interior and exterior doors can be quite expensive. On average, interior doors cost homeowners about $2,883, while exterior doors cost $2,150. Luxury homes often have large front doors that can cost upwards of $10,000. Doors are also installed early in the construction process, and with subcontractors and construction workers coming in and out, sometimes with heavy equipment in hand, dents and dents are a persistent problem. To prevent damage, use reinforced corrugated cardboard or special door protection such as Door Guard™. This will prevent dents and scratches and help builders deliver a truly new, quality product to homeowners.
3) Baths/Showers – Bathtubs and shower trays are some of the most difficult fixtures in a home to protect from damage. Along with the windows, they are the first element to be installed; very early in the process of building the bathroom. Bathtubs cost around $4,346 on average, but can be much more. Once the bathtub has been installed, subcontractors such as electricians, tile setters, and plumbers will work in and around the expensive bathtub. Many subs actually do their job while standing inside the bathtub, and some construction workers even use it as a toilet! With so many people working in the area, damage can happen very easily. Along with a company policy that absolutely prohibits using the tub as a toilet, builders can use a spray-on tub protectant that dries to a rubbery consistency and peels off easily when the project is done.
4) rugs – Most homes have extensive carpeting, which often shows dirt and debris easily and is more difficult to clean than other types of flooring. The median price of carpet for a home is around $8,363. Foot traffic can create dirt and dust from subcontractors and may end up requiring the builder to replace some carpeting or foot the bill for expensive cleaning after the job is already complete. A great way to prevent damage to carpets is to use carpet cling films. These clear films cling to carpet, but must be replaced every thirty days to prevent adhesive transfer. Be sure to check the quality of the carpet film before you buy – any film less than 3 mils is of poor quality and may not protect carpets adequately.
5) Laminate flooring – Homeowners love hardwood floors and they are very common in new residential construction. On average, hardwood floors cost $1,939 to install in a new home. Floors are subject to many things that can result in damage, including foot traffic, heavy materials or machinery, dust, dirt, and general debris. It is absolutely critical to take steps to protect hardwood floors during construction. The first thing to consider is how long the floors have been in place. If they are newly installed and still healing or breathing, breathable protection is available. There are many different types of protection ranging from light-duty protective film to recycled fabric and heavy-duty building plates.
6) door legs – Legs are often bumped and scratched during construction. Since they are installed so early in the process, each subcontractor that comes in with installation material or tools could inflict damage that results in the need for replacement or, at a minimum, repair. Legs usually go for around $148 for a house. Many different types of leg guards are reusable, so a single box of ten will last through multiple projects. There are many options ranging from plastic to cardboard to fabric.
7) Ladder – Like the issue with carpet and hardwood floors, the stairs see a lot of foot traffic before the house is completed. Stairs for a typical home typically cost around $1,052 to build and install. Stairs are usually carpeted or hardwood. With construction workers and subcontractors going up and down to complete their work, stairs really need to be covered to ensure they look perfect when the owner moves in. There are several types of stair protection depending on whether the stairs are carpeted or wood. While many general floor protection products can be used to protect stairs, only a few specialized types of surface protection will protect stairs without the need for tape that could damage paint.
8) thresholds – The thresholds of the doors get very dirty and are scratched on a construction site. On average, thresholds cost about $213 per home. While that may not sound like much, the threshold is the entrance to your home and as such homeowners want to make sure it looks perfect. There are several high quality 9 mil thick protective tapes on the market that do a great job of protecting sills at a cost effective price. If the house is being built in a sunny or hot area, it is important to take the time to invest in protection that has UV-protective qualities.
9) countertops – The countertops in a home are extremely important to the homeowner. Countertops, along with cabinets, are a significant cost of a kitchen remodel and must look perfect for the homeowner to be satisfied. With an average price of $5,141, it’s important to avoid damage or scratches that can occur from careless subcontractors or construction workers who leave a big, messy mess of glasses, cans, food, liquids, or other debris. Paint drips, mud and stucco splashes, etc. can ruin an expensive countertop. There are two main types of countertop protection; film and adhesive bubble. If you decide to use film, be sure to invest in a high-quality 3 mil film. If tough protection is needed, the Tack Guard™ bubble is the way to go. It’s a thick adhesive bubble that sticks to counters without leaving a residue. It looks professional and is a great digger for workers looking to put garbage on the countertop.
10) Handrails and Railings – Handrails and railings are often overlooked during construction. After they are installed, they can be subject to paint and stucco splatter, dust, scratches from movement and more. Railings and banisters in an average home cost about $646. Investing in protection is a good investment when looking at the potential costs that damage could incur. An effective way to protect handrails is to use adhesive bubble wrap. Swiftwrap™ is a great handrail product because the adhesive sticks to itself instead of the handrail. This makes removal very easy and eliminates the possibility of adhesive transfer.
With proper protection, builders can protect these expensive fixtures and save time and money on replacement/repair costs. For more information on building materials, visit www.buildsitepro.com.
*Average material cost estimates are:
NAHB 2011 New Construction Cost Breakdown