‘The State Of Construction In Vancouver’ – “The townhouses are for sale for $2M to 6M, they are unsold, and, it seems, already in need of repair.”
Posted on 2 November 2012 | 31 Comments
“I live on the top floor of a high rise in the South Granville area and can see the roofline of the new townhouses at 16th & Granville from my living room. Yesterday, in the teeming rain, I spotted someone tossing a white sheet of plastic over the edge of the facade in what appeared to be an attempt at blocking a leak. The townhouses are for sale from $2 to 6M, they are unsold and, it seems, already in need of repair. This is the state of construction in Vancouver.”
– Observer at VREAA 1 Nov 2012 9:59am
When a market rewards workers more for quick, shoddy work than it does for genuine honest craftsmanship, building quality will obviously drop. That’s human nature.. why do it right when you can get paid the same (or even more!) for doing it poorly, and doing it quickly?
This “quality” issue often floats beneath the radar screen….most of the focus is on the supply and demand. People are so focussed on imagery versus actually kicking the tires. This is why I detest pre -sales… ones with long drawn out completion dates.
When the market collapses, there are inevitably numerous projects at various stages of completion.
I recall talking to a person who was part of a low – rise condominium crew . He was a carpenter constructing a covered exterior stairway. We talked about wages…..and he stated that he was being paid on a piece work basis..ie a set price for each one he built. On this basis, it was in his best interest to work quickly.
In addition, it is not uncommon for projects to have parties without their journeymans trade ticket do much of the work under supervision of one who does have their journeymans trade ticket. ie a plumbing contractor may have a crew of several 1st year apprentices doing much of the work.
In a collapsing market….the major concern for the developer is to minimize losses. That trickles down to the bottom line of the physical product. We call it “cutting corners”. Poor drywalling….glue for mouldings as opposed to nails….cheaper fixtures…bad grout for tlles…bad rain screen construction on exterior walls etc. etc. etc……the list truly is endless.
In the example cited above…a leak in a new building ? Maybe an anomaly..or reflection of the overall calibre of work ?
PS I would recommend reading the comment section of this article ( link above ).
One person comments on how one person they knows has not been paid by the developer for weeks…again ….. a warning sign of state of the industry.
Again, this is why…. if multi family units are the buyers choice, I recommend an older building with established Strata Council….the problems have been exposed, proper maintenance done and much easier to kick the tires. You owe choosing wisely to yourself and yours ….no-one else.