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Now ye're talking - to a construction site manager

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  • 05-07-2021 9:28am
    #1
    Boards.ie Employee Posts: 12,597 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Boards.ie Community Manager


    Our next guest is a construction site manager.
    I am a construction site manager of near ten years, I've worked on everything from residential housing estates to large scale commercial buildings, apartments, office blocks and fit out, ranging from €100k to €50m. Before I became site manager I was a carpentry sub contractor until the crash in 2008. I worked in factories to get by and pay the bills before forced emigration to Canada, we are back now living in Ireland.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,656 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko


    Why do site managers totally fail to plan for parking, and end up with loads of vans and cars on footpaths, bike lanes, blocking driveways?

    It shouldn't be a surprise to find that crews need parking.

    https://twitter.com/RespectRialto/status/1402591744454279170?s=19


  • Registered Users Posts: 894 ✭✭✭FlubberJones


    The large Cherrywood site, saw a group of about 10-15 guys all holding large blue flags and chatting away... I'm assuming these are banksmen of some sort... am I right?


  • Subscribers Posts: 41,263 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat


    what, in your opinion, is the single biggest reason why irish house building prices are so expensive?


  • Company Representative Posts: 46 Verified rep I'm a Site Manager, AMA


    Why do site managers totally fail to plan for parking, and end up with loads of vans and cars on footpaths, bike lanes, blocking driveways?

    It shouldn't be a surprise to find that crews need parking.

    https://twitter.com/RespectRialto/status/1402591744454279170?s=19

    Believe it or not we have plans in place for this, in site inductions and subcontractor kick off meetings the parking arrangements are spelled out, whether that be on site or in the surrounding areas. Mostly it goes in one ear and out the other tho.


  • Company Representative Posts: 46 Verified rep I'm a Site Manager, AMA


    The large Cherrywood site, saw a group of about 10-15 guys all holding large blue flags and chatting away... I'm assuming these are banksmen of some sort... am I right?

    Have no idea, sorry!:(


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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,929 ✭✭✭✭Ash.J.Williams


    have you any thoughts on the rise of blatant cocaine use on sites during work hours and have you ever had to take action against it?


  • Company Representative Posts: 46 Verified rep I'm a Site Manager, AMA


    sydthebeat wrote: »
    what, in your opinion, is the single biggest reason why irish house building prices are so expensive?

    Hard to pin that down to one thing, but supply/demand and greed would be the top three IMO.


  • Company Representative Posts: 46 Verified rep I'm a Site Manager, AMA


    have you any thoughts on the rise of blatant cocaine use on sites during work hours and have you ever had to take action against it?

    I came across this a lot in the boom when I was a subcontractor, it wasn't done blatantly but at the same time everyone knew the lads at it. I haven't come across it recently so I have never had to take action against it.


  • Moderators, Education Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 10,431 Mod ✭✭✭✭artanevilla


    What's the most common shortcut taken on building sites these days?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,314 ✭✭✭KyussB


    For each different construction role, what is the fastest you can get someone who is completely new to construction work, doing useful work on the site in each role? (both able to do useful work before being fully trained, as well as the time it would take before you consider them fully trained)

    Just trying to get an informed idea, of how fast a ramp-up in construction training could go.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 35 littlemissfraze


    Is there a common mistake that you see designers/architects making? Or if you could give one piece of advice to designers/architects to improve the buildability of projects what would it be?


  • Company Representative Posts: 46 Verified rep I'm a Site Manager, AMA


    What's the most common shortcut taken on building sites these days?

    I find it to be time which turns into quality, everyone is rushing to get onto the next job and get paid from the one the should be concentrating on. The amount of reworks that this leads can be fairly high depending on the subbie, usually at the subbies expense.

    As a main contractor I would have to shoulder some of the blame for squeezing crews timelines depending on schedule


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,656 ✭✭✭✭AndrewJRenko


    Believe it or not we have plans in place for this, in site inductions and subcontractor kick off meetings the parking arrangements are spelled out, whether that be on site or in the surrounding areas. Mostly it goes in one ear and out the other tho.

    Thanks for coming back - looks like a 'lip service' situation, where everyone knows that the arrangements will be ignored, and everyone ignores the fact that they're going to be ignored, regardless of the harm to the community.

    I just passed the Marlet site on Upr Kilmacud Road an hour ago, with one truck on the cycle lane and one transit van on half the path, delivering some stuff, with traffic backing up in both directions trying to snake past the van.

    Acres of space inside, and they're quite happy to push the inconvenience and delays onto the community, rather than managing it themselves.


  • Company Representative Posts: 46 Verified rep I'm a Site Manager, AMA


    KyussB wrote: »
    For each different construction role, what is the fastest you can get someone who is completely new to construction work, doing useful work on the site in each role? (both able to do useful work before being fully trained, as well as the time it would take before you consider them fully trained)

    Just trying to get an informed idea, of how fast a ramp-up in construction training could go.


    Totally depends on the role and individual. If its a trade the four years is usually needed, but they are useful from the start if utilized the right way.

    What kind of rolls do you mean? On the tool lads or office lads?


  • Registered Users Posts: 58 ✭✭AgriLad


    Would you recommend your job to a young person interested in construction?


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,377 ✭✭✭✭gormdubhgorm


    First thought was how many women are involved in the industry these days?

    Guff about stuff, and stuff about guff.



  • Company Representative Posts: 46 Verified rep I'm a Site Manager, AMA


    Is there a common mistake that you see designers/architects making? Or if you could give one piece of advice to designers/architects to improve the buildability of projects what would it be?

    Designers/Architects build drawings/Models from a finished product POV, rarely consider the actual build. I would ask them to consider the construction method while designing.

    I was on one job recently where the HSA conducted a site inspection and followed up with the Architect why he had designed a building that the columns were further apart than minimum scaffold tie allowance.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,314 ✭✭✭KyussB


    Totally depends on the role and individual. If its a trade the four years is usually needed, but they are useful from the start if utilized the right way.

    What kind of rolls do you mean? On the tool lads or office lads?
    Thanks - mainly the hands-on/tools roles, as I'd judge those to be the main ones in short supply now.


  • Company Representative Posts: 46 Verified rep I'm a Site Manager, AMA


    Thanks for coming back - looks like a 'lip service' situation, where everyone knows that the arrangements will be ignored, and everyone ignores the fact that they're going to be ignored, regardless of the harm to the community.

    I just passed the Marlet site on Upr Kilmacud Road an hour ago, with one truck on the cycle lane and one transit van on half the path, delivering some stuff, with traffic backing up in both directions trying to snake past the van.

    Acres of space inside, and they're quite happy to push the inconvenience and delays onto the community, rather than managing it themselves.

    I wouldn't disagree that is just @'lip service'. Regarding trucks/deliveries the traffic should be managed at all times, regarding parking of vans etc there isn't a lot we can do if they decide to park recklessly off site.


  • Company Representative Posts: 46 Verified rep I'm a Site Manager, AMA


    AgriLad wrote: »
    Would you recommend your job to a young person interested in construction?

    I enjoy it, and I would recommend it to young people as the pay can be good. But the stress and long hours can sometimes outway the paycheck.

    I would advise anyone coming into to do a couple of summers on sites to make sure it is for them.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 849 ✭✭✭Blanchy90


    What are your thoughts on the build quality of houses at the minute? Specifically timber farme vs brick


  • Company Representative Posts: 46 Verified rep I'm a Site Manager, AMA


    First thought was how many women are involved in the industry these days?

    Very little and mostly health and safety. One of the best plasterers I have ever seen was a woman and have met the odd chippy down the years, in my experience they are always top class tradepeople


  • Company Representative Posts: 46 Verified rep I'm a Site Manager, AMA


    Blanchy90 wrote: »
    What are your thoughts on the build quality of houses at the minute? Specifically timber farme vs brick

    Timber frame is the future I think because it is basically a jigsaw when it comes to site and is erected within a day or two and ready for windows (water tight).

    Blocklaying is slower so will always lose to TF IMO.

    Having built both and lived in both I would choose a TF house if I was building my own house, if buying a semi detached house in TF I would pay attention to sound transfer reports etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 995 ✭✭✭iColdFusion


    What is the typical profit margin for a developer per house on an estate, say 50 houses being sold at 300k each?


  • Company Representative Posts: 46 Verified rep I'm a Site Manager, AMA


    KyussB wrote: »
    Thanks - mainly the hands-on/tools roles, as I'd judge those to be the main ones in short supply now.

    Ya on the tool lads are in such short supply at the moment, especially good ones. if its a trade as I said you can be useful from the off but going to be on crap money for a long time, but there is so little apprentices coming through that tradespeople will be in huge demand in time to come and money will follow as a result.


  • Company Representative Posts: 46 Verified rep I'm a Site Manager, AMA


    What is the typical profit margin for a developer per house on an estate, say 50 houses being sold at 300k each?

    I would rarely be in those meetings but from my experience the rule of thumb used to be 'fourth one free' every four houses sold the fourth was profit but that wouldn't be gospel I'd imagine.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,509 ✭✭✭the_pen_turner


    what changes would you like to see brought in that would improve the tradesman to customer experience.
    what would you like from both sides


  • Company Representative Posts: 46 Verified rep I'm a Site Manager, AMA


    what changes would you like to see brought in that would improve the tradesman to customer experience.
    what would you like from both sides

    Honest and frank discussions at pricing stage from both sides. Laid out in black and white what the price includes and doesn't include, same for what the client expects to see upon completion. If they aren't talked about and the tradesman under delivers by a tiny amount and the client over expects by a tiny amount then there is a big gap between them which always leads to problems.


  • Subscribers Posts: 41,263 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat


    what type / size construction sites do you think you learned the most ?
    ie small domestic where all trades are intimately to be organised, or large commercial where more specialists are involved but management done off site?


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  • Company Representative Posts: 46 Verified rep I'm a Site Manager, AMA


    sydthebeat wrote: »
    what type / size construction sites do you think you learned the most ?
    ie small domestic where all trades are intimately to be organised, or large commercial where more specialists are involved but management done off site?

    I learned a lot on large commercial fit out when I first got into site management but that was more in at the deep end than anything else. As regards running jobs and looking after crews I learned the most in large scale commercial construction. As regards construction techniques and the correct way to build was small scale housing when I was serving my time but techniques have changed tenfold since then.


This discussion has been closed.
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