Persistent Construction Myths

Common Construction Myths

1.  Why is the training that artisans receive from trade school not enough?

Apprentice masons, carpenters, steel benders, and other artisans learn their trades from teachers at school, and from more experienced persons (mentors) on a building construction site.  The apprentice will tend to adopt the methods of their mentor, whether those methods are better or worse than those learned at school.

Houses normally fail structurally because of the quality of building materials used, and their methods of assembly.  Construction foreman and supervisors normally decide on the quality of building materials used and their methods of assembly.  Therefore, a well trained foreman is critical to the construction of a safe and durable house.

2.  Is the cost of a well built house prohibitively expensive?

The cost of construction is generally based on the amount of construction materials that were used.  The difference between a poorly and well constructed house is not in the amount of materials used, but rather, how the materials were assembled.  Generally, it costs the same to assemble the materials poorly as it does to assemble them properly.  Therefore, if you can afford a poorly constructed house, you can also afford one built properly. 

3.  What is an economically built safe and durable house?

  • Economically built houses should have less wastage of construction materials, which  lowers construction costs.
  • Safe houses are expected to survive natural hazards like: hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, waves, and landslides.
  • Durable houses are expected to attract relatively few defects like roof and window leaks, wall and floor cracks, and foundation settlement.  Therefore, occupants of durable houses are not expected to report  many building maintenance complaints. 

4.  What are adult learning principles?

The main difference between teaching adults and youth is that adults have relevant experience that can be used in understanding the new information.  The following adult learning principles will be used in teaching the courses.

a.  Adults’ experiences are resources that they should be encouraged to share.

b.  Adults are more prepared to learn information that improves their performance and provides solutions to their problems; therefore the information must have a direct application to their immediate needs.

c.  If adults are allowed to challenge and question information, then they are more likely to trust that information.

d.  Adults generally need time to think about new information in order to critically analyse it.

e.  Adults need to feel that their opinions are respected.

f.  Adults need to integrate new ideas with their existing ones if they are going to keep and use the new information.

g.  Adults prefer to learn one complete subject at a time, with that subject focusing on applications to problems.

5.  I am a currently building my house, and I want to keep a close eye on the Contractor.  Can I attend?

Yes, you may attend.  Actually, we would encourage the following categories of persons to attend the courses.

  1. If you already direct construction activities and you wish to fill in any critical gaps of knowledge, then please come.
  2. If you want to learn how to properly direct construction activities, and you have at least 3 years of site experience, then please come.
  3. If you are building a house, and you want your foreman trained before he proceeds too far, then please send him/her.
  4. If you have a construction company and you want to have your supervisors well trained, then please send them.
  5. If you are an experienced artisan and you want to progress to the next stage of your development, then please come.
  6. If you plan to build your house, and you do not want to be bamboozled by an unscrupulous contractor, then you may attend and receive a Certificate of Participation.



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