Measure Twice, Cut Once

On any construction project there are bound to be a few mistakes, ranging from the minor to the absolutely catastrophic. Here are a few examples of the latter, just to put the little ones in perspective.

Earlier this year workers in the Spanish town of Cristovo de Cea took to repairing what they believed to be a very run down picnic table, only to find later that it was a 6,000 year old Neolithic tomb. The workers can’t shoulder the complete blame as no officials seemed to be aware the tomb existed, not even the mayor. Speculation as to how the monumental mix-up occurred includes one theory that communication broke down between those who were aware of the heritage site and the builders because of the summer holidays. On the bright side there is now a very sharp looking picnic table where the tomb used to be.

Sick of dealing with your suppliers? Ever thought you’d rather demolish an ancient Mayan pyramid for gravel than deal with them again? Most probably haven’t, but one construction company in Belize took to repurposing a 2300 year old, 30 metre tall pyramid with diggers and bulldozers for crushed rock. The most astounding part is that the demolition appears entirely wilful with one archaeologist commenting that ‘These guys knew that this was an ancient structure. It’s just bloody laziness.’

Finally builders in West Cumbria accidently destroyed a woman’s home instead of a dilapidated home that they were supposed to demolish streets away. Rosalie Beatty was informed by neighbours that workmen had begun to tear down her home. She was told by a worker at the scene that ‘It’s just an honest mistake. There’s nothing more to be said – we got the wrong house.’

Although these misfortunes clearly resulted in a few bad days for some, they serve as reminders on the importance of ensuring you follow contract specifications, obtain all relevant ensuring you follow contract specifications, obtain all relevant resource consents, consult with local authorities so you are aware of nearby heritage sites, and obtain proper insurance.


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