It seems that in every building or construction project there are hidden items that end up costing someone on the project more than they had planned.

Little ghosts that no matter how much research and planning is done by all parties, they appear with no warning and without the appearance of Dan Aykroyd or Bill Murray and their friends.

In residential projects the apparitions can arrive on approval of the DA with onerous conditions regarding flood planning, or acid sulphate soil conditions, or a sneaky sewer pipe and the potential additional consultant costs and time delays incurred by these conditions. Some consultant costs can be reasonably expected in a project and can be included in the initial budgets but the likelihood of some are so low they cannot be planned. Not to mention a condition to protect a tree in a neighbours back yard or the minefield of financing a multi residential project.

The ‘Caspers’ of the retail world include the complex approval processes that may be encountered. Does it require a Complying Development Certificate or can it be processed as Exempt Development. Also the whims of the tenancy coordinator imposing design conditions outside the guidelines provided, no doubt well justified and delivering a better final product but causing additional costs just the same. The requirement for out of hours work due to dust, noise and disturbance to other retailers can also create a costing headache for the contractors and retailer alike.

Then we consider the realms of the office fitout, whether it be a private or public company or a government department. Here the supernatural effects can be felt throughout the project. The typical culprits encountered here are the hidden items in the building itself. Is there fresh air available, can we cut a hole in the slab, where can we connect the new drainage? When these questions combine with the ‘we didn’t allow for that’, the ‘that’s not what I asked for’ the ‘it’s not my money, just change it and charge me’ ghouls the 1st April 2019 potential to create additional costs, extra paperwork and conflict between parties as they try to manage the issues is increased.

Perhaps a certain movie theme song should be played on these sites to remind people to think about their decisions and instructions?

There possibly is no easy solution to the poltergeists of the construction world but a concerted theme of cooperation between all parties on a project to ensure they are minimised can only benefit the whole industry and our clients big and small.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller