The Strangest Reasons For Construction Project Issues | Meyrick

For the most part, issues with construction projects are down to either issues during the planning phase that were not caught in time or issues caused by the weather and other factors outside of the contractor’s control.

For the most part, builders will factor every possible issue into account when devising realistic timelines for longer construction projects and will ensure that people are kept updated if any issues might cause significant delays.

However, in the huge and expansive world of construction projects, you sometimes see stranger issues for delays, cancellations and other issues, and here are some of the oddest.

Sagrada Familia’s Scope Creep

The longest ongoing construction project in the world, La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is still years away from completion and not one person who was born the day construction began is still alive today.

A lot of this comes down to scope creep, in part caused by the death of the original client and later the main architect of the project, Antoni Gaudi, who noted that his client was not in a hurry and radically increased the scale of the project.

Ryugyong Hotel’s Change In Purpose

Known somewhat ominously as the “Hotel of Doom”, the Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea was designed to be the world’s tallest hotel when it was initially proposed in 1986 and had it opened on time would have achieved that goal.

Unfortunately, partway through construction, the Soviet Union collapsed, causing a financial and trade crisis that halted the project and led to major issues with the building’s design.

Even two decades later and a decade after it was claimed it would be complete and ready to open, the hotel still lays dormant as a giant monument looking for a reason to exist.

Building A Tower On Poor Foundations

Have you ever wondered why the Leaning Tower of Pisa leans in the first place?

It was built with a laughably small foundation for a building of its size and density onto dense clay earth and would have fallen over entirely had a civil war not stopped construction.

Its infamous lean has since made it a great landmark, and a monument to strange construction issues.
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House Price Survey Shows Midlands Lags Behind

Homeowners in the West Midlands might have been pleased with the relative affordability of their home when they bought it, but those keen to increase its value at a time when the property market seems to be weakening may have taken note of just how far behind the region lags for prices.

A new Halifax survey of Britain’s most expensive streets has shown that London dominates the list of the costliest places to reside, where even being a millionaire is nowhere near rich enough. Of the top 20 streets for price, 19 are in the capital and the other in Ascot.

Britain’s most expensive street is Phillimore Gardens in Kensington at £23.8 million, just ahead of the £23.5 million cost of a home at Grosvenor Square in Mayfair.

Of course, most London properties cost far less than these plush pads in the most fashionable parts of the capital, but by comparison the most expensive street in the West Midlands region, Bakers Lane in Solihull, is ten times ‘cheaper’ at £2.3 million.

Most people planning a loft conversion in the West Midlands will not have a home costing even the top Solihull prices, but such a home improvement will at least significantly bolster their property’s value.

According to the latest Land Registry figures, even Solihull prices, now averaging £344,000, are lower than any London borough, the cheapest of which is Barking & Dagenham at £356,000. Elsewhere, the average home costs £234,000 in Birmingham, £226,000 in Telford & Wrekin, and £202,000 in Wolverhampton.

The change in the costliest West Midlands road actually represents a significant drop for the region; last year the Express and Star revealed Carpenter Road in the Edgbaston area of Birmingham had an average price of £3.09 million, with Solihull having to make do with second place as Old Warwick Road came in at £2.1 million.

House Price Fall Boosts Case For Home Improvements

There are many benefits to adding house extensions in the West Midlands, but the value of doing so has increased with the latest data showing a continued decline in property prices.

According to the latest Halifax House Price Index, covering December 2022, the average home increased in value by just two per cent over the course of last year, down from 4.6 per cent in the 12 months to November 2022.

The reason for this was the strong increase in prices in the first half of the year being counterbalanced by an outright decline in the later months as the impact of the wider economic malaise took effect.

Following the 2.4 per cent decline in November, there was a further drop of 1.5 per cent in December. Moreover, director of Halifax mortgages Kim Kinnaird did not see the lower rate of fall in December as a sign of the market bottoming out, predicting instead that a combination of recession and higher interest rates means prices will fall by eight per cent in 2023.

Householders may therefore consider a home improvement as a good investment to increase the value of their property, but that is not necessarily the only reason for doing so. Those looking to upsize might find adding space offers an alternative to trying to buy a larger house.

The benefit of the latter is that people can work with designers on getting just the sort of extension they want, whereas a depressed housing market with limited supply might make fining the ideal home hard to do.

While Halifax predicts an eight per cent fall in prices this year, Japanese bank Nomura has predicted a gloomier outlook for prices, with a 15 per cent decline by the middle of 2024.

Its panel of economists acknowledged that their forecast was gloomier than most, describing it as “a larger fall than assumed by the Bank of England, Office for Budget Responsibility and consensus.” They said this sort of decline would be needed to normalise the balance between squeezed incomes and higher interest rates.