Fundstücke: Instructions on the appropriate handling of construction defects
von Sandra Hofmeister | Jan 7, 2009

Power sockets tucked away behind radiators, construction foam oozing above the door frame, window hinges that have been tiled in, not to mention sagging ceilings: there is no end to botched construction work. Nor to the annoyance getting it remedied entails. karhard design's "defects set" shows how everything can be handled constructively - and how much more specific construction defects become once they have been identified and noted according to a specific scheme: A humorously serious set of four sensible things for checking the defects that the two Berlin architects Thomas Karsten and Alexandra Erhard know all too well from years of personal experience. You might say a practical survival set for frustrated clients and architects.

Identify, list and evaluate defects

First of all there is a guide in a practical pocket version - offering an informed overview on how to identify construction defects. It deploys a checklist, points out guarantee claims and gives support in assessing and evaluating defects. So that vague hunches can become concrete facts the tolerance ranges in various areas are included, along with the exact figures. As a complement to the guide, karhard design has also developed a defects list as a pad of forms that can be taken to every building inspection and only requires users to insert a cross in the relevant section or enter brief comments. Handy bright-red stickers are included with the pad - for marking defects. Doors and windows, walls and ceilings, floors and electrical plus three other categories are listed as headings. Even relatively inexperienced eyes should not miss anything using this list. Client and entrepreneur can add their signatures on the last line. This report makes for a reliable source of information - providing clarity and guidance for workmen, clients or homeowners. A simple, white folding yardstick is also included - indispensable equipment for any building inspection. In the margin terse descriptions such as - faulty sealing or door doesn't fit frame - ensure you are not at a loss for words during the inspection.

A playful approach to construction defects - the quartet

The product set is rounded out by a defects quartet: "Construction defects are not child's play" is emblazoned on the packaging of the set of cards - likewise designed by Borries Schwesinger. The fun and games begin with the all-revealing photos on the cards: blatantly botched-up details, to which are added the respective frustration factors, the specific costs incurred in remedying the shoddy work and the original explanations provided by the site managers: "We always do it that way," for example - and especially popular: "We'll put you acrylic filler in that". Each set comprises four individual cards - the winner is the person to get the most quartets. So ultimately the person who collects the most defects can count themselves lucky. And you can bet nobody will be rushing to become a site manager after this game.
The defects quartet has now come out in a fourth, revised edition - modified to harmonize with the set design. Its success speaks for itself: Not only frustrated clients and architects will all too easily recognize themselves in this game and the entire set. Another reason why the set is highly recommended is because it is so effective: Apart from the practical benefits often what makes you feel better is simply the realization that other people evidently undergo similar experiences. And have to contend with glaring construction defects.