Too Many Building Workers are Over-Paid & Untrained

Your correspondent has just finished building a new CLT-house near Helsinki and can only say that God help people who build. The whole supply chain with few exceptions is poorly organized and awfully inefficient.

Electricians and plumbers (LVI workers in Finnish) have to train and secure a qualification before working on a building site but most to of the rest are untrained, unqualified and cost far too much.

We were lucky to have a good group of workers who came from Finland and Estonia. However, we had to fire the first group of Finnish workers because of dishonesty and incompetence. It is unbelievable that a country like Finland cannot demand that all building workers are properly trained before they start working on a construction site.

CLT-buildings are planned and designed in digital systems by very competent experts. Some electricians and plumbers are trained to use these digital solutions that produce excellent 3D pictures and detailed drawings.

But how them to normal Finnish contractors and they scratch their heads and are lost in a haze of stupidity. They have no idea about how to work and plan a building site. They do not understand how to break down each phase of the construction and the workers appear to live in a world where shoddy building results are acceptable.

When you ask a builder for an offer, they get back with hourly worker wages between €35 to €60 per hour depending on experience which is far beyond what they are worth in most cases. Experience has shown that they are untidy, lazy and unreliable. The whole business in soaked irresponsibility. Bosses of many building companies are out to take advantage of a weak buyer and have no professional pride in a profession for which they have little or no training.

As a private builder you are exposed to the huge incompetence of the sector because the great majority of ordinary building workers are overpaid incompetents…

… and those popular RT consumer building contracts are just horrible. They are probably fine for big builders, but they are meaningless pieces of paper for ordinary people who want to protect their own interests.

Too much of the whole building sector and its contract templates need urgent reform to protect the ordinary builder who wants to build their next family home.

Again, we were lucky because we had an excellent building planner, a wonderful master builder and excellent building workers and suppliers. However, the biggest headaches were finding the right folk, having decent contracts, and making sure that we had clear plans for the next 4 weeks.

As an active journalist, I just hope that somebody in this new government reads this article because building a new home is a very Finnish trait that most of us want to do. However, the government needs to put in place clear reforms that protect us from those building sharks that get away with shoddy building practices.

By the way, delivery trucks run by Posti, the national postal services, are cheap and nasty. Some 5 deliveries were late. There was nobody we could call. and when the lorry did turn up outside the agreed time, the driver expected our men help with lifting heavy supplies. It is a clear winner of the Worse Service Award.

On the positive side K-Rauta Kirkkonummi wins a gold for excellent service from their Professional Group services. They found good suppliers, at decent prices and almost always delivered as agreed!

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