Scams in the Construction Industry In Kenya

Unveiling Construction Industry Scams: Protecting Your Projects

Are you planning a construction project? Whether it's a new home, a renovation, or a commercial building, navigating the construction industry can be a daunting task. Amidst the hustle and bustle of sourcing materials, hiring contractors, and managing budgets, there's a lurking threat that could jeopardize your project: scams.

In this article, we'll shine a light on some common scams in the construction industry and provide practical remedies to safeguard your investments.

1. Pay-before-delivery scams:

Have you ever stumbled upon tempting offers on social media or online platforms like Jiji, only to be asked to pay upfront before delivery? Beware of this red flag! Paying before receiving goods or services leaves you vulnerable to potential fraud.

Remedy 1: Source directly from reputable hardware stores or suppliers. If you're purchasing online, opt for payment upon delivery or use trusted payment gateways. Treat online transactions like you would with a courier service – pay after the goods arrive safely at your designated delivery point.

2. Delivery of wrong materials or quantities:

Imagine ordering river sand for your construction project but receiving a different type altogether. It's not just an inconvenience; it can lead to delays and compromised quality. Similarly, receiving fewer materials than ordered can disrupt your project timeline and budget.

Remedy 2: Always inspect deliveries upon arrival. Clarify orders with suppliers to avoid misunderstandings. Document the quantity and type of materials delivered and address any discrepancies promptly with the supplier or contractor.

3. Minimum work done by fundis and contractors:

Efficiency is key in construction projects. Yet, it's not uncommon for fundis (skilled laborers) or contractors to drag their feet on tasks, resulting in unnecessary delays and inflated costs.

Remedy 3: Establish clear expectations and timelines before engaging contractors or fundis. Define specific tasks and daily targets to ensure efficiency. Monitor progress regularly and address deviations promptly to keep your project on track.

4. Collusion of suppliers and contractors/fundis:

Behind-the-door deals between suppliers and contractors/fundis can inflate material costs and compromise project integrity. This collusion can drain your budget without you even realizing it.

Remedy 4: Conduct thorough research on market prices for materials. Request transparent pricing from suppliers and contractors and maintain open communication. Multiple quotes can help identify any discrepancies and build trust among all parties involved.

In conclusion, vigilance is your best defense against construction scams. By staying informed, setting clear expectations, and maintaining open communication, you can protect your investments and ensure the success of your construction projects. Don't let scams derail your dreams – build with confidence!