Top 10 bodies that are most often damaged during residential construction

Top 10 bodies that are most often damaged during residential construction

Construction projects are very complex. There are many different construction workers, subcontractors, plumbers and electricians working in different fields at the same time. This, combined with dust, debris and heavy building materials, often results in damage to expensive home finishes such as cabinets, countertops, doors, etc. Here is a list of the top ten fixtures that are prone to damage during the construction process:

1) Cabinets – In residential construction, cabinets are often one of the most expensive and easily damaged fixtures. According to the NAHB New Construction Cost Breakdown*, cabinets cost an average of about $10,395 to install in a new home. They tend to be installed fairly early in the construction process, so they can easily be damaged by plaster, hit by stray tool belts, and general carelessness by subcontractors. A great way to prevent cabinet damage is to use a dense adhesive foam like Protecta-Foam to cover them. It is easy to install and protects the cabinets from splashes, dust, dirt and sudden impacts.

2) Doors – Like cabinets, both interior and exterior doors can be quite expensive. On average, interior doors cost homeowners about $2,883, while exterior doors cost $2,150. High-end homes often have large front doors that can cost upwards of $10,000. Doors are also installed early in the construction process, and with subcontractors and construction workers coming in and out, sometimes with heavy equipment in hand, dents and dings are a constant issue. To prevent damage, use reinforced corrugated cardboard or special door protection such as Door Guard™. This will prevent dents and scratches and help builders deliver a truly brand new quality product to homeowners.

3) Baths/Showers – Bathtubs and shower enclosures are one of the most difficult elements to protect from damage in the home. Along with the windows, they are the first fixture to be installed; very early in the bathroom construction process. Bathtubs cost about $4,346 on average, but can be much more. Once the tub is installed, subcontractors such as electricians, tilers, and plumbers will work in and around the expensive tub. Many subs actually do their work while standing in the tub, and some construction workers even use it as a toilet! With so many people working in the area, damage can happen very easily. Due to the company’s policy that absolutely prohibits the use of the tub as a toilet, builders can use a spray-on tub protector that dries to a rubbery consistency and peels off easily when the project is complete.

4) Carpets – Most homes have extensive carpeting that often shows dirt and debris easily and is more difficult to clean than other types of flooring. The average cost of a rug for a home is about $8,363. Foot traffic can show up in dirt and dust from subcontractors and can result in the builder being required to either replace some carpets or foot the bill for an expensive cleanup after the job has already been completed. A great way to prevent carpet damage is to use carpet adhesive tapes. These clear films adhere to carpets, but must be replaced every thirty days to avoid adhesive transfer. Make sure you check the quality of the carpet film before you buy – anything under 3 mils is low quality and may not protect carpets adequately.

5) Wooden floors – Homeowners love hardwood floors and they are extremely common in new home construction. On average, hardwood floors cost $1,939 to install in a new home. Floors are subject to many things that can cause damage, including foot traffic, heavy materials or machinery, dust, dirt and general debris. It is absolutely essential that measures are taken to protect wooden floors during construction. The first thing to consider is how long the floors have been down. If they are newly installed, still curing or breathing, breathable protection is available. There are many different types of protection, ranging from lightweight protective film to recycled fabric to heavy construction board.

6) Door closers – Containers are often bumped and scratched during construction. Because they are installed very early in the process, any subcontractor coming in with materials or tools for installation could potentially cause damage that would require replacement or at the very least repair. Jambs typically run around $148 per home. Many different types of pole protectors can be reused, so a box of ten will last you through several projects. There are many options, ranging from plastic to cardboard to fabric.

7) A staircase – Similar to the problem with carpets and hardwood floors, there are a lot of foot traffic on the stairs before the home is finished. Stairs for a typical home typically cost about $1,052 to build and install. Stairs are usually either carpeted or hardwood. As construction workers and subcontractors climb up and down to complete their work, stairs really need to be covered to ensure they look perfect when the homeowner moves in. There are several types of stair protection depending on whether the stairs are carpeted or wood. Although many general floor protection products can be used to protect stairs, only a few specialized types of surface protection will protect stairs without the need for tape that can potentially damage the paint.

8) Thresholds – Door sills get very dirty and scratched on a construction site. On average, thresholds cost about $213 per home. While this may not seem like much, the threshold is the entrance to their home, and as such, homeowners want to make sure it looks perfect. There are several high quality 9 mils protective strips on the market that do a great job of protecting thresholds at a cost effective price. If the home is being built in a sunny or hot location, it’s important to take the time to invest in protection that has UV protection properties.

9) Countertops – The countertops of the home are extremely important for the owner. Countertops, along with cabinets, are a significant expense in a kitchen remodel and must look perfect for the homeowner to be satisfied. With an average price of $5,141, it’s important to prevent damage or scratches that can occur from careless subcontractors or construction workers leaving a big, dirty mess of cups, cans, food, liquids or other trash. Paint drips, splashes of mud and plaster, etc. they can ruin an expensive countertop. There are two main types of countertop protection; film and adhesive balloon. If you decide to use film, be sure to invest in high quality 3mil film. If heavy protection is needed, the Tack Guard™ blister is the way to go. It’s a thick adhesive bubble that sticks to countertops without leaving marks. It looks professional and is a great deterrent for workers wanting to put junk on the counter.

10) Railings and handrails – Railings and handrails are often overlooked during construction. Once installed, they can be subjected to paint and plaster spatter, dust, scuffs from traffic, and more. Railings and railings in the average home cost about $646. Investing in protection is a wise investment when considering the potential costs that damage can incur. An effective way to protect railings is to use bubble glue. Swiftwrap™ is a great product for railings because the adhesive sticks to itself and not to the railing. This makes removal very easy and eliminates the possibility of glue transfer.

With proper protection, builders can protect these expensive fixtures and save time and money on replacement/repair costs. For more information on protective materials visit

*Average materials cost estimates come from:

2011 NAHB New Construction Cost Breakdown

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