Quality in construction industry is an integral factor in growing a business, maintaining reputation, and to be able to generate profits.
But not everyone has the ability to control the quality of their projects. In fact, research shows that over half (54 percent) of construction defects “can be attributed to human factors like unskilled workers or insufficient supervision” and 12 percent are based on material and system failures.
How to Ensure Construction Quality Control
1. Get The Right Workers
Research shows that skilled trade workers are very difficult to find “with 80 percent of contractors reporting last year that they had difficulty hiring craft workers... and 35 percent said they believed it would become harder in the coming year.”
During initial stages, it is important to have the most qualified players on the teams. Assigning right profiles to the right jobs and ensuring your supervisors or foremen are clear on the quality expectations is integral.
Ensure that the entire team understands the project’s quality requirements. This begins when workers first attend a project induction at the start of the project. Apart from safety, this induction should aim to explain that poor quality won’t be accepted.
2. Take Help From Technology
Research by KPMG identified three segments of the construction industry when it comes to adapting technology:
• Top 20 percent: Innovative leaders
• Middle 60 percent: Followers
• Bottom 20 percent: Behind the curve
In their Global Construction Survey 2019, KPMG concluded that the need for to adopt technology by the bottom 20 percent “is considerably more urgent, if not existential.”
Doing this may seem intimidating for some construction companies. Some of the common fears are convincing their workforce to get onboard and being concerned that it would be difficult to adopt, among other reasons.
The most important thing is to be mindful of is that the technology that you choose has five-star customer support so you’re not left hanging once you have questions or need help.
3. Use the correct Materials
Once you've got your contract and understand what your customer expects, make certain you don’t compromise on materials. Ensure all materials incorporated into the structures and buildings meet the standard requirements and also the project specifications. Make sure that you order materials of the right specifications.
For example, confirm your electrician knows what sort of Romex to bring for the precise job they’re doing. Check the materials once they arrive to make sure that they aren’t damaged and they’re of the right specification.
Reject items which are damaged or aren’t correct and advise the supplier immediately, then mark the things clearly as being non-compliant so that they aren’t accidentally used.
4. Ensure Safety and Compliance
Apart from keeping your workers safe, proper safety and compliance policies prevent inadequate work or improper work from being done on your project. for instance , a tired worker is more likely to require a shortcut here and there - or maybe forget something entirely - so use a reliable time-tracking method to make sure they take the specified breaks and don’t do an excessive amount of overtime.
5. Check and Check Again
The old saying, “If you want something done right, do it yourself,” can’t apply to owner/managers on-site, all the time. You have got your hands full with heaps of other things to do from paperwork to new job estimates.
It has to be ensured that your supers and/or foremen understand what exactly is expected out of them because if you’re not there to examine each stage, you'll end up with construction deficiencies which will need even more work in following years
That means it’s worthwhile to check in now and again to make sure everything is the way it should be and address issues which may have slipped through the cracks.
Keep communication in mind, as well. Managing subs could be a major challenge, so having proper communication - as well as checks and balances in place - will help a lot. Ensure you've sent the proper needs and specifications to your sub(s).
For example, if your framing team set the joists at a particular measurement, the plumbing contractor would need to understand so that they can provide the right mounts for drains that run under the house. You would not want them to show up with the wrong materials and be forced to delay the project.
6. Protect Completed Work
It’s the bane of a contractor’s existence: Weather. But things happen and we can’t control it.
Where possible surfaces that may easily be scratched or damaged should be covered by timber, cardboard, or other materials until the work is complete. Products that arrive in plastic wrappings should be left in place until the section is ready for handover.
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7. Avoid Scope Creep
Even some of the industry’s largest companies can get caught in a frenzy with scope creep. When your client makes change after change, before you recognize it, the scope of the project has ballooned to an unreasonable level and you've got workers cutting corners and using lower quality materials. Talk with all of the stakeholders about the scope and check that everyone seems to be on board.
It’s important to know the client’s quality standards and specifications. These standards should usually be clearly stated within the construction document and within the project specifications and construction drawings.
If unsure , ask questions.
8. Audit and Test
From time to time, tests must be done as a part of the contractor’s quality management plan, or as a part of the project’s or the client’s quality management plan. These tests are to make sure that items or structures are constructed correctly. Sometimes tests fail. this implies that the work must be redone.
What’s important is to designate the correct people to the correct quality control so you don’t have a confusing workflow that has the incorrect people auditing the incorrect things at the incorrect times.
9. Repair Deficiencies Immediately
As mentioned with testing and auditing, confirm you've got a concrete policy to deal with deficiencies whether it's level of expertise or inadequate materials. If left too long, deficiencies will become ignored and lead to more work afterward.
10. Have Supplier and Vendor Expectations from the beginning
One of the main causes of projects running over time is reliable delivery of supplies and materials. Ensure you work with vendors and suppliers you're acquainted with and who have an honest reputation.
Make sure before proceeding with them, that they'll be ready to fulfill the requirements you’ll have for your project, to the end.
While not all things can be controlled, there should be a process indicating what to do in the event of a delay and your vendors and suppliers should have clearly understood what's expected.
Construction quality management is as simple as the above-discussed points. The method might not be elaborate but must be efficient enough to avoid quality-related problems and reduce the quantity of repair and rework on the construction projects. Anyone of these tips can bring significant improvements within the quality of the project, but abiding by all of them can bring tremendous results in the company’s favour.
digiQC is undoubtedly the best solution for all of your quality management related issues. From documentation to checklists to inspections, everything is handled through it.
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