Ways to prevent construction defects

In addition to supply chain problems, lax supervision can disrupt construction and pose quality control problems. A quality control plan is the foundation of a successful construction project that can prevent costly problems.

It takes a team

Defects can derail a project and lead to costly construction litigation. Major participants must agree to and comply with a quality control document which addresses expectations, responsibilities, and goals before the first shovel of dirt is turned. Participants should include the project’s contractors, architects, and suppliers.

A quality control committee can also resolve problems early before they become serious, and more difficult to discover and resolve. Site staff and subcontractors should participate so that no parts of the project are left out.

Searching for project information and resolving avoidable issues costs construction professional, on average, two working days each week. Pre-construction meetings can prevent this loss of time and money by allowing every major participant to jointly review project plans and specifications, address issues and resolve disputes.

Ongoing tasks

Before and during the project, its major participants must continue to engage in ongoing tasks that were designated before construction began.

Designers and contractors need to lead constructability reviews. These help anticipate and remove field problems and assure that the project is meeting the designer’s intent.

Pre-work site assessments help ensure that the work is being completed as planned. These assure that acceptable staging areas, adequate clearance and other jobsite conditions comply with the original project plans and specifications.

Performance mock-ups provide visualization of windows, walls, and other aspects of the work before time and money is spent. Mock-ups often identify potential issues before the project’s implementation and installation phases.

Regular inspections can reduce the amount of construction rework which can cost between two and 20 percent of a project’s contract amount. Inspections assess workmanship quality and discover errors before these lead to problems requiring the time and expense of rework. Completed work should be photographed.

A well-planned change order process reduces cost overrides, delays, escalating disagreements and lawsuits. It is important to document all specification changes and obtain owner approval of these changes.

When accepting materials, a quality control inspection should be conducted. Otherwise, unapproved and defective products and materials may be used. It also prevents using of materials and products that were damaged in storage or transit.

Finally, project managers must obtain and record formal verification and approval of workmanship. Third-party inspectors or having manufacturers verify proper installation are effective methods for performing this task.

Attorneys can help prepare legal documents that help prevent these problems. They can also represent rights in court and negotiations.


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