As with any industry, quality control plays a particularly important role in construction. It implies that things get done the right way, following the plans, permits, and specifications that have been established. Quality control ensures that standards are followed and implemented in the construction site. The ultimate quality of the construction project is reviewed close to its conclusion. A punch list of items that need to be corrected is followed in order to ensure that the finished project meets the expectations set forth at the beginning of the project.
The importance of having a quality control procedure
An effective quality control program starts with spelling out the specific standards that must be met. Once that is established, the scope of actions to be taken must be determined. It is also important to determine what corrective action will be taken when needed.
To be successful, a quality control program must be continuous, immediately detecting areas of trouble or concern, in order to implement the necessary corrective measures.
Are there barriers to the success of a quality control program?
In construction, there certainly are. Mostly, the fact that each project is so unique, the locations so different, the volume of work fluctuates, the workforce tends to be temporary, materials tend to be delayed or out of stock, different subcontractors have their own schedules, etc.
The job of a contractor in such a situation becomes extremely challenging due not only to these but to many other unexpected factors.
Who is responsible for quality control in construction?
The primary person responsible for quality control in a construction site is the project or site manager. It is their responsibility to provide guidance as to the expected quality and results. Under this manager, each supervisor must be responsible for the quality control of everything that is performed and accomplished in their section of work. This responsibility must include not only the quality of the work performed but the quality of the materials used.
Can technology be your friend in order to reach your quality control standards?
You may feel that investing in a digital control process could be extremely overwhelming. However, you must know that once that is in place it becomes progressively easier to manage. Taking it one step at a time may provide the most optimal results. A good starting point may be to implement a centralized document and issue management system. This will ensure that everyone on the site is working with the most updated plans and drawings and that there will be no issues that go unnoticed. Also, time to resolution will be improved.
You may also want to implement collaborative inspections with your subcontractors and trades. This way, you will not need to rely on inspections from the site manager to become aware of any mistakes. Problems crop up and the quality control manager cannot be present always and everywhere. The best quality control program will include a high level of collaboration which will hold every team member responsible for their actions and results.
Establish a successful construction team by starting with the most efficient and experienced general contractors. Ultimately, they will be responsible for the final outcome of your construction project, implementing quality control procedures and ensuring the optimal completion of the job to your satisfaction.