In construction, as in every other area of life, quality matters. A construction project that is built to the highest standards of quality can be enjoyed and favorably evaluated by others. But quality in construction is not something that happens automatically nor accidentally. It is achieved through processes that are put in place to make sure the highest results are obtained.
The Meaning of Quality in Construction
A construction project that accomplishes all that it set out to be from the onset reflects the fact that it was completed within a specified timeline while following defined guidelines. Guidelines that were clearly spelled out in the Scope of Work document which follows and explains the expectations of the owner.
As a matter of fact, the Scope of Work needs to be interpreted as the roadmap that, when followed correctly, will yield the best construction quality outcome and result in a successful project.
Factors that Result in a Quality Construction Project
If a construction project is considered to have achieved the highest quality, several factors must have been present, such as:
⦁ If it was completed according to schedule
⦁ If it met the owner’s requirements
⦁ If it stuck to the agreed-upon budget
⦁ If there were no disputes
⦁ If the project followed all specifications
⦁ If the final project performs as intended
The Importance of Quality in Construction
When you complete a project that is defined as having a high degree of quality, two things can happen. Not only is it beneficial to your bottom line but it will most likely result in repeat business. At the other end of this spectrum, a construction project that is made with low quality may have the effect of damaging your reputation, keeping both old clients from hiring you again and new clients from seeking you out. Words about the poor quality of your construction projects can travel fast and have unexpected consequences.
The Ability to Close Out a Job
The majority of general contractors report that the main problem affecting their level of profitability is the issues they face when the time comes to close out a job. Still, if there are construction quality issues that need to be addressed at the end, you will most likely end up wasting not only time but materials and resources. Your aim should always be to be able to move forward on schedule and without any reworks required.
Another important concern reported by contractors is related to safety on the job. A project that is poorly executed puts safety aside as well. Then, project outcomes are less efficient and do not last as long as they should.
Addressing Factors that Affect High-Quality Management
The best way to address the factors that are playing a role in the quality of your construction management is to identify where the problems originate. If you are using materials that are of low quality or are damaged, if your suppliers and vendors don’t respond to your needs as thoroughly and professionally as they should, if your subcontractors mismanage their tasks, if last-minute changes are always needed, or if there is miscommunication between all the parts involved in the project, the quality of your projects is and will continue to be at risk.
Make it a point to perform stringent due diligence and follow strictly defined standards throughout every step of the project.
Implement Quality Processes
Start by focusing on two areas:
Quality assurance – Study the planned and systematic activities performed during the course of the job and examine their results.
Quality control – Analyze whether your project was completed correctly and in compliance with the stated requirements. Measure the quality of all aspects of the completed job.
Aim to Improve Quality in Construction
As explained in this article, this is what you should do to improve quality:
⦁ Become obsessed with making lists and following them to the letter.
⦁ Start a punch list from the beginning and ensure that everyone knows about what it contains.
⦁ Set expectations for each phase of the project
⦁ Streamline the quality process of all projects
⦁ Frequently meet with the owner or other stakeholders
⦁ Be strict about establishing ownership and accountability
⦁ Clearly define everyone’s roles and responsibilities from the outset
⦁ Establish clear due dates