No one wants their construction project to fail. Unfortunately, many projects do due to quality issues. In this blog post, we will discuss the main quality issues in construction and what you can do to avoid them. We’ll also take a look at some of the most common defects that arise from these problems. By being aware of these issues, you can ensure that your project is completed successfully and on time!
One of the most common quality issues in construction is poor communication. When there is a lack of communication between the various parties involved in a project, it can lead to a number of problems. For example, if the architect and engineer are not communicating properly, the final design may not meet the needs of the client. This can result in expensive changes or even a complete redesign of the project.
This can be caused by a number of factors, such as inexperienced workers, rush jobs, or simply not taking the time to do the job properly. Poor workmanship can lead to a number of problems, such as leaks, cracks, and other structural problems. In addition, poor workmanship can also make a project look unfinished or unprofessional.
This comes to the individual level which means that a project manager or quality manager may not be able to monitor the work of every single person involved in the construction. Though this can be improved with proper training for the individuals and with proper communication of the desired outputs.
This is another common quality issue that can lead to serious problems and is not totally under your own control. If the wrong materials are used, it can result in structural issues or even complete failure of the project. In addition, using inferior materials can also lead to problems with the finish of the project, such as peeling paint or cracking tiles.
As the construction industry is evolving, it has paved way for innovation in materials and equipment we use. Most of the times we fall prey to the innovation, thinking it is the best which ultimately turns out to be a failure, resulting in failed projects. Though innovation is what keeps us on top of the pyramid it should be first tested and tried before using it on any project.
Flawed or Complex Design
This is often the result of poor communication between the architect and engineer. If the design is flawed, it can lead to a number of problems, such as structural issues, improper drainage, or a lack of access. In addition, if the design is too complex, it can make the project difficult to build and may even delay its completion.
In the haste of securing new business, contractors sometimes agree to what is impossible to do in reality. It is better to keep the expectations from clients in check before taking on the project. Secondly, even if a project seems doable, it is not necessary that your team would be able to do it. You should be able to assess the strengths of the team that you have before taking on a complex project. For that particular reason insurance in construction has become so vital as well.
Poor Project Management
This is one of the most important aspects of a construction project and yet it is often overlooked. Poor project management can result in a number of problems, such as cost overruns, schedule delays, and even safety hazards. In addition, poor project management can also lead to a loss of quality control.
A good project manager is the backbone of any construction project. He/she is the one who coordinates between different teams and ensures that the project is completed on time, within budget, and to the desired quality standards. You turn blind eye to just one aspect of the project and disaster is waiting for you.
One way to avoid quality issues is to include contractual provisions for quality control. This can be done by specifying the methods and materials that will be used in the project. In addition, by requiring regular inspections, you can ensure that the work is being done properly.
As long as you are able to specify the materials and get the details right you will be sailing over without any issues.
Lack of Technical Expertise
Another common quality issue is the lack of technical expertise. This can be a problem if the contractor does not have the necessary experience or if they are using sub-standard equipment. By ensuring that the contractor has the proper qualifications and by using high-quality materials, you can avoid this problem.
Inaccurate Cost Estimates
Prices are rising and there is no denying the inflation-hit era we are living in. The quotation that you have on your desk from just 2 months ago may not be valid at this time. For that reason, effective cost estimates have become essential for any project.
To make sure you have accurate cost estimates, call for quotations from more than one reputable vendor and try to lock the prices for the entirety of the project duration.
When a project is rushed, it can lead to a number of problems, such as poor workmanship, inadequate materials, and even safety hazards. By ensuring that there is enough time to complete the project properly, you can avoid these problems.
If a project is subcontracted to another company, it can lead to a number of quality issues. For example, if the subcontractor does not have the necessary experience or qualifications, they may use inferior materials or cut corners. In addition, if the subcontractor is not properly supervised, they may take shortcuts that can jeopardize the safety of the project.
If a project relies on vendors for materials or equipment, it can be disrupted by vendor failures. For example, if the vendor does not deliver the materials on time, the project may be delayed. In addition, if the vendor does not meet the specifications of the project, it can lead to problems with the quality of the finished product.
Scope creep occurs when the scope of the project changes after it has already begun. This can be caused by a change in the design, an addition of features, or even a change in the budget. Scope creep can lead to a number of problems, such as cost overruns, schedule delays, and even the cancellation of the project.
Emphasis on Short Term Objectives
Many construction projects are focused on short-term objectives, such as meeting a deadline or completing a certain amount of work. However, this can lead to problems with the quality of the project. By ensuring that the project is well-planned and focused on long-term objectives, you can avoid these problems.
Lack of Auditing System
An auditing system is important in any construction project. It can help to identify quality issues and ensure that they are corrected. Without an auditing system, it can be difficult to identify problems and correct them in a timely manner. More so, if a proper auditing system is not in place, the project team will keep repeating the mistakes over and over without realization.
These are some of the common issues that every contractor has come across and has learned how to handle them the hard way.
How to Avoid Construction Quality Issues?
Here are some tips on how to avoid the quality issues in construction,
- Implement Total Quality Management (TQM). TQM is a method that involves not only the project that you are working on but the whole contracting organization. TQM is a process that ensures proper collaboration among all parties and keeps in check the quality of work while reducing costs at every step.
- Quality assurance processes should be implemented that check quality of the completed work. These checks should be done on every milestone and with increasing frequency.
- Quality control should be taken with seriousness. Quality control should document who is responsible for what and when it comes down to individual responsibilities, you know who is not doing their job properly if there is any issue with quality.
- Select vendors who work collaboratively. Having one point of contact is the best thing so all the information trickles down to employees of the vendor from one authority and you are not managing every single person of the vendor instead.
- Discuss quality execution at the kick off meeting, so everyone knows the priorities of the project. Pay attention to detail and highlight past quality issues and what needs to be fixed this time.
- Individual audits and analysis of the tasks set to an individual pays a lot in the long run in terms of quality.
- If you have full in house team and capabilities, it is easier to implement quality controls as all of the organization is getting information from one source. Achieving perfection is a bit trickier when there are a lot of vendors and sub-contractors involved.
- Having quality inspectors that know every aspect of the construction and not just one elevates the quality as well.
- Scrutinize vendors and sub-contractors over time and only hire those that have kept their word in the past. Having a vendor or subcontractor that you can trust with the quality of materials or quality of work will ultimately solve half of your problems.
It is important to remember that quality issues can often be avoided by proper planning and communication. By taking the time to understand the potential problems that can arise, you can avoid them altogether.