Construction Quality Control: Essential Tips for Managing Quality

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Managing construction projects is complex and stressful. But if your project doesn’t meet quality acceptance criteria, then you’re not just going to upset your stakeholders; you might face down lawsuits.

Quality means different things to different people, which is why you should adhere to construction quality control. It’s a quality management system that allows you to define what quality is, track it and make necessary changes to ensure those benchmarks are met.

What Is Construction Quality Control?

Construction quality control is a management system aimed at ensuring the final deliverable meets the standards and guidelines set by the client. That includes completing the project within the scope of work and avoiding disputes throughout the life cycle of the project. Quality is defined by the client, regulatory agencies and environmental and policy guidelines. All these quality assurance requirements and procedures are documented in a construction quality management plan.

There are two aspects of quality in construction: quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC). Quality assurance sets the quality management expectations and how quality will be achieved. Quality control is the plan to achieve it. The construction quality control manager drives this quality management plan throughout all phases of the project.

Construction quality is controlled by good monitoring and tracking of your project. ProjectManager is a cloud-based project management software that delivers real-time data, so you can catch issues before they become problems. Try ProjectManager free today!

ProjectManager's real-time dashboard
ProjectManager lets you control quality with better monitoring using a live dashboard.—Try free!

Why Construction Quality Control Matters

Your project isn’t a success if your client isn’t satisfied. Construction quality control is important because it improves client satisfaction. A happy client is one who will work with you again, and even give recommendations to others.

More practically, doing quality work means less rework. Not needing to redo work that should have been done right the first time reduces costs. This is also a way to keep the morale of your crew high, which in turn means they’ll work more productively.

Most important, though, is that construction quality control leads to a successful project. Everything done in construction project management rests on the quality of your work. Focusing on quality means fewer problems and changes, while also saving time and money.

Quality Control Procedures in the Construction Industry

When working on construction quality control, there need to be quality control procedures to bring clarity to the work. To do this, follow these five steps:

  1. Define What Done Means: This includes completing the project with no defects, satisfying code requirements and conforming to client’s specifications. Once done is defined, share the conclusion with your superintendents, crew, subcontractors and everyone involved in the construction project plan to ensure they’re all on the same page.
  2. Have an Inspection Plan: Conduct a thorough inspection to see if completed work meets your quality acceptance criteria. Create an inspection plan to decide what is inspected and let the team know when it’s inspected. Also, there must be a person responsible for carrying out the inspection, whether that’s someone in your crew or a third party.
  3. Create Quality Control Checklist: Prepare a quality control checklist to make the process of inspection thorough and less likely to overlook items. Be specific. The checklist should be shared with the crew for pre-task conversations on how to execute the work. A checklist ensures quality control is met and also communicates to the crew what’s essential in their tasks.
  4. Correct Work: When a task doesn’t meet the standards of the quality management inspection, the work needs to be corrected. Mark the work that needs fixing (photograph it, if necessary), correct the problem and document the correction to verify that it now meets your quality standards.
  5. Review and Revise: When you discover a deficiency and fix it, the work isn’t over yet. Review why it happened and discuss with your crew how to avoid repeating the problem. Whatever the conclusion, it should be shared with the whole construction crew to make sure the issue doesn’t show up elsewhere. If applicable, add the newfound details to your inspection checklist.

How to Make a Construction Quality Control Plan

When putting together a construction quality control plan, you need to address quite a few things. Here is a list to keep you from missing any of the important steps:

  • Quality Control Manager: Choose someone to lead the effort—a quality control manager. The client needs to know who this person is and why they’re qualified for the position. The quality manager leads all quality management work, and is responsible for the day-to-day field operations. The construction quality control plan needs to define the quality manager’s responsibilities and how they work with the rest of the crew.
  • Communications: Quality control should be part of the discussion from start to finish. Quality control should be part of the reports, test results and any inspection data you deliver to your client. Your construction quality control plan must have a communications guideline to explain how, and with what frequency, this communication will occur.
  • Surveillance: Have monitoring be part of your construction quality control plan. You need to let your client know how you’ll monitor quality. Decide on the frequency of surveillance as well as how and what you’ll be monitoring. Detail this in the construction quality control plan.
  • Subcontractors and Suppliers: First, inform your client of the suppliers and materials in use. Since these are organizations outside your governance, you need to add selection criteria for suppliers and subcontractors to your construction quality control plan. This includes price, naturally, but also if they’re delivering on the quality you expect.
  • Project Quality Specifications: This is where you collect client specifications and expectations for the quality of the finished build. But you’ll also want to go beyond their needs and address specifications from building codes and industry standards. Lay it all out so there’s no confusion on why the work was done the way it was done.
  • Inspections and Tests: Inspect each phase of the construction as part of the overall construction project management of your build. Conduct tests to verify the quality of material used or the functioning of quality management systems. List the inspections and tests you will perform over the life cycle of the construction project, including the forms and test results you’ll use.
  • Control of Non-Conformances: No construction project ever goes completely as planned. When things go wrong, you need to have a response in your plan in order to maintain the overall quality of the project. There should also be a record documenting these changes and how they were implemented.
  • Project Completion Inspections: While there are inspections throughout the execution of any construction project, the big one is the final inspection. This is where you outline how the construction management inspection will be conducted, including the punch list and final walkthrough with the client.

How ProjectManager Helps With Construction Quality Control

Managing the quality in construction projects involves close monitoring of the work. In order to streamline this process, you’ll want to use construction project management software. ProjectManager is a cloud-based software that gives you the real-time data you need to respond and meet your client’s quality expectations.

Organize Construction Plans on Gantt Charts

Organize all the tasks associated with your construction quality control plan with an online Gantt chart. ProjectManager lets you link dependencies, set milestones and filter for the critical path. Then you can set a baseline to compare actual progress against the planned effort. The Gantt can be easily shared with your client to keep them updated.

ProjectManager Gantt chart

Track Your Plan’s Progress on Dashboards

ProjectManager’s live dashboard gives you real-time data on several project metrics, so you can catch any irregularities that might impact the quality of the work. There’s even a portfolio dashboard if you’re managing several projects at once.

ProjectManager.com Dashboard view

Create Reports for Stakeholders in Seconds

If you want to take a deeper dive into project data, use ProjectManager’s one-click reports. These are especially helpful for clients that don’t want to get granular, but want to know if you’re on time, within budget and are meeting quality expectations. Share reports by email or print them out, depending on what the client prefers.

ProjectManager's status report filter

ProjectManager is award-winning software that organizes tasks, teams and projects. Use ProjectManager to foster communicationsand control the quality of your construction project. With resource management, timesheet and task management features, ProjectManager can help you create a construction quality control plan, quickly find problems and resolve them before they impact time or costs. Try ProjectManager free today.

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