The construction of a building is a large undertaking involving numerous companies and professionals. With so much work being done, it is possible for mistakes to creep in. This is quite normal and cannot be completely prevented. What can be prevented, however, is that the errors remain undetected until completion. Quality control checklists are used for this purpose. Generally, quality control checklists on the construction site are worked through by the client or by a construction expert on behalf of the client. In this article we teach you everything you need to know about this important piece of documentation. Plus: Download our free quality control checklist template!
Free Download: Quality Control Checklist for Construction
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What are Quality Control Checklists?
Quality control checklists are physical or digital checklists that are used during planning, during the structural work phase, during the interior finishing phase and during completion to check the quality of the construction work. These lists are thus used during the course of a project to ensure that all tasks and processes on the construction site are carried out properly and to document compliance with the given technical requirements. In most construction projects, quality control checklists are used during all phases of construction. If flaws are discovered, this is recorded in writing and sometimes also photographically. The rectification of these defects is also recorded to prove that the defect has been fixed according to the instructions and that the relevant part of the building now complies with the agreed quality requirements. Quality control checklists are therefore not only used to record shortcomings. One can also use quality control checklists to document and evaluate work and to record changes.
Furthermore, you can use QC checklist as a tool for training field staff or new subcontractors. On the quality control checklist, all stakeholders involved can see directly what work has been done, what problems have arisen and which areas have been checked and when. Field staff and subcontractors get an idea of what quality standards are expected from the quality control checklist. In this way, you as a project manager or as a building owner ensure that everyone involved is on the same level before the project even starts. If one is concerned with the topic of quality control checklists, one quickly notices that it is about more than a simple checklist in the narrower sense. Quality control checklists are an indispensable part of modern and functioning construction compliance, which ensures that the customer receives the service he ordered.
What are the advantages of quality control checklists?
The advantages of quality control checklists are undeniable. It is not without reason that quality control checklists are now part of everyday life in numerous construction companies around the world. Sufficient documentation that exceeds the minimum legal requirements not only helps construction companies keep track of the work performed and the defects. QC checklists also provide guidance in the event of disagreements with the client. For example, if the customer reports certain flaws, the quality control checklist can be used to check whether the defect has already occurred and whether and how the defect was rectified. Thus, carefully managed quality control checklists could help to find the causes of a defect, to build a consensus with the contractor or to use the documentation for litigation in court.
Advantages over punch lists
Many construction companies use punch lists. With punch lists, defects can be recorded quickly, flexibly and easily. However, the quality control checklist has several distinct advantages over the punch list; the quality control checklist contains much more detail than the punch list. With the punch list, only the defects are recorded, whereas the quality control checklist draws a more complete picture that considers the individual works, their execution and their evaluation. In the event of ambiguities or disputes with stakeholders such as authorities, subcontractors, employees or the customer, the quality control checklist provides a better understanding of the situation than the quality control checklist.
The advantages of QC checklists over punch lists do not mean that punch lists are bad as such. Many professional companies in the construction industry therefore implement processes that use punch lists in combination with quality control checklists. The use of professional construction software that enables the use of punch lists and quality control checklists is particularly recommended.
Who uses quality control checklists?
We have learned what QC checklists in construction are, how they are used, and what the advantages of these checklists are. But there is still the question of who uses quality control checklists in construction.
Since it is practically impossible for a lay person to inspect a construction site and detect workmanship defects, construction experts are usually called in. The building experts carry out the quality controls during construction on behalf of the building owner. The building expert thus represents the interests of the client on the building site and will keep a close eye on the contractor. There does not always have to be negligence or a malicious intent behind a flaw. However, what matters is that the flaw is discovered and fixed.
The construction site is inspected at various stages of construction and checked for quality. During this quality control, the construction expert applies the quality control checklists. The inspection within the framework of quality control during construction should be carried out as systematically as possible according to the quality control checklist in order not to leave the inspection criteria to chance. The results are then recorded and documented by photos. Builders should inform their contractor or developer in due time that they will be working with an expert. This in itself can have a positive effect on the quality of the craftsmanship.
However, not only building experts, but also building contractors and project managers use quality control checklists. These are used to check the work internally and to ensure that no mistakes are made that could cause additional costs for the company. When one speaks of quality control checklists, one can therefore mean both the checklists of the building expert as well as the checklist of the construction company.
What do quality control checklists look like?
The quality control checklists for quality control during construction are based on all construction phases and work that must be carried out. From foundation work, to structural work from the basement to the attic, including roofing and plumbing, window installation and rough plumbing, plastering and insulation. It also covers dry construction, screed, tiling and building services. Particularly important parts of the quality control checklist are the basement, the roof truss, the completed structural work, the interior plastering work and the painting and flooring work. All site visits must be documented. Thus, building owners receive a text and picture documentation of each appointment with the construction progress achieved and the construction defects found.
Many construction companies, builders and construction experts still keep their QC checklists physically. Nowadays, however, it is actually advisable to maintain digital quality control checklists. This is easier, more flexible and less demanding than paper quality control checklists. With digital quality control checklists, every person involved in the construction who needs the quality control checklist has access to the latest version. Entries such as text and images can be added at any time and from anywhere using a smartphone, tablet or computer. This makes it easier for the client, the contractor and the construction expert to keep track of what is happening and to stay in touch with the latest developments.
You can download a template for a professional quality control checklist free of charge here.
Mistakes can happen during the execution of construction work, and that is completely normal. This is where quality control checklists come in. They are used to preventing errors from going undetected until completion. In most cases, the checklists are executed by experts who work on behalf of the building owner. However, many construction companies also use quality control checklists to ensure that internal work has been carried out in accordance with the contract. The quality control checklists are used during all construction phases and serve to check work for errors that are carried out during the construction process. Quality control checklists help inspectors to carry out their quality checks in a thorough, standardised and comprehensive manner.
Quality control checklists provide numerous advantages. They enable a thorough quality check of the construction work, they enable complete documentation, and they facilitate the familiarisation of new employees or subcontractors and provide them with a picture of the expected quality requirements. Thus, quality control checklists hold numerous advantages over conventional punch lists, which merely document the defects themselves.
Many inspectors and contractors therefore use a combination of quality control checklists and punch lists. The most suitable solution, however, is digital software that makes it easy to use quality control checklists and punch lists. This is the case, for example, with the intelligent construction software PlanRadar. With PlanRadar, you get an overview of all processes on your construction site and can ensure that all current information is available to anyone who needs it.