TRANSFORMING CLIENT STRESS INTO CERTAINTY
Quality Control (QC) is a system of measuring and maintaining construction standards during the activities associated with the erection of a structure by conducting observations and comparing the results of the observations on site to pre-determined construction standards. Once a deviation in a construction standard is observed it is essential to act and repair the non conformance which if done throughout the building process ensures that defects are minimized and repaired and quality standards are maintained during the project life cycle.
Multiple sub-contractors are employed to bring a home to completion and the Home Builder is the person on site supervising the sub-contactors and should ensure that the quality of workmanship is measured and maintained and that the necessary certification or quality guarantees are issued by the relevant authority or contractor. In order to create a greater awareness between all the role players involved in a building project a simple system of measurement is required in order to maintain and focus attention on quality specifications and standards.
Through regular measurement and comparison of construction standards during the wet work phase of the project and understanding of acceptable levels of quality that should be delivered by sub-contractors we continuously strive to maintain standards and reduce the snag list, which is normally compiled at the end of the project. However, in process inspection provides information enabling the Home Builder to apply remedial action during the construction process as opposed to completion of the element under construction. The cycle of Planning – Doing – Checking – Acting is continuous and is proactive in approach in stead of reactive in nature. The function of Quality Control has an impact on workmanship because it creates awareness and places a spot light on the deviations from the specifications.
The Principal Agent is responsible for the construction contract administration and close out stages of the project which includes but is not limited to, the following:
Foundation & Masonry Walls
- Site Preparation
- Foundation Preparation
- Under Floor Membranes
- Concrete and Masonry Work in Foundations
- Laying of Masonry Units
- Bonding of Masonry
- Wall Ties
- Cavity Wall Construction
- Retaining Wall Construction
- Reinforced Masonry
- Damp-Proof Courses
- Masonry Cladding & Infill Panels
- Masonry Over Openings
- Building in of Door Frames, Window Frames
- Holes and Chases
- Movement & Control Joints
- Securing Timber Roof Structures
- Concrete Floors/Roof Slabs laid on Masonry Walls
- Fixing of Slips
- Sealed Collar Jointed Walls
- Precast lintel Concrete/Masonry Staircases
Timber Roof Construction
- Joining of Timbers
- Roof Structures
- Storage Handling and Lifting of Trusses
- Erection of Roof Trusses
- Installation of Battens and Perlins
- Permanent Bracing of Trusses
- Water Tank and Geyser Installation
- Placing of Concrete
- Plaster Mixes
- Surface Preparation
- Fixing of Metal Lath
Fixing of roof tiles and sheeting
- Fixing of Roof Tiles and Sheeting
Glazing and Systems
- Glazing and Systems
Water Proofing of Flat Roofs
Construction of below ground drainage installation
- Excavations for Drains
- Pipe Bedding and Backfilling
- Laying of Pipes
- Protection of Pipework
Once a newly built home has been completed prior to handover from the Home Builder to the Home Owner a detailed snag or punch list is compiled as an indication for final closure that the project has been finalized and accomplished by the Home Builder.
The scope of this inspection is to identify findings which are aesthetic and functional in nature however the Principal Agent needs to ensure that the home has been constructed in accordance with the Architects design criteria.
A snag list is an inventory of findings that the Home Owner is not happy with on completion of the building project however in reality it is anything but simple.
It is important for the Home Owner to identify a comprehensive list of findings during the “defects liability period” where all the faults can be noted and subsequently repaired by the Home Builder.
Value AddProperty Inspections can compile a comprehensive snag list for residential, commercial and industrial properties detailing the findings related to aesthetics and completeness of workmanship.
The Construction Schedule
A detailed gantt chart or schedule will assist the Home Owner, Home Builder and Architect to plan the administration and execution of the project. The gantt chart lists all the activities required to complete the project and allocates estimated time frames to the tasks or activities to show the interrelationship between the various activities. The more thoroughly and accurately the programme is drawn up, the better the chance of minimizing the delays. Among the specific advantages of the schedule is that it:
- Encourages the role players to think the job through in a logical manner;
- Assists the Home Builder to schedule the ordering and delivery of materials;
- Assists the Home Builder to co-ordinate labour, sub-contractors, plant hire, and so on;
- Assists the Home Builder to work within the time constraints set by the bank;
- Assists in communicating the final hand over date to the Home Owner in order for them to understand the dates around occupancy so that they know when to give notice on their dwelling during the construction phase.
Value Add Property Inspections can facilitate a 5 hour workshop together with the relevant role players and compile a construction schedule or gantt chart for your project.
It will be necessary to update the chart from time to time to accommodate delays, activity changes or estimated progress times. This document is continually updated and used during the project life cycle to assist with the continuous planning phase.
Should a dispute arise between the Home Owner and Home Builder or Developer, Value Add Property Inspections can assist in mediating the process on behalf of the client. Typically we would analyze the specifications and detail as specified by the Architect and depending on the element under investigation ensure that all compliance certificates are made available.
In addition we will compare the quality of workmanship observed on site with the construction standards to determine if any non conformances can be observed. Based on the facts derived from the investigation we will set about mediating the dispute between the parties with the objective of resolving the dispute in an amicable manner.
Should a problem be experienced during the building process which requires the interaction of multi disciplinary functions I can facilitate the work group taking them through a structured process with the objective of delivering a plan of activities with responsibilities and due dates for task completion. The structure includes the following:
- Purpose of workshop
- Objective matrix: Result to Achieve/Avoid – Constraints – Resources Objective Statement
- Functions (What must be done?)
- Action Plan and Schedule (How must it be done?)
In this capacity Value Add Property Inspections assumes the role as facilitator of a structured problem solving process. The input is extracted as per the above structure from the professional members attending the workshop and hence the plans that are formulated and derived are the output that each participant in the workshop shares with the group.
Together the group formulates the solution. The role of the facilitator is to add structure and document the problem as communicated by the participants of the workshop. Thoughts are shared and alignment is created.
Should a prospective buyer or seller of residential, commercial or industrial property wish to gain a better understanding regarding the condition of a structure and its surrounding components Value Add Property Inspections can conduct a comprehensive pre-purchase condition report. We strive to identify the risks associated with the building through objective analysis. It is my experience that in many cases clients conduct transactions based on emotion especially in the residential market.
People dream about the layout, look and feel of a home and sometimes miss the latent and patent defects when they find a match that is aligned with their visualization. Value Add Property Inspections will create awareness around the condition of a property in order for the client to make an informed decision regarding the purchasing or selling of a property.