The Importance of Quality Control in Construction | Midwest Construction Experts
When it comes to the success of any project, quality control impacts all phases of the construction process. As you begin searching for a general contractor to help you reach your goals, your number one priority should be to find one that interweaves quality into every step.
With all that we do, quality assurance and quality control is an integral part of how McCownGordon Construction manages our projects. For us, ensuring optimal outcomes stems from one of our core values—performance. To perform to the best of our ability means we can never compromise having high standards.
But what constitutes a well considered quality control plan?
Keep reading for more information about the importance of quality assurance and quality control, and how McCownGordon implements it through our process.
What is quality control in construction?
Quality control is a management system that focuses on construction quality: a final building or renovated space that is leak free with finishes that age well and stand the test of time. Achieving quality in construction goes beyond the associates of a construction company alone and extends to trade partners who will be putting the work in place. While most companies create some sort of quality control guidelines, not every company will surpass basic requirements.
In terms of quality, there are two aspects: quality assurance and quality control.
Quality assurance sets the expectations of a quality program and how implementation will begin. For you, this is your first glimpse on how important your general contractor sees quality. If the program isn’t as in-depth as you expected, always ask questions.
The next step is quality control; this is how the quality program gets executed. There was a time when quality depended solely on trade partners doing good work and hoping for the best. However, more and more, people want construction companies to create site-specific quality control plans to help ensure lasting results. That is why McCownGordon always uses the scope of a project to drive our plans instead of using generalized plans for every project.
Our site-specific quality control plans are centered around a proactive mentality of managing quality through the major phases of the project: preconstruction (planning and peer-reviews), construction, and post-construction. We will go into each phase in more detail; however, here is a general overview of what to expect during the three-phase process.
- Trade partner qualifications
- Constructability/Peer reviews
- Pre-installation meetings
- Mock ups
- Initial inspection of first-install work
- Compliance inspections
- Zero-defect policy
- Follow-up inspections
Post construction phase:
- Commissioning and validation
Why is quality control important?
Quality control is important because it is the foundation of your project’s success. We believe a robust quality plan inspires quality construction. Build it right the first time. Everything that goes into a construction build is dependent on a contract’s quality plan. That means from the beginning of the project until the end, quality always remains at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Poor quality can lead to a variety of problems such as defects, builds that won’t last, confusion between parties involved and a lot of construction changes.
In addition, quality control goes hand in hand with cost control. When we provide advanced planning and set quality standards early on, we reduce the risk of making costly mistakes once construction begins.
Focusing on quality control can also improve the safety of a project. Defects and failures not only cost a lot, they can become safety hazards because they may require trade partners going back to redo work in non-ideal conditions. Oftentimes, accidents are preventable with an attention to detail and a dedication to completing work right the first time. When everyone involved is on the same page and works together to create a quality-driven environment from the start, it can lead to less accidents.
Lastly, quality control in construction gives you the best outcome possible. You don’t want to go through a construction project only to end up with mediocre results. Since we focus so much of our efforts on maintaining quality, McCownGordon’s builds always emerge on top. While it may sound easier and faster to rush through the process, we believe that quality is the cornerstone that can make or break a construction project.
Quality control and preconstruction
During preconstruction, our dedicated quality team at McCownGordon analyzes each detail of a construction project to understand how to best implement a site-specific quality control plan. From there, we build checklists and guidelines for each process, including design, safety and managing trade partners.
Since we are actively involved in every community we build in, we have the unique capability of knowing which trade partners will work best for your unique project. As a result, we can help owners choose trade partners who can uphold our high standards. While we strive to give our clients the most value, we also want to ensure our trade partners don’t compromise quality for the sake of saving money.
The key is creating an open line of communication during the preconstruction phase as a strong foundation for the following steps in the construction process. When clients, designers, construction company associates and trade partners have a clear understanding of quality standards from the start, it leaves less room for error and confusion later on. As a bonus, communication leads to more engagement, which can greatly improve the efficacy and speed of a project.
The quality control process at McCownGordon Construction
Driven by our dedication to “Deliver the Best Building Experience,” our team’s above-and-beyond approach to quality results in long-lasting builds. Since we pay attention to even the smallest details, our projects result in fewer changes throughout the construction process.
We have an in-house quality control team whose main priority is ensuring everyone involved with a project keeps our standards at the forefront. Through the use of our innovative technology, strict enforcement and persistent follow-up, our team keeps clients at peace knowing we are not only meeting expectations, but exceeding them.
During your construction project, we will go through three phases to ensure quality control.
Phase 1: The pre-installation phase (Planning)
The pre-installation phase starts at the beginning of each major scope of work. During this phase, we will conduct pre-installation meetings with the design team, the owner, the project management team, the superintendent, trade contractors and anyone else involved with the project. These meetings include:
- Shop drawing review
- Detailed schedule review
- Trade partner coordination
- Coordination with existing conditions
By establishing the expected level of quality at the start of a project, we’re able to streamline those expectations all the way until post construction.
Phase 2: The installation phase (Construction)
Once construction crews are ready to start, it’s time to move into the installation phase. During this phase, our superintendent, project management team and dedicated quality control manager work closely with the trade contractor responsible for construction.
Initially, we will always oversee the start of construction to ensure it complies with the contract requirements and the parameters set during the pre-installation phase. To verify that all aspects of work meet our quality control guidelines, we may:
- Create mock-up and sample comparisons
- Coordinate with the proper inspection agencies
- Implement early reviews by design team members and other consultants
As a result, we can determine whether or not each person involved with the construction process has a full understanding of our quality protocols.
Phase 3: The follow-up phase (Review)
The follow-up phase is a series of weekly check-ins that we conduct until the construction project is complete. We use these weekly reports to create a quality control checklist to record and document the process and compliance of the work put in place. At the end of the day, we don’t want to guess everyone is on the same page with quality, we want to know without a doubt that trade partners and other contractors are doing everything they can to meet expectations.
Keep in mind all projects can and will change. Therefore, we are always adapting our site-specific quality control plan to adjust to changes. For example, we may have to revisit and adjust planning and coordination items we set in place during the pre-installation phase to maintain a high level of quality. Remember, quality is a proactive culture, meaning you should expect your general contractor to remain flexible and always thinking of ways to make a project better.
At McCownGordon, we have a zero-defect policy. Our goal is to have zero punch-list items prior to the final punch-list. So during construction of each project, we perform the required tests to make sure everything is up to par. This includes equipment commissioning and validation to ensure proper functionality.
When implemented the right way and enforced with continuous inspections, assessments, data collection, feedback and deficiency tracking, our quality control process eliminates confusion and ensures construction continues according to plan.
Learn more about quality control in construction at McCownGordon Construction
At McCownGordon, our team of builders and engineers maintain a customer-focused mentality, allowing us to outperform even your highest expectations. Dedicated to promoting integrity, performance and relationships, it’s our people and values that truly make the difference.
Our customers aren’t simply another project; they’re an extension of our team and community. Together, we don’t just build—we bring creative visions to life. From first thought to final nail, we deliver quality work to ensure our builds stand above the rest.
We have three regional offices around the Midwest—Kansas City, Manhattan and Wichita. Call us at 888-304-4929 or use our free online quote tool to start building today.