Rework—or having to redo work that has already been completed—can be a costly setback on any construction project. Undoing and redoing tasks jeopardizes the budget by requiring you to pay for the same labor twice, and often by wasting materials as well. It also slows things down, putting your project time line at risk.
To avoid losing productivity and profits to rework, it’s important to be proactive about preventing the need for it. The need for rework can also take a toll on morale among employees, and even lead to unpleasant complications like warranty claims, breach of contract claims, or litigation.
Of course, mistakes happen, and there are no guarantees that rework can always be prevented. But, you can definitely be successful in minimizing it and avoiding it most of the time. Below are some tips to avoid rework as much as possible. They should be a standard part of your company’s processes.
Common Causes of Rework
Before we get to the tips to avoid rework, it’s helpful to be aware of the most common causes. These include:
- Use of low-quality or inappropriate materials
- Poor craftsmanship
- Incomplete design or design mistakes
- Poor communication or collaboration
- Inadequate supervision
- Unknown site conditions
- Scheduling problems
Tips to Avoid Rework at the Construction Site
- Perform a thorough constructability review prior to beginning any project
- Create a detailed plan and schedule; confirm that you have the manpower and equipment necessary, and that deliveries will arrive before you need them
- Invest in high-quality materials and tools
- Have a reliable system of approval for any proposed material substitutions that come up during the project
- Make sure all workers are fully trained for the tasks they perform
- Pair less experienced crew members with more experienced ones
- Employ highly competent, knowledgeable construction managers, foremen, and other supervisors, and encourage them to be very active with supervision
- Make sure supervisors are aware of newer, less experienced workers and are monitoring them a little more closely
- Be diligent about prequalifying and working with subcontractors and subconsultants
- Use cloud-based software and/or mobile apps to keep all parties (project manager, design team, owners, general contractors, trade contractors, vendors, etc.) in the loop at all times