Construction Site Inspection: 11 Best Ways to Improve Quality


construction site inspection

Quality control health and safety inspections, and regular construction site inspections are all essential during the construction of any building or structure. An investigation report by the American Society of Civil engineers that investigated 600 construction failures, including the Skyline Plaza Apartment Building in Virginia, found that the lack of quality control inspections was a cause of project failure.

Construction failure in Skyline Plaza Apartment Building in Virginia

(Skyline Plaza Apartment Building, Image source:

Below are 11 ways to improve quality during a construction inspection.

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Build inspections into the construction quality plan

Too often, construction site inspections are treated as separate processes instead of being built right into the project plan. By integrating construction site inspections into the quality plan from the outset, construction teams can ensure that quality is built into every aspect of the project scope from the ground up. This approach also allows for more efficient use of resources, as inspections can be scheduled and carried out in a more streamlined fashion. In addition, by making construction site inspections part of the quality plan, construction teams can send a clear message to all stakeholders that quality is a top priority.

Conduct regular inspections

By conducting daily site inspections and regular inspections pre-construction, during the construction process, and during project closeout, construction managers develop confidence that the project is progressing properly and can identify potential problems early and take corrective action to prevent them from becoming serious issues. By scrutinizing every aspect of the construction site, from the condition of the equipment to the way in which the work is being carried out, construction managers can ensure the quality of the work is up to scratch.



Use field-proven inspection checklists

Sometimes inspectors perform a simple walkaround which is not ideal with too many unknowns about what was inspected or even what was found to be good. When using construction inspection checklists these problems are avoided. There is no need for reinventing the wheel. Field-proven checklists ready for you to use and adapt can save you precious time. Having a checklist ensures that you won't forget anything important during the construction site inspection process.

Ensure inspections are consistent

Simple walkaround inspections can often be inconsistent, with different inspectors looking for different things. This can lead to construction sites passing inspection despite having serious safety or quality issues. To ensure that construction site inspections are consistent, building regulation inspections, health and safety standards, and quality management should be incorporated into the inspection process.

Construction managers should develop a checklist of items that must be verified at each milestone, including health and safety standards and quality management practices. Checkpoints requiring photo documentation or actual measurement data can also help make sure the verifications themselves are carried out correctly.

Using the checklist as an inspector training tool goes a long way to make sure all inspectors look for these items and document their construction project findings consistently and in the same format.

Assign accountability for inspections

One way to improve the quality of inspections is to assign accountability for construction inspections. This can be done in a number of ways, including assigning specific inspectors to specific tasks or requiring that inspectors submit written reports after each construction inspection. By holding inspectors accountable for their work, it is possible to ensure that construction site inspections are carried out thoroughly and effectively.

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Document critical project compliance details

By documenting critical project compliance details, construction site inspectors can help to ensure that the project meets all required standards. There are a number of different ways to document critical project compliance details. The foundation of project compliance documentation are the inspection reports that are made throughout the project lifecycle with specific compliance details well documented.

Digital inspection reports create a database of construction inspections that occur throughout the project. This database includes information on the date and time of the inspection, the location of the inspection, the type of work being inspected, and the specific compliance details that were documented.

Include photographic evidence

Photographs can provide a clear record of the construction site, highlighting any areas of concern. They can also be used to track progress over time, helping to ensure that the construction project is on track. Including photographs in construction site inspection reports can help to improve the quality of the inspection process and ultimately lead to a better outcome for the construction project.

Ensure you adhere to OSHA-compliant safety reporting

Poor safety protocols can undermine construction project quality. It is also an opportunity to verify safety requirements are in place while inspecting for quality. Therefore, when conducting construction inspections, it is important to ensure that all safety hazards are reported on inspection reports in accordance with OSHA regulations.

Analyze field reports carefully to uncover root-causes

By understanding the reasons for construction defects, it is possible to put systems and controls in place to prevent them from happening again. Poor workmanship, for example, can often be addressed by targeting quick response workforce training on specific issues so that problems found in early in the project are lessons learned that can prevent the same problem elsewhere on the project.

Alert inspectors to high-priority checkpoints

One way to improve quality during a construction site inspection is to alert inspectors to high-priority checkpoints. These checkpoints are typically areas where there is a high risk of errors or where previous problems have been found. For example, a high-priority checkpoint at a construction site might be critical anchor locations in concrete, where positioning mistakes can cause very costly rework. Another example might be the roof, where junction details can pose a risk of leaks if not implemented properly.

Follow-up for issue correction

Finally, it beats logic to conduct an inspection and then fail to follow up on the issues that were found. Unfortunately, this appears to be a very common problem, and it usually occurs due to a breakdown in communication. There are numerous examples of disasters that could have been averted if only someone had followed up on an inspection report. It is vital to streamline the construction team's communication.

FTQ360 Inspection Software: A Better Way to Manage Inspections

In today's construction industry, quality is paramount. That's why it's so important to have a tool in place that can help you manage construction inspections. FTQ360 has all the 11 processes above built into the tool. Our software is designed to help you improve the quality of construction projects.

For more information, try out a free demo and see how FTQ360 can help you streamline your construction site inspection process.


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