Construction Rework: How to Avoid it?

In construction projects, rework refers to fixing an activity or procedure that was performed improperly in the first place.


The major causes of reworks in construction could be poor communication, a lack of connectivity between the site and the office, plan modifications, omissions, a lack of standardization, and the use of inappropriate tools or materials.


It is also a productivity killer, robbing projects of hours, days, and even months. In certain circumstances, it results in such severe constant delays and budget overruns that builders fail to satisfy commitments and face legal ramifications, or, at the very least, a loss of good name and prospective future business.


Common Causes of Construction Rework


  • Documents and details are missing
  • Procurement practices that are inefficient or unsuccessful
  • Materials of poor grade
  • Inadequate supervision
  • Failed structural design
  • Communication breakdown
  • No partnership
  • Misunderstanding Client requirements
  • Ineffective management or decision-making
  • No conventional systems or methods
  • Time constraints


How to Avoid Construction Rework?

1. Invest in Digital, Connected Solutions Only

Paper and antiquated technologies, such as Excel spreadsheets and long email chains, cause errors.  They do not represent changes in real time, and workers must travel vast distances into an office to acquire the information they require—by which time it is frequently too late to make full use of it. Instead, go digital and implement connected, cloud-powered construction management solutions to automate some of those time-consuming and often error-prone administrative processes, such as submittals.


2. Project Teams Should be Aligned Early On

When all stakeholders and trade contractors on a project treat their respective spheres as separate from the others, confusion is likely to arise. Consider introducing more modern and coherent ways rather than allowing chaos to reign, such as integrated project delivery (IPD), which refers to a collaborative approach that considers everyone on the project as one team. When team members are aligned, motivations shift from “how can I do my part” to “how can we accomplish any task together” at the outset of a project. More trust is built among the project team members, resulting in better project outcomes.


3. Using BIM to Collaborate During the Design Phase

Many projects are ruined before they are even started due to a failure to conceptualise and coordinate designs. Employing the visual capabilities of building information modelling (BIM) is crucial if you want to minimize construction rework due to design errors. It enables everyone to see the plans, keep them up to date in real time, and operate appropriately. Team members are more likely to join in on major decisions early on in a project, decreasing the possibility of surprises later on.


4. Identify and Qualify Trade Partners

The construction labour shortage is a threat to the business, and it’s vital to be prepared even if you already have a solid network of subcontractor partnerships. Working with overworked or unskilled specialty contractors exposes projects to risks they cannot afford, such as poor quality, blunders, rework, schedule overruns, and more. That is why it is critical to have a subcontractor prequalification procedure in place, one that focuses on loss prevention and assists you in proactively reducing the extent of defaults when risks become evident. To reduce risk, the best and simplest option is to use prequalification software. It simplifies the creation, saving, and tracking of subcontractor risk mitigation plans across all of your projects.


5. Enhance Field Communication

Communication in the field is hampered by numerous obstacles, including paper designs, a central office that does not necessarily align with on-site demands, and others. Instead, you can solve most of this by utilizing cloud-based technology and field collaboration software. The cloud will enable fast online and offline access to your project materials, while collaboration software will keep communications smooth and centralized.


6. Quality Standards Should be Established

In principle, a laissez-faire attitude sounds terrific, but in practice, it is anything but. Instead of hoping for the best, implement systematic standards for methods, workflows, tools, and equipment. Implement a system of checks and balances to ensure quality assurance and quality control are met to reduce the potential of construction rework.


7. Invest in Continued Training

According to research, training reduces rework costs. For cost-conscious constructors, training is an upfront cost that may seem high. However, training will reduce your costs over time by reducing errors and mistakes, as well as improving productivity.


8. Make Use of Construction-Specific Tools

Many project managers and site managers tell us that they used to rely on platforms like WhatsApp, Excel, and email to share information with other project stakeholders. These technologies, as useful as they are, are insufficient to successfully manage a building project. The reason is straightforward. They aren’t designed for construction, so they can’t provide you with the context you require when you receive vital updates from the site.


With no relationship between your schedule and the most recent field information, you can easily become confused, making your operations excessively slow and error-prone.

This is why you require a solution that can provide you with unique on-site insight and enable you to make informed decisions more quickly.


9. Reduce Admin Work

It is no secret that a heavy administrative workload is a major source of frustration for practically every construction project. We already noted that many project managers must spend the majority of their time on site manually hunting for updates because they have no clear picture of where their project stands.


But that’s not all. In the event of a claim, they must spend weeks, if not months, locating that one email or photo that can prove whether or not a delay is their fault.




What is the cost of rework?


Rework costs, which include labour, materials, equipment, and subcontractors, can range from 2% to 20% of the overall contract price for a project.


What is the cause behind the designers’ rework?


Rework is performed when a construction element fails to meet client criteria or when the finished project fails to conform with the real contract. In either case, the product is modified to assure compliance.


How does rework harm a project?


Rework entails lower productivity and profitability for builders and project managers. In addition to destroying a project’s schedule and budget, rework can result in low morale on the job site, violation of contract, warranty claims, and legal ramifications.


What are the consequences of rework?


Rework results in cost and schedule overruns, material waste, client unhappiness, and disagreements between the contractor and client, which may escalate to a legal conflict. According to a rework research, the rework cost could reach 10% of the project cost. As a result, rework cannot be overlooked in a building project.

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