Who is going to ensure the quality control of my construction?

Who is going to ensure the quality control of my construction?

Answer; everyone and no one! 

In theory, every tradesman should be responsible for the quality of his work, the builder should act as quality-control to check the tradesman’s work, the engineer should check anything that is complicated or mission-critical and the council inspector or private certifier should check all of the construction as well.  

That occurs occasionally; for almost all buildings there is a low level of quality control. 

I have just had a job where a plumber cut through a large portion of a major floor beam to install his pipe as shown in the picture. Any fool knows that this is rubbish. The plumber clearly didn’t care.  

The damage stood out like dogs balls so the builder must’ve known about it – unless he never came on site. And the certifier clearly never cast his eyes on it.  

Together, all those involved in the construction process let that homeowner down. She had an unsafe and unserviceable floor. I was on site for another reason and fortunately came across the damage. 

There is no sure-fire solution to good quality control on building sites. Getting a reputable builder with the runs on the board is a very good start. Critically if the builder is overly busy then even a very good builder can do poor work. You can’t rely on the council or a private certifier – in my experience they are generalists and the time allocated for their site work is insufficient to adequately ensure good quality control. 

When it comes to structural work, particularly because this is the bones of the house and not readily fixed, it is a good idea to insist on the design engineer inspecting his own work. An engineer who is a member of Engineers Australia is bound by our Code of Ethics, just like a doctor is bound by theirs. The first tenants of that code are that the engineer must demonstrate integrity and practice competently.  

Our responsibility to the safety and welfare of the clients is foremost.   

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.