Now this is a strange topic because, in over 40 years in construction, I’ve never before stopped to think what “Quality in a Construction project” means from the contractors’ point of view! After a few minutes cogitation it seems to me that “quality” can actually mean a few different things.
The first version involves money and is particularly relevant to UK construction with its notoriously low profit margins. In this context the last contract will have been of good “quality” if the contractor actually made a profit on it that allows them to remain in business!
Related to that must be the Clients’ reactions to the project completed for them.
Were they happy with what they got, when they got it and at the price they paid for it?
Will they come back to the same contractor again? Taken to the extreme, were they a “delighted client”, one who will automatically come back to the same contractor again? If the answer is yes, then that is “quality” from the contractors’ viewpoint. The company’s future looks pretty good!
Well, that’s the corporate concepts and viewpoints on “quality”, but what about those of us who work in construction?
Most of us are actually contractors, contracted to either main or sub-contractors.
How do we view “quality”?
Well, I think we are far more subjective about the idea! We don’t like being messed about by those Architects and Town Planners; we like to build things that we think look pretty good and that we think are functional!
We like to walk away feeling at least satisfied with what we have done – the way it looks, the way it will work and the standards of the materials and workmanship we put into it. From our point of view, that represents “quality”.
This all relates to gettiing it right first time in Construction.
But we go further, far further than that! Every once in a while we are involved in a project of which we are truly proud! Ones we want to re-visit; ones to which we’ll make a diversion on a journey just so we can have another look at it in passing. Taken to the extreme, we will even call in and explain to Security that we built it for them! If they give us an open-everything Cleaner’s key and tell us to go where we like, we know they are happy with what they have!
From the point of view of us “bl**dy builders”, that is QUALITY in construction!
Do you agree?