Products & Solutions
May 16, 2023

Your Complete Guide to Efficient Construction Inspections

Construction inspections are an important aspect of any building project, requiring a high degree of knowledge, skills, and expertise to ensure the process goes smoothly and according to plan. Team members must be engaged, performing thorough inspections and identifying any potential issues that may arise during the construction process.

Routine inspections can ensure projects remain on schedule and within budget, adhere to building codes and regulations, and meet the intended design. They can also help keep workers on the job site safe.

In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at construction inspections. We’ll start by covering when this part of the construction process should take place. Then we’ll highlight inspection checklist items that should be identified. We’ll also analyze how construction software can help improve site inspections.

What Is the Construction Inspection Process?

The construction inspection process involves looking at a job site to ensure:

Ideally, inspections should be conducted by multiple stakeholders. These include both internal and external stakeholders. Examples of those who may conduct inspections on a construction site include:

Each entity listed above is responsible for protecting different interests. Collectively, the team members work together to ensure the project is a success and the construction work is of the highest quality.

When Should Construction Inspections Take Place?

Engineers conducting a construction inspection

Construction inspections ideally take place during the entire lifecycle of the project, including the pre-construction stage, foundation laying, framing completion, the installation of electrical, plumbing, and mechanical systems, and final construction completion. In each phase, there are technical requirements that must be met to ensure safety and quality standards are upheld. Here are just a few examples of key points in the project where an inspection would be beneficial:

Pre-Construction Inspections 

During the pre-construction inspection process, all stakeholders must conduct a thorough plan review. This should take place before work begins on site. The general contractor may be tasked with conducting site assessments to ensure the site is suitable for the proposed building. They may work closely with local construction inspectors, who will verify that the construction plans comply with the building code, zoning requirements, and any other applicable regulations.

Foundation Inspections 

In the foundation inspection, stakeholders should verify the depth, size, and reinforcement of the foundation to ensure that it meets the design requirements and can support the weight of the building. Additionally, inspectors should check for any signs of cracking or settlement, which could indicate that the foundation is not adequate for the building's weight and could cause structural issues. Inspectors will verify that the footings and all other structural components were installed correctly.

Framing Inspections 

Structural steel framing inspections are crucial to ensure that the building structure is safe and sturdy. Inspectors will check that the framing is done correctly, with proper beam and joist size and spacing, properly installed shear walls, and adequate fire blocking. Inspectors may also verify that the framing is square and level and that any openings have proper headers and lintels. 

MEP and Permitting Inspections 

Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) inspections are critical to ensure that all systems are installed correctly and meet safety and building code requirements. Inspectors should verify the proper installation of:

These inspections are critical milestones that should be incorporated into the critical path of the project schedule. Local inspectors may want to conduct in-wall and above-ceiling inspections before losing general accessibility. Depending on where the work is occurring, different building inspections may be required for each trade, e.g., there is an electrical inspector who is in charge of all electrical inspections. Additionally, final inspections will be required to receive the certificate of occupancy.

Final Inspections 

Lastly, the final inspection is carried out after the construction is complete to ensure that everything is in order and that the project has been completed according to the design and construction plans. 

The inspector should check that:

It’s important to note that inspections should not wait until the end of the job. By conducting inspections throughout the lifecycle of the project, both internally and externally, mistakes can be identified and corrected before the end of the project. The earlier a problem is identified, the more cost-effective it is to remedy.

Safety Inspections 

Safety inspections will likely take place during the entire job. Safety inspections ensure contractors and on-site workers are adhering to OSHA standards, working safely, and mitigating potential risks.

Software to Improve the Inspection Process

For a long time, construction inspections were carried out in person. However, recent technology has helped streamline the inspection process. For instance, Avvir Inspect allows contractors to automatically review installation quality issues by finding discrepancies between design intent (Building Information Modeling) and reality (Point Cloud).

Avvir Inspect can quickly identify deviations from plans, ensuring a high level of quality control. As mentioned previously, catching discrepancies early prevents costly rework. These deviations can be identified before other work has taken place, which prevents an extensive rework process.

Additionally, virtual reality allows inspections to take place from anywhere in the world, not just in-person on the job site. This can cut down on costs, as inspectors no longer have to travel to job sites.

If an inspection is to take place on site, augmented reality can be utilized. AR technology automatically detects an inspector’s location and positions them within a reference model, thus eliminating the need for physical drawings. The integration of visual and auditory sensory information into the inspector's physical reality enhances their perception of the building, making it easier to detect potential issues.

Rethink How You Do Inspections

Foreman inspecting a construction site

Construction inspections are critical to the success of a project. All team members should be engaged to carry out the inspections and ensure that the project is completed safely, efficiently, and according to the design and construction plans. A comprehensive checklist should be developed for each stage of the construction project to ensure a thorough inspection.

As the construction process continues to evolve and adapt to new technology, so too does the inspection process. Technology is one tool that can help improve the inspection process. Avvir Inspect allows stakeholders to quickly identify and remedy issues, improving the chances that a project is completed on time and within budget. 

Get a demo of Avvir today to learn more about how you can improve your on-site construction inspection process.

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