A recent YouGov survey conducted for Shelter found that 51% of new homeowners had experienced significant quality issues. The types of issues reported included service connection, poorly fitted doors and windows, leaks and unfinished fittings. One major housebuilder spent £7m correcting defects with new homes in one year alone.
The types of faults reported tend to be the immediately obvious ones. Longer term, there may also be a logical link between build quality and the costs of maintaining and heating buildings put up under time pressure.
The other big question is, what will happen to quality as government targets ramp up the pressure to build more homes more quickly? The demand for skilled tradespeople and good site and project managers is likely to increase pressure right across the sector, not just housebuilding. Will quality get worse, rather than better?
Making sustainable quality improvements is likely to prove challenging. Traditional construction is inherently hard to control. Large numbers of operations carried out by different subcontractors and different trades complicate the process. Small, individual deviations from the specifications can easily multiply to become a major non-conformance.
Offsite and Quality Control
The fact that using offsite methods trims time out of the project is now widely accepted. What’s often less appreciated is the superior quality control that comes with creating buildings in a factory-controlled environment. The advantages are even more marked when one organisation is responsible for every stage, from design, to manufacture, to installation, as with Innovaré’s iSIP system.
The tolerances and fit of the panels and openings for doors and windows are very tight, typically a few millimetres. And practical concerns such as the routing and connection of services are resolved during the design phase, so panels don’t have to be cut, drilled or reworked on site.
The need for onsite operations and the number of players involved is minimised, enabling much tighter quality control over the whole project.
Panelised offsite construction brings numerous benefits. Without compromising design freedom there is much more control over cost, timing and quality. The results are happier customers and lower long-term maintenance and operating costs. Find out more by contacting us on 0800 674 0020.