What is Site Inspection? All You Need to Know

An inspector conducting site inspection
Female site inspector conducting site inspection

Site inspection is or are activities carried out regularly to check out things such as; safety working standards, working conditions, and the other basic working areas of the site. It is often carried out through a visit to the field with a book and a pen — the traditional way.

The frequency of the inspections usually varies depending on the details of the project. The inspections mostly occur;

  • At the beginning of the construction
  • During excavation
  • Before covering up the installation of new drains
  • When the construction of the primary structure is ongoing
  • During the installation of insulation
  • During roof construction
  • At the end of the construction
Worker at a construction site discussing job site safety inspection checklist
Workers at a construction site with hard hats and PPE

Job Site Safety Inspection Checklist

You may find that you still have many faults in place despite having done a site inspection. Then it would work out best if you look at your inspection checklist. The following checklist will help you to conduct a quality construction inspection;

1. Preparatory Meetings Before an Inspection

Before beginning a new phase of the project, set up meetings with the contractors doing the work. This will give you a chance to give the expectations you have about the quality and also you will get to review the specifications of the job. Discuss the risks and concerns unique to the project and include them as checkpoints in the routine inspections.

2. Basic Site Inspection Checklist

Carry a basic checklist to every meeting you attend. To help you with this, a simple construction site logbook can help you achieve that.

3. Discuss Job-Completion Requirements

Tell the contractor what the expected outcome of the job should look like. Create awareness of the contractor’s issues and address them before the job is completed.

4. Have Sub-Contractors do Self-Inspections

After you develop the checklists together, the contractor can then use them to carry out their inspections and inform you once the work is completed. The contractor will check the other inspectors’ items, which reduces the chances of any call-backs.

5. Use Checklists During Site Walks

Having a checklist readily available at your disposal when doing random site walks allows you to identify potential problems early enough before they arise. You can notify the contractor to work on them and get everything back on track.

6. Use Quality Management Software

Software such as FTQ360 is designed in such a way that it helps you to get through the site inspection process more efficient or effectively. The software has built-in basic checklists that can be customized as needed so that much of the work is already done for you.

You can easily see which faults arise the most and them to your awareness list. Think about taking pictures during the site inspections. You can keep that data updated in real-time to help you make fast decisions when called upon.

7. Perform Critical Milestone Inspections

At some vital stages of the project, some multiple work trades need to be fully inspected for the job to move forward. They include inspections for foundation, structure, site work, among others.

For example, we know how important a foundation is to a building. All foundations need to be strong enough to hold the building. We have seen buildings collapse and kill many people due to weak foundations and cannot support the building. Ideally, these types of inspections are usually performed by a QA person.

A female site inspector on site going through site inspection checklist
A female site inspector

What do Building Inspectors Inspect?

The building inspectors should ensure that the building on construction complies with the building code. They review the building plans for commercial, industrial, and residential buildings. Usually, this inspection activity occurs before and during the renovation or construction.

Building inspectors may be employed by construction companies in cases where you find that they are neither employed by federal nor municipal governments. The type of inspection before construction is known as pre-construction inspection.

During pre-construction, a survey is conducted on the condition of the property and the neighboring surroundings before the actual construction takes place. The checklist in a pre-construction inspection may consist of planning permission, conditions, and obligations to ensure compliance with the authority.

The other inspection occurs during the construction. It usually happens on the site. The budget, schedule, and project scope help measure the quality during the project.

READ MORE: Permits for Shipping Container Homes in Florida

Female site inspectors hard at work
Site inspection by female site inspectors

What Should a Building Inspector Inspect?

  • Paints and coatings- is the paint and coating being used the recommended ones. At times, you find that a building has been painted. Then the paint and coating start to peel off after rained on. This will not look good in front of your client, so you must ensure that good quality paint and coating are used.
  • Inspection of work progress to ensure that it complies with the plan specifications.
  • Field testing and soil samplings such as concrete and asphalt.
  • Review and completion of change orders
  • Inspections of material used and delivered. The materials being used and delivered should be of good quality as some processes may affect the whole construction if poor materials are used.
  • Inspection of work quality and the compliance standards and specifications.
  • Inspection and documentation of all contractor activities.
  • Assess the use of personal safety equipment. These include hand protection, hearing protection, safety belts or harness, foot protection and head protection or safety helmets.
  • Cranes and hoisting equipment. They should be in their best condition to perform their tasks without causing unnecessary accidents.
  • Assess all compressed air equipment
  • Performing semi-final and final inspections upon the completion of the building.
  • Hand over inspection for smooth project closeout.

Read more: What is Plumbing Process here

Construction inspector at a construction  site doing job site safety inspection.
Site inspector on a construction site

What are the Responsibilities of a Building Inspector?

In a construction site, job site safety inspectors and building inspectors are supposed to perform the following duties;

  • Inspect and test all the plumbing and electrical installations in the buildings to ensure that it’s up to code.
  • Inspect concrete forms, steel framework, reinforcing wire mesh — ensuring they are of high quality standard.
  • To examine drawings, plans, and site layouts for building renovations or construction — have to comply to the law.
  • Inspect buildings undergoing construction to ensure that they comply with the law.
  • Ensure that there is an optimal level of client services all the time. This maintains an effective relationship with all the employees and ensure they adhere to all the federal codes
  • Analyze and interpret the blueprints according to the contract, and monitor all the deviations — all procedures must comply and maintain a daily progress log to prepare reports.
  • Perform a regular check on all inspector work progress, maintain what the entire project requires, and provide all grading permits.
  • Analyze all the worksites. Thereafter, recommend any changes or modifications according to the requirements. This is for efficiency between the construction project and project engineers.
  • Maintain a variety of all logs on employee performance and prepare an estimate of all pay.
  • Supervise and analyze all field quality assurance tests, prepare the cost estimates and inspect all the construction projects.
  • Ensuring that the contractors properly execute all contract documents represented by working drawings and specifications.

To learn more on home inspection procedure, check out this book.

What is Included in a Site Inspection?

A site inspection checklist is basic in planning the construction or renovation of a building. This is done to check if the project complies with what is required. The inspections are usually conducted by one or more people depending on the size of the project. The following should be considered in an inspection.

  • Budget

It is always a priority for the craftsperson and project leaders to finish a task or project within a given budget. By achieving this, it shows how efficient they are. The inspections should be composed of payouts, purchasing of materials, labor activities, and every other item necessary in your building or renovation project.

  • Schedule

Your project schedule affects your client’s budget directly, making a satisfied client dissatisfied in a second. Always monitor your project schedule daily, weekly or monthly basis. In case of any delay, always make sure that all the relevant stakeholders in the project are updated.

  • Project scope

After a construction inspection has been conducted, the construction process occurs according to the defined scope. What the client’s wants ought to be the main focus of the inspection? In case of any alterations made by the clients, they should be included as they accept or dislike modifications to the work capacity.

Here a book that would give you a general overview of construction codes and inspection. It’s not really in-depth, but would get you in a good place as far as site inspections and building codes.

Progress and Quality Inspections Should be Included in a Site Inspection.

  • Progress Inspections

A construction site inspection checklist is vital in planning a construction or renovation project. This ensures compliance with the law. Progress inspections become part of the daily routine — when the project has begun — to guarantee that the requirements are being met.

The progress inspections may be conducted by one, two, or more inspectors, depending on the size of the project. In case there is additional input from specific aspects of the project, specialist inspectors may have to be brought in to inspect waste management plans and environmental policy items.

  • Quality Inspections

They ensure that the finished construction meets the quality standards set in place. Quality control inspections also ensure that the construction project complies with the quality requirements and specifications listed in the contract document. These inspections also include regular site walkthroughs, and they result in monthly reports that identify issues and monitor the progress.

Read More: Tips and Ideas for Building a Low-Cost House

Workers at a construction site going through an inspection checklist
Workers at a construction site going through a checklist

What is the Importance of Site Inspection?

Site inspections are vital in building constructions to ensure that quality and safety procedures are followed from the start. Inspection is necessary to meet the industry standards, requirements and regulations.

A project must be successfully delivered. During construction, the contractors may be exposed to potential risks; therefore, a site inspection is necessary for construction to be successful. Having a good inspection system will enable the workers to do what is required in the project.      

Let us have a look at why inspecting the site is necessary.

1. Improve Standard of Construction

High-quality standard is the one thing that we always look for when dealing with projects. It brings up your self-esteem and the confidence of your team members as they work on the projects. At the end of the project, after your team has delivered quality work, you will be able to look at it with eyes full of pride.

However, high standards bring about high quality. Inspections are necessary to bring out any irregularities or code lapses in your building project to have high-quality standards. You will be able to detect early enough if you use low-quality resources and act on them immediately. Following the required regulations and having exemplary quality will give your client a properly erect structure.

Not forgetting that good quality work will attract potential clients in the future. Prospective clients will give you future construction projects and work.

You need to maintain high standards and know what you lack to develop quality construction. Having an inspection conducted throughout the construction process ensures that all the regulations and codes will be followed.

In case of any code changes, the project inspector can guide you through the changes, keeping your quality work at the top.

2. Danger Identification           

Safety is very vital in the construction process. Construction inspections bring about safety by providing safe gear for the workers to use, identifying the safe roads to transport the required equipment, and other potential dangers that may occur along the way to the construction site.

Inspections ensure that the workers take the necessary precautions to be safe, allowing your project’s workflow to maintain its efficiency and quality. At some point, you have come across workers in a construction site wearing protective gear such as a head helmet.

As a project manager, being alert and aware of any dangers that may arise will keep your team focused while working as they will know what dangers to expect.

3. Better Task Focus

The construction workers can focus more on their tasks by maintaining an alert mind. This is after an inspection has taken place, and they are assured that neither the site nor they are in any danger. Comfortable employees tend to do their tasks to their very best ability.

4. Improved Communication in the Construction Site

Communication with team members either at the office or at the construction site is very important. On the majority of the projects, there must be proper coordination of work to reduce any risk that might take place.

Building surveyors are accountable for predicting any risk. They communicate these risks to the craftsperson and file any construction progress or issues to the owner with the design. During a site inspection, if anything comes up, the contractor is informed early enough and can take care of the looming risk or danger and inform the workers if necessary.

Coordination is necessary for the workflow to take place as recommended; therefore, knowing what needs to be changed from inspections can benefit the team’s communication.

5. Green Land Construction

There are environmental regulations that have to be followed. Hence, as they protect and bring about a building environment that is greener. Inspections play a great role in ensuring that the building companies act in accordance with the regulations, those who do not follow face severe penalties.

Some building constructions occur around nature, such as next to water sources like a river or an ocean, or even in the forest. Necessary precaution has to be taken to ensure that the water sources are not contaminated through the waste products during the construction process. Not forgetting that those sources of water are homes to reptiles and fish, which may die due to contamination.

Also, there is the cutting of trees unnecessarily, which is not recommended. Therefore, inspection is very vital to protect nature.

Worker doing job site safety inspections while going through a construction checklist at a site.
Performing job site safety inspections

What is the Final Inspection in Construction?

The Final takes place after the construction or renovation of a building is complete. You can also call it the project closeout. It is the final walkthrough to check on the electrical and plumbing systems.

Safety items include some detectors, stairs, heating, and cooling systems. It verifies that everything has been completed per the contract documents. Once everything is confirmed, the building is declared ready for occupancy or its intended use.

This also means that the punch list has been done with. Also, everything else such as warranties, waivers, closeout documentation, and manuals have been turned over to the building owner and verified for completeness.

Bottom Line

Risk is part and parcel of any construction project. This means that there has to be some level of risk with any construction project going on. Inspecting every stage of the construction reduces the chances that the risk is likely to occur.

Help Team Complete Project Successfully

Inspections will help your team complete the project successfully. This will enable them to deal with any unforeseen changes they come across the way. Routine inspections are vital in every construction project as they ensure that workflows within a given project. No one would want to start a project then it fails at the end.

Project Completion According to Standards and Regulation

Conducting a construction site inspection ensures that your project is planned according to requirements, standards, and regulations. Construction inspections are a responsibility held upon by the contractors to analyze the project’s progress.

The checks involve ensuring that materials and procedures comply with the plan’s specifications. This also involves going over drawings to identify any errors. Therefore, it is evident that site inspection is essential if you want your construction project to succeed.

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