Quality Built Unveils Top Builder Defect Data for Construction Industry

January 11, 2006

Quality Built, a provider in risk management and quality assurance services, has released its 2005 quality assurance data, a survey of quality assurance data tabulated for the new construction industry. The leading construction defects identified by Quality Built show that a builder’s risk losses—which largely result from failure to follow building code requirements or follow installation instructions—are preventable.

The new findings come from data captured during the construction data collection process by Quality Built field inspectors on 31,995 completed homes and condominiums across 27 U.S. states for the 12-month period ending Oct. 1, 2005.

What Issues Give Builders the Most Trouble?

Quality Built’s findings show single-family homes averaged $5,398 in corrected defects per home in 2005 while multi-family homes and mixed commercial use construction averaged $4,556 in corrected defects. The survey also identifies the leading risk items for each housing type.

These include:

Multi-family and mixed commercial use construction:
1. Unprotected penetrations in life-safety assemblies
2. Missing fire-rated materials at electrical device boxes
3. Building paper and housewrap installation flaws

Single-family housing:
1. Building paper and housewrap (i.e., building envelope) installation flaws
2. Improper framing around windows and doors
3. Missing structural straps and connectors (e.g., hold-downs)

“None of these defects for either category would be visible to a homeowner or building owner upon completion, but the defects can be easily corrected during construction if identified early through a quality assurance program, such as ours,” said Stan Luhr, Quality Built CEO and survey author. “A quality assurance program will consistently result in improvements with a host of issues that impact a builder’s bottom line, including customer service, water intrusion issues and EIFS-related issues.”

The survey data included more than 3.1 million quality Checkpoints identified in single-family homes and 1.67 million quality Checkpoints in multi-family homes.

A Checkpoint is a qualitative measurement of a construction process, installation or building component that is verified as being installed in accordance with applicable codes, standards or manufacturer’s instructions. Positively worded Checkpoints with risk values assigned to them are a patent-pending process of Quality Built.

In calendar year 2005, $1.01 billion in total construction risk was reportedly eliminated on Quality Built projects. This amount factors in direct construction cost of repairs, cost of investigation, customer service costs and insurance adjusting costs. This amount constitutes 4.3 percent of all construction losses suffered by insurance providers in the U.S. in 2003 .

The Average Corrected Risk value of $4,977 per Quality Built-inspected home constitutes a 13:1 payback on Quality Built services. The Total Construction Risk value of $1.01 billion on 80,100 homes in 2005 represents a 33:1 payback on Quality Built services .

The new 2005 data reportedly shows that the Quality Built system saves builders and their insurers many times over the contract value in direct risk savings and improved housing quality.

Quality Built plans to release its trend data on builder quality for all U.S. regions this spring.

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