pre construction inspection
  • April 20, 2021
  • Effective Building
  • 0

Pre construction inspection is critical in each and every part of a construction project. Inspections guarantee that works within a project go forward as planned. These also ensured that all pass according to standards, requirements, and regulations.

Running a construction site requires coordination of people, materials, and equipment. Hence, a pre construction inspection is executed for a great number of purposes in every construction phase and throughout the entire project duration. That way, you can ensure that things are progressing smoothly.

Activities During a Pre Construction Inspection and Routine Inspections

Pre construction inspection is carried out as a contractual responsibility performed by the contractors to provide the client or a third party an independent view of the construction works and their progress.

The typical pre construction inspection and routine inspections include the following activities:

  • Inspection of the construction process to ensure that all materials and procedures comply with the plan and specifications.
  • Reporting of daily on-site inspections.
  • Inspection and documentation of all contractor activities.
  • Detailed inspections of the quality of installations if they comply with standards and specifications.
  • Discussing deviations and non-conformities.
  • Scrutinising drawings and specifications.
  • Keeping and maintaining inspection checklists and records in a completely accurate and orderly manner.
  • Monitoring the contractor’s schedule.
  • Participation in project meetings.
  • Field testing and materials sampling of soils, asphalt, and concrete, etc.
  • Inspections of paints and coatings.
  • Review and completion of change order/s  
  • Monitoring and documenting materials delivered and used in the construction works.
  • Performing semi-final and final inspections upon building completion.
  • Preparation of punch list/s and monitoring of completion works.
  • Handover inspection for smooth project close-out.

Why Is Pre Construction Inspection Important?

Pre Construction Inspection #1: Progress

A pre construction inspection is usually conducted but not limited during the construction phase. However, before you can inspect and start reporting on a project’s progress, specific inspections are carried out as part of the general contract administration process. 

These inspections may be a part of the contract review and contract signing, pre-contract meetings and client onboarding.

Construction site inspectors may either be the project manager, a member of the contractors’ existing team or a different consultant.

Depending on the size of the project, the pre construction inspection may have to be carried out by a team of building inspectors. Design consultants also play a role in periodic inspections.

It is recommended to hire a building inspector who could also perform inspections on waste management on site, environmental policy, accessibility, etc.

Since site inspectors furnish the contract manager or project manager with independent evaluation of  pre construction  inspection and their progress, site inspectors keep daily construction logs or a site diary, front construction progress meetings, and create and submit regular reports.

Pre Construction Inspection #2: Quality

After a pre-construction inspection, site inspectors should still continue to ensure that the construction works comply with requirements.

For construction quality, there are technical specifications that describe what controls must be carried out to guarantee that construction works are done satisfactorily. These controls aren’t only for the products and materials, but also include the execution and completion of the construction works.

A pre construction inspection is one of the initial steps to control the quality of a finished construction work. The desired outcome is to refine the product or work before presenting it to the client such that those that don’t comply with requirements are fixed.

Whether you’re implementing internal or external controls or both, your goal is to reduce the costs of poor quality and that the deliverable project complies with all of the client’s requirements.

Pre construction inspections related to quality may include checks for materials, work units, processes, and services designed and planned by the construction company to comply with the contract’s quality requirements.

For preventative strategies, an inspection scheme is also aligned with the quality plan for the construction works requiring guarantee in construction quality. 

Pre construction inspection may also be carried out around documentation, work instructions, and action plans for the execution and control of construction processes. These quality control inspections may also be replaced with certifications by third parties.

Pre Construction Inspection #3: Health and Safety

Pre construction inspection is also important to ensure that health and safety, the Sydney construction and Australian regulations and standards are being complied and followed.

These inspections can be internally conducted by a certified building inspector. A pre construction inspection needed to be conducted in the construction site is a specific list and should be conducted as required. 

  • Work at height
  • Prevention of falls and personal fall protection systems
  • Ladders and stepladders
  • Work platforms such as mobile and scaffold platforms
  • Plant, vehicles, and other equipment
  • Personal protection equipment (PPE), including head protection
  • Electrical systems
  • Storage
  • Asbestos risk
  • Site conditions and order
  • Provision of welfare facilities such as handwashing and toilet facilities.
  • Management of respiratory risks
  • Prevention of unauthorised access to the site
  • Structural stability 

Pre Construction Inspection #4: Building Control

In Sydney, it is the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) that assesses the ratings of sustainability and energy conservation of a building and includes professional organisations, government bodies, or agencies.

A pre construction inspection and succeeding inspections are generally required in the following key stages of a project:

  • Commencement
  • Excavation (before excavations are filled)
  • Foundations (before they are covered up)
  • Laying of damp proof courses
  • New drains installation (before covering up)
  • Construction of the primary structure
  • Installation of insulation
  • Roof construction
  • Completion

Some Pre Construction Inspection Guidelines

The main quality measures of a construction project are the project scope, the budget, and the time for completion. Don’t forget to go back to these three main points when you’re planning a pre construction inspection. 

Project scope

The defined scope of the construction should be following the inspection processes at all. This should be according to the client’s needs.

All the pre construction inspection checklists and construction reports must always have the client’s details with thorough notes of communication history between the client and the constructions staff.

All the adjustments and installations must be authorised by the client. Communication with the client is the top priority of any of the construction project checklists. Having a pre construction inspection can ensure everything is going according to the project scope.


All the pre construction inspection checklists that deal with money must always refer the project budget. Completing a project within budget is another priority as a contractor, which reflects the work quality.

Make sure to have inspections that would ensure the coordination of suppliers, purchasing of materials, labor activities and payouts, etc.  Make use of the pre construction inspection and even the succeeding inspections to monitor everything that falls within the budget until completion.


The project schedule affects the client’s budget and needs, which can turn a satisfied client into a dissatisfied one bringing some expensive litigation to the table. 

Use the inspection to monitor the project schedule on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Always update all relevant stakeholders of any kind of delay including the details. Delays in construction can cost a lot.

Keep the clearly defined project schedule at the start of all construction activities.

Construction Errors and Change Orders

Human error and change orders may happen in construction projects. The importance of pre construction inspection and constant assessment lies in a good inspection system that deals with errors and necessary changes. Having a good pre construction inspection system centred around the connectedness of your project teams will help with the success of construction project and its on-time delivery. 

For more information about Sydney building inspection, visit our Help Centre.


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About Elie Farah

Elie Farah is a Building Consultant with over 25 years of experience in the property industry. Elie has specialised knowledge in development acquisitions, blue-chip properties and inspections, as well as flood-affected and waterfront properties, heritage buildings, bushfire management and existing use rights.

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