Quality Point Review—What does it mean for the customer?

by Shea Homes Arizona on August 24, 2011

An interview with Terry Clark, QA Team Leader 

Why is quality review an important aspect of each new home built by Shea Homes?

Terry Clark: The idea behind every quality assurance initiative is to reduce the opportunities for defects in the product. With construction however, there are a lot of opportunities for variation. That’s just what happens when you have natural and man-made products put together by imperfect people. 

With the all the opportunity for variation in construction, how does your department work to eliminate defects? 

TC: Obviously, Shea Homes holds TradePartners® accountable to do their part of the work completely and correctly, and superintendants supervise all construction activities. However, we believe that it’s our responsibility to double check all of the TradePartners’ work. That’s where Quality Point Reviews come in. 

Can you tell us about Quality Point Reviews? 

TC: Our goal with Quality Point Reviews is to ensure the completion and quality of critical stages throughout construction and to identify and correct variations in the structure of the home. There are seven inspection points throughout the process. 

When do these inspections occur?

TC: Well, there are four primary inspections of the seven which focus on the critical structural stages. The first primary inspection occurs before the foundation slab is poured. After the form of the foundation is built, we check measurements and the integrity of the form before concrete is poured.

The next primary inspection is conducted after the frame is completed. This is the structural skeleton of the home, and it requires a lot of engineering for construction. Here we check that the studs and panels are correctly installed and that space is accurately allowed for things like fireplaces, medicine cabinets, and decorative niches. 

Next, before the drywall is installed, we inspect each of the TradePartners work, such as heating and cooling units, electrical, and plumbing. Each TradePartners is required to check everything according to the Shea’s standards, but we go through and do it one more time so we reduce the chance that we’ll need to go back and fix things after drywalling. 

Lastly, we do a “Home Complete” inspection where we check for cosmetic issues such as uneven cabinets and doors and windows open and close properly. We also run the water for 30 minutes and check for complete electrical function. 

There is a lot more to each of these inspections, but that summarizes it pretty well. 

In terms of quality assurance, what are some things that Shea Homes does differently than other home builders in the Valley? 

TC: Well, of course, I’m biased. (I even own a Shea home.) But, there are few things that come to mind. For instance, most builders rely completely on their TradePartners to check their work, but at Shea Homes, we work together to conduct multiple inspections by both the TradePartners and Shea. We’ve also created written standards for each trade that contributes to the construction of our homes. For example, we created a 78 page document that serves as a guide for stuccoing. It does a lot to increase the consistency of installation and inspection. 

Thanks for tuning in to the blog this week for Terry’s interview! For more information on the building science that goes into each home built by Shea Homes, take a look around the blog and “like” our Facebook page!

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