Reworks in construction

Did you know that in the construction industry, rework is the silent death of the project and possibly the company? The team very frequently silences reworks. Your team realizes they made a mistake and refuses to discuss it. Instead, very often they re-work the work by themselves without telling the rest of the team. This then results in poor performance and extra costs while management team members receive a message that this job ‘just requested more time than it was planned’.

Common reworks in construction

Usually, reworks can happen because of internal and external errors. External errors are typically changes in the drawing by the architect, poor quality work by other subcontractors, or anything else that you and your team did not cause. In such cases, it is very important to track the situation and inform your client about it. If rework affects you a lot, then you are eligible to request money to compensate for that. However, internal errors are rarely talked about. Errors that are caused internally by a company and its workers are simple human errors.

What these reworks usually are

Depending on the type of work you provide, rework typically takes up to 10% of total budget and even more in some cases. This is the reason why it’s referred to as ‘a silent death’ of construction projects. It takes a lot of courage to admit your own mistakes, and in the construction industry, they happen a lot. Team has been working for several days, everything goes well, and suddenly they realize they took one measurement wrong. Now they have lost several days of work and they have to assemble everything. Often, this gets hidden. As a result, management receives feedback that work takes a bit longer than expected. The budget goes over.

How to find and reduce reworks

If your team is experiencing reworks, then clearly something is wrong. Without construction software, it is very often hard to understand how many reworks there have been, how much they cost, why they happened, and how to document them. If projects are managed poorly, reworks can cost the company everything and make it file for bankruptcy. Construction software like PlanUpPro is designed to find these reworks and document them. Before any project, contractors are always expected to estimate how much time or money specific tasks will take. This data is then given to PlanUpPro. Contractors fill out daily reports as soon as the work begins. PlanUpPro then simulates many scenarios to find critical paths and discrepancies. This allows that during construction, managers can see which tasks are having discrepancies and then analyze why it is happening and most likely, they will find out that there is ongoing rework. Such reworks found at an early stage don’t cost as much as when they are admitted when the project is in its final stages.

Engage your team to admit reworks

Admitting your own mistakes is really hard. Admitting mistakes that cost a lot of money is even harder. But if you are a manager or an owner of the company, you have to encourage people to admit their mistakes, and then you must learn to correct them. The more you encourage people to admit it, the more engaged they will be in the whole process. Sometimes teams are dysfunctional with each other because they lack communication, are not trained well, don’t have the right tools and error care protocols in place to get work back on track. Pay attention to your teams and encourage them to speak up if they see reworks that are not addressed, discussed and taken care of.


Reworks in construction projects very often can end up as ‘a silent death’. Usually, there are internal and external reasons behind them. With external reasons, it is very easy to deal with and document them, but with internal reasons, you need to work hard to identify and avoid them. Construction software like PlanUpPro helps contractors find these reworks in early stages. Reworks found in the early stages can be fixed with much fewer resources.

Author – Emil Berzins. Follow me on 

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