In any business keeping track of documentation is really important. But it has never been more important than in the construction industry. Documentation keeps track of all of the things that you need, but it also provides a memory, if you like, of the project. If anything was to go wrong with the project, after (or even during), then to be able to dispute any claims, you need to have the correct documentation and plans of the project. Without it, it can be hard to dispute any threats or claims. So it is so important to keep records. Otherwise, it can damage your business’s reputation and cause a lot of damage financially too.
Keeping records and documents of past projects is important. If you can, then a hard copy and a digital copy could be a good idea. You never know if the construction office got flooded, for example, what would happen when you no longer have any of the important records. But when these records and documents are kept on a contemporaneous basis, it means that there is always a record of what happened for each project. They need to be laid out in such a clear way, that if necessary, people could follow the instructions and allow a reconstruction, for example. If you were ever caught up in a legal dispute then having documents like that could really help your case.
Record who you work with, such as subcontractors, and what they do each day on the project. It is good to make a note of other things that are involved in the construction of the building too. Things like geotechnical drilling, architects, and designers, and even the meetings that you have with the client. It all helps to be able to ‘recreate’ the project if needed. Keeping records in detail is really important too. Log any errors that occurred or problems that you had on the project, as well as a timeline for each working day. When it is recorded step by step, it shows your attention to detail and your commitment to due diligence.
Keeping your records and documents locked away is also a good idea too. You don’t want them to get into the wrong hands, particularly if there are any claims made. Destroying evidence can land you in even more hot water if there are legal claims being made. So think carefully about who you let have access to the records. Will you have a specific member of staff in charge of it all? Or will a few people be in charge of the record keeping?
But essentially, it is an important and essential part of the construction industry practice to keep records. Having a system for documenting records and plans can basically protect your business. So practice due diligence and don’t cut any corners. Keep records of everything, and if any legal disputes about one of your projects were to crop up, you would be in a much better place to deal with it all.