Top 5 problems in residential handovers & how to avoid them

by | Mar 17, 2021 | Article

The handover of a residential project is the final construction phase before the building is handed from the general contractor to the homeowner.

While this milestone should be a cause for celebration, it is often met with a sense of fear and trepidation.

Residential building handovers are complex and demanding. Just one project handover comprises hundreds of discrete documents and actions – everything from filing contracts, complying with building regulations, to managing client expectations.

It’s easy to see how important information can slip between the cracks. Attention to detail is critical each step of the way. Sadly, the longer it takes to resolve outstanding issues, the more frustrating, time-consuming, and costly the handover phase becomes for all parties involved.

This article explores the top five problems associated with residential building handovers and explains how you can avoid these pitfalls.

1. Using a manual process

Using a manual handover system is a tried-and-true approach. Yes, it’s practical, but it’s also much less efficient than a technology-based solution.

A manual handover inspection process locks handover teams into physically recording defects. They have to compile inspection reports, print out punch lists, assign and follow up on defects to ensure they are rectified. In an ideal world, your teams should be focused on delivering quality outcomes for clients. They should not be wasting time and effort chasing people and paper trails.

A construction task management software provides you with a quick and easy way to store all key information in a single cloud-based location. Documents can be uploaded, accessed by all parties in real time, and centrally managed for greater transparency, reporting, and decision making. It’s also possible to create approval workflows to provide full visibility and tracking of corrective actions.

2. Poor visibility across project teams

A lack of visibility between your site and office teams undermines everyone’s hard work. It can lead to confusion, miscommunication, and workflow issues.

Whether it’s undertaking a snagging inspection to identify defects, checking compliances, or tracking the status of repairs, striving for strong client outcomes can be a hit-and-miss-affair without technology to support your efforts.

A cloud-based handover software helps you keep workers in different locations connected and up to date. All you need is a web browser and mobile phone.

A digital construction platform also makes filing and finding documents a breeze. It acts as a central hub to electronically store all project handover checklists, drawings, photos, paperwork, and certificates. No more last-minute scrambles to confirm the documentation is in order as a project wraps up.

You can even store your valuable records for the long term and access them years after the fact, in case of a dispute.

The right system can be a pivotal tool for project managers. Leaders have real-time insight into the handover process, dwelling by dwelling, and no longer wait weeks for manual reports and updates.

3. Handover problems often lead to relationship problems

You shouldn’t underestimate the power of a smooth and effective handover process.

A problem-free handover improves client satisfaction, builds confidence, and strengthens client relationships. On the other hand, a poor handover experience may erode trust and tarnish your reputation well into the future.

A cloud-based handover system helps you avoid many potential issues and misunderstandings. Collaborative information-sharing empowers all parties with the right information at the right time. Everyone knows what information is required, in what format, and by when.

4. Coordinating work between the main contractor and subcontractors

The relationship between the main contractor and subcontractors is one of the key foundations of a successful residential construction project.

During the handover phase, the clock is ticking, and there is always a push to make sure all defect and rectification work is completed quickly, to the right standard, to avoid delays for final inspection and handover. This extra pressure can challenge even positive, long-term working relationships.

A digital solution keeps the main contractor and subcontractors communicating, on task, and connected through approval workflows, push notifications, digital forms, and QA QC construction checklists.

5. Lack of defect insights and learnings over time

It’s one thing to capture defect data to manage and deliver a single residential construction handover. It’s quite another to gather insights and learnings across multiple projects. If done well, you can run your construction business more effectively.

As your knowledge grows, a digital construction platform can help you make better building material and design choices over time by identifying the most common types of defects across projects.

You can also analyse the performance of partners to match the right subcontractors and consultants with the right projects.

Why is Novade’s construction management software right for you?

Novade’s easy-to-use construction app helps you digitalise the residential handover process from start to finish. It keeps your project on track, clients happy, and costs low.

You may think the benefits of digitalisation are not worth a short-term disruption to your business. However, in reality, the gains can be substantial. Some of Novade’s clients report a reduction in defects and handover costs of up to 50%.

To find out how Novade can help your business contact us today.

Novade’s construction management software is the only fully configurable, end-to-end field management solution – designed for large, complex projects. Our solution comprises six modules that come together as one powerful analytical engine to help you digitalise all your site processes.

Our modules are:

Today, Novade operates in 20 countries across the world and our application is used by more than 100,000 users.

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