Quantifying the causes and costs of rework in construction

E. Peter, D. Love, Heng Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

295 Citations (Scopus)


Very few construction companies and consulting firms in Australia measure their costs of quality. Consequently, it is difficult for them to prove that systems for preventing quality failures are cost-effective. Although the direct costs of a quality system can be quantified with some accuracy (salaries, costs of documentation, audits, etc.), the corresponding benefits are far more difficult to assess. Indeed quality failures have become an endemic feature of the procurement process in construction and invariably lead to time and cost overruns in projects. Thus, in order to improve the performance of projects it is necessary to identify the causes and costs rework. The research presented in this paper quantifies the causes, magnitude and costs of rework experienced in two construction projects that were procured using different contractual arrangements. The causes and costs of rework projects are analysed and discussed. The findings reveal that the cost of rework for the case study projects was 3.15% and 2.40% of their project contract value. Changes initiated by the client and end-user together with errors and omissions in contract documentation were found to be the primary causes of rework. It is recommended that construction companies and consultant firms (particularly design consultants) implement quality management practices as well as place emphasis on coordinating project documentation during the design development process so that the amount of rework in projects can be reduced or even eliminated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-490
Number of pages12
JournalConstruction Management and Economics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2000


  • Australia
  • Prevention
  • QA
  • Quality costs
  • Rework

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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