Why is photo documentation important in construction?


Sauliha Sarwar

Photo documentation is one of the most essential aspects of field reporting and field tracking. Proper record-keeping is invaluable to the successful completion of a project. But written records can only tell so much. The simple task of adding pictures to our files provides clarity of the day-to-day events and helps keep everyone informed. Most importantly, if our company is facing a claim or dispute, referencing a photo can quickly squash the disagreement (one way or another). However, manual photo documentation for construction is time-consuming, clunky, and often an ineffective way to record job site progress over time. By adding construction photo documentation to our practices, a company can ensure that its project information is as accurate as possible. Documentation is great, but providing photographic backup is an easy and definitive way to increase the accuracy of a project’s records. Most importantly, Communication is crucial for the success of any project but when we can augment our documentation with photos of before, during, and after a project, we can communicate more clearly, what was done, how it was done, and how long it took us. This, in turn, saves time and money and protects our company from any litigation issues that may arise. The goal is to equip ourselves with tools for better organization and faster Jobsite capture so that we can provide more transparency to stakeholders.

Benefits of jobsite photo documentation:

1. Effective Communication

By communicating visually, everyone involved in the project always stays up to date. Stakeholders and customers can’t always conduct a physical site visit, construction photo documentation helps them to be informed. Mostly, communicating specific aspects of the construction process becomes too technical and thus can end up being confusing. Photo documentation helps in describing construction activities simply in the form of pictures to those that would otherwise not understand. This helps in reducing the wastage of time and streamlining the decision-making process.

2. Improves Project Management

One of the most significant benefits of photo documentation in construction is that it helps in evaluating the entire project and providing timely updates. Photo- documentation also plays a decisive role in achieving full alignment between the Project Managers and the Site Engineers. Instead of writing long reports down and trying not to forget anything, Project Managers and Site Engineers can simply take photos and submit them instantly as they conduct their site tour. Considering that in some projects site tours might take up to two hours a day, Photo Documentation can save Project Managers from many unnecessary site visits.

3. Liability Protection

An image is an objective visualization of everything that has taken place on the construction site, thus, photo documentation is one of the biggest assets against claims. As it serves as photographic proof of the project from start to finish. Most issues in the construction industry revolve around delays in work and defective work. Photographic proofs can quickly end a dispute. Construction photo documentation can help in avoiding the costs of lawsuits. By putting together a detailed photo record, everything on the project is documented and is a backup to avoid any costly penalties.

How can I monitor my construction site remotely?

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