General contractors often have to work to tight budgets and timelines in large commercial and residential construction projects. This means they have to ensure that all sub-contractors and manufacturers provide competitive rates while maintaining a good standard of work. While we are only talking about the Architectural Woodwork Institute’s Quality Certification Program for the purposes of this article, it’s quite often the case that any inspections and certifications – when they aren’t mandatory for legal or regulatory purposes – are dropped from a project in an effort to save time and money.
However, this can be detrimental to the project and create problems further down the line that consequently have to be rectified – so general contractors have to spend the time and money they were hoping to save anyway.
The Architectural Woodwork Standards
The AWI Standards of Architectural Woodwork, which were first produced jointly by the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI), the Woodwork Institute (WI), and the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers’ Association of Canada (AWMAC), exist to support woodworkers, design professionals, tradespeople and general contractors in meeting woodwork industry best practices, ensuring compliance, guaranteeing high quality, and facilitating communication between all stakeholders working on a project. Alongside these Standards, the Architectural Woodwork Institute’s Quality Certification Program (QCP) is the industry standard in quality assurance for interior architectural woodwork.
QCP-certified architectural woodworkers often work with fine woods, creating beautiful designs using intricate cuts. They will have a deep knowledge of different design practices, techniques, and cuts, and will use a range of manual and powered tools to create attractive, custom or semi-custom made woodwork pieces. As architectural woodwork is typically part of the structure of a building, woodworkers also need to understand other trades such as plumbing and electricity specifications and locations, and specs for build elements such as framing and flooring.
These intricacies mean that it’s important for general contractors to use highly skilled woodworkers they can rely on for their construction projects. Hiring QCP-certified woodworkers, adhering to the Architectural Woodwork Standards, and registering construction projects with QCP bring many benefits.
AWS Benefits for General Contractors
- Cost: Adhering to the Standards and getting best-in-industry certification is cost-effective. You can get certification for your interior architectural woodwork from as little as $500, while at the same time ensuring high-quality woodwork and avoiding expensive repairs further down the line. The budget investment you make at the beginning of your project reaps benefits until inspection is complete and you receive certification.
- Quality: High-quality interior woodwork is guaranteed with QCP certification. By having your project registered with QCP and hiring QCP certified woodworkers, you have peace of mind that your manufacturers will be reliable and committed, with a strong work ethic. They will meet woodwork best practices, and ensure that your project is a success.
- Reduced risk: The ultimate outcome is that your project can be inspected to highlight conformance to the Architectural Woodwork Standards’ requirements and specifications. If non-conformities are identified the licensed woodworker is at risk of losing their license if corrections are not made. This means you are reducing your liability in delivering a compliant project.
- Effective change management: QCP is there as the support you need if something in the interior woodwork aspect of your project needs to be changed or you have a problem that needs to be resolved. You will receive advice and guidance on how to make any changes with the knowledge and expertise of QCP inspectors.
- Exceed client expectations: As a general contractor, your responsibility is to your client. You can exceed their expectations with certified high-quality architectural woodwork, giving them greater confidence and opening the potential to generate more business.
- Save time: Certifying a project through AWI-QCP also saves you time as you can simply select your manufacturer from a list of local, pre-vetted woodworkers who you know will deliver the high quality of work you need. QCP also offers virtual inspection options, allowing for greater flexibility and efficiency in meeting time-sensitive project verifications.
General Benefits of Adhering to the Architectural Woodwork Standards
There are also some broader benefits to general contractors of ensuring your project meets the Architectural Woodwork Standards. You can:
- Highlight the QCP stamp of approval to build and keep a strong reputation for quality and integrity
- Make certain all project stakeholders understand the level of quality required
- Ensure the end result will be as expected
- Rest assured you have one of the best insurance policies on the market for architectural woodwork
QCP isn’t just another project inspection. It’s a guaranteed mark of excellence that brings many benefits to general contractors while exceeding client expectations with high-quality woodwork from expert woodworkers.