What Do the Architectural Woodwork Standards Mean for General Contractors?

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Every specialized field in the construction industry has its own sets of standards and regulations that general contractors adhere to. These standards are clearly necessary to ensure quality of work, professional integrity, and to reduce risk to GCs. It’s the same with the standards for interior architectural woodwork.

The AWI Standards are in place to maintain high quality in interior woodwork. They also help to clarify communication between contractors, subcontractors, woodworkers, and architects. While they are not a legal or regulatory necessity, for general contractors they ensure a project adheres to industry best practices, reduce risk, avoid costly repairs, and help manage change more effectively.

Contractors’ responsibility and accountability of contractors

In building projects, whether major or minor, general contractors are the ones who are responsible for arranging and communicating the overall details of their project. Any changes to specific components must be communicated to their subcontractors.

As it relates to AWI-QCP, the general contractor is responsible and accountable when it comes to the final details and results of the woodworking portion of the construction project. Having standards means that communication is clear, and the quality and reliability of work are ensured.

About the AWI Standards

Interior woodwork can be both decorative and structural in purpose. It includes elements such as wall paneling, ceiling panels, cabinetry, staircases, doors, etc. The AWI Standards focus on woodwork that is part of the interior architectural structure of a building.

The AWI Standards provide best practice guidelines and serve as a definitive and authoritative reference. They simplify and clarify specific guidelines that govern certain materials, methods, and procedures, and cover the following aspects of architectural woodwork:

  • Fabrication
  • Finishing
  • Installation

How the AWI Standards relate to general contractors

General contractors typically hire subcontractors for specialized work such as woodworking, which creates a need to screen top-quality subcontractors who can give assurance that the job is done to expectations perfectly. With QCP, GCs can choose from a local list of pre-vetted, licensed woodworkers, saving the time it would normally take to find a woodworker who can provide the quality you and your client require.

Quality control is important in any line of work. When it comes to interior woodworking, the basis for quality control is the AWI Standards. A general contractor could personally inspect the work of subcontractors…but if you don’t have the knowledge or expertise to do this, you can hire quality inspectors. QCP’s inspectors ensure that the woodworking portion of a project adheres to best practice and is of high quality. They can give you the peace of mind that if for any reason the woodwork doesn’t meet the standards, you have proper avenues of recourse.

Advantages to GCs of adhering to the AWI Standards

If you are a general contractor, you are probably on a tight budget and under time pressure. You need to properly coordinate with suppliers and subcontractors. You and your business contacts must be on the same page to avoid errors along the line.

Complying with the standards will help you to:

  • Save time
  • Save effort
  • Transact with pre-vetted suppliers
  • Save money and other resources
  • Minimize risk
  • Exceed client expectations
  • Boost your credibility

It’s easier to work within your budget if you select a QCP-licensed woodworker, and they will provide the high quality of work that your clients want. In turn, that means you’re more likely to receive referrals from them and generate repeat business. 

Learn more about AWI-QCP and the AWI Standards – download our free guide for construction professionals.