Multivista Product Manager – Photography
As a construction professional, you know that photo documentation is a crucial part of success on any project. But one question often gets overlooked in conversations about construction documentation best practices: How often should you capture 360 photos of your site?
Companies often request photos to be taken every two weeks — and sometimes even less frequently than that. Any frequency of photo documentation is better than none, but taking photos of your site more often definitely increases the benefits of photo documentation by giving you a more comprehensive historical record.
Here, we’ll discuss five of those benefits, and how taking 360 photos at a higher frequency can amplify their impact on your project.
Interested in a particular benefit? Jump right to it:
- 1. Identify issues earlier
- 2. Reduce number of site visits
- 3. Maintain more detailed records
- 4. Get a clearer view of milestone progression
- 5. Gather more business intelligence
1. Identify issues earlier
By documenting your site more often and more thoroughly, you can avoid costly teardown and rework down the line.
Photo documentation can help you identify potential issues before they escalate into costly rework. By comparing your documentation to the original plans — both overall and for each trade — you can look for potential issues that might impact how work proceeds.
The more often you document each phase of the project, the earlier you can spot any potential issues. For example, let’s say a plumbing mistake in the walls is made during week eight of a project, and there is no 360 photo documentation scheduled for week nine. By the time your next documentation rolls around and the mistake is caught, more work, such as drywall installation, will likely have been completed, and will require costly teardown and rework in order to fix the error that was covered up.
If you take photos weekly or twice weekly, on the other hand, you’ll catch the error sooner and prevent the need for rework, saving time and resources. Of course, an important component to realizing this benefit is to make it a routine process to review the documentation, at least by spot checking, to support overall on-site quality control processes.
2. Reduce number of site visits
360 photo documentation allows for stakeholders to easily inspect a site without needing to be there physically (which can be inconvenient and disruptive to workers).
Comprehensive photo documentation reduces the need for frequent site visits, which are not only inconvenient for stakeholders, but potentially disruptive to any work that’s in progress on that day.
With 360 photo documentation, instead of physically inspecting the site to address every question or concern, stakeholders can refer to the captured images for clarification. Some documentation providers, like Multivista, even enable 360 walkthrough access from any device, anywhere with an internet connection.
The more often you take photos, the more likely it is that all stakeholders — from architects to developers to project managers — will be able to find the details they’re looking for without a site visit.
With Multivista, any users accessing your projects on our cloud-based platform can add their own photos to the floor plan allowing even more documentation to be shared amongst stakeholders.
3. Maintain more detailed records
360 photo documentation gives your organization highly detailed records that live on the cloud and can be accessed for years to come.
Construction photo documentation is a crucial tool that can be used as evidence in legal disputes, to confirm work completed for payment applications, and more. Keep in mind with photo documentation that’s archived digitally, it can be accessed to recall details in the future at any time.
The more often you take photos, the more detailed your records will be, which makes them easier to use and offers you more protection. For example, if there’s a payment dispute over what work was completed during a particular week, but you don’t have any photo documentation from that week, it will be harder to establish what work was actually completed at that time.
4. Get a clearer view of milestone progression
Photo documentation allows you to confirm milestones and initiate billing more quickly.
Staying on top of construction project milestones is crucial for both the success of individual projects and the financial well-being of your business as a whole. The sooner you can confirm via documentation that a milestone has been reached, the sooner you can initiate billing processes, and the more likely you are to get paid on time.
Because photo documentation can provide evidence that you’ve reached a milestone, taking photos more frequently can help you send invoices faster and maintain a steady cash flow.
5. Gather more business intelligence
Photo documentation allows you to assess completed projects and analyze strengths and weaknesses across projects.
In the construction industry, reflecting on completed projects and extracting lessons learned is crucial for continuous improvement.
Photo documentation is a valuable part of this process — the more detailed and comprehensive the documentation, the easier it becomes to identify strengths and weaknesses across projects. In other words, more frequent documentation can translate to more opportunities for extracting actionable construction business intelligence.
Luckily, analyzing large amounts of data is only getting easier. As artificial intelligence (AI) technology continues to evolve, processing data (including photo documentation) will become faster and more automated thanks to machine learning algorithms.
Ready to amplify the benefits of construction photo documentation?
Photo documentation has numerous benefits in construction, and those benefits are amplified by taking more frequent photos. If you’re only having photos taken once every two weeks or less, you can greatly increase your documentation — and the benefits that come with it — by increasing that frequency to once or twice a week.
Need photo documentation support? Multivista can capture photos of your entire job site and handle all the data management for you. Learn more about our 360 Photo services.