Providing poor project documentation or asking for pricing without suitable documents.
If you need budgeting advice, ask a Quantity Surveyor or experienced Project Manager to provide independent advice prior to engaging a builder based on documents which are not complete. Another option would be to engage a builder on a ‘design and construct’ basis after the main elements have been decided on.
Letting building contractors set provisional sums for items which can be firmed up and defined.
The risk here is that a builder will either provide an extremely low provisional sum that is not realistic, so his price looks very competitive. However, in actual fact that provisional sum is not worth the paper it’s written on as afterwards he will confirm it to be what the realistic budget is, and you will be liable to pay it.
Not engaging a suitable qualified project manager or quantity surveyor to deal with the contractor.
If you or someone from your organisation does not have the adequate time and expertise to manage the project delivery phase, then we suggest that you employ a client-side project manager to act on your behalf. This person will deal with the contractor and be the intermediary between the end user and the building contractor.
It’s critical to have a mutually agreed construction program and stick to it.
Do not let your building contractor or yourself set an unrealistic construction program. There needs to be proper calculations carried out to establish the time and resources required to deliver the project. So ensure your builder provides you with a detailed program prior to commencing on site, that can be used to regularly track your construction progress.
Ensure that your chosen building contractor is reputable and has experience in the particular market sector for your particular project.
Firstly, check the validity of your chosen builder’s licenses and insurances, to ensure they are in the legal position to undertake your project. Secondly, it is also recommended you review your builder’s quality and safety performance, by undertaking site inspections of their current and past projects. Verbal references from past clients are also an extremely beneficial way to confirm the reputation of your builder.
It’s imperative to establish a procedure in regard to managing contract variations and extensions of time.
Agree a procedure for managing cost and time changes with your builder prior to starting construction. When both parties follow an agreed procedure correctly, unforeseen cost & time blowouts (which commonly occur on poorly managed projects) will be avoided.
Make sure you compare “apples with apples” when reviewing builder’s quotes.
When obtaining quotes from builders, it’s important to undertake a proper tender comparison. A proper tender comparison will allow you to determine a builder’s inclusions & exclusions as well as confirm if they have conformed to the project documentation. Once completed, you will be best placed to choose the builder that is best suited to your project.