The DGA Way for Private Clients
The management of a construction process is a stressful and time consuming one. Most people will only undertake it a couple of times in a lifetime, and it can be a make or break experience both financially and for peace of mind. Contractors undertake them several times a year, but the same conditions apply however many times you undertake it.
Whatever your role and wherever you stand, having a Quantity Surveyor on your team adds an energy and structure to the project which would otherwise be missing, formalising and monitoring the day-to-day activity and utilising their expertise to foresee the problems and mitigate the risks.
Whatever stage of the building project you are currently at, good quality advice can help to smooth the way to success. Whether you are a project owner or a contractor, see our easy-to-use guide below to pinpoint where you are in the process and what your next steps should be.
1. Outline drawings or sketches
If the project is reasonably small and straightforward, say under £50,000 in value then outline drawings may be enough for the builder to work from and we can give you a clear idea from these how much the work should cost. If the project is larger then you will want to know what the design will cost at this stage so that funding can be planned and any affordability issues ironed out at an early stage in the design before too much work and planning has taken place. These estimates can be turned round very quickly and can save a lot of money and stress later on in the process. DGA Build is a great option here to start to build and understand your cost model.
Having got through to the next stage the project will need detailed design drawings for planning and building regulations purposes, at this stage a detailed budget is prepared, this will include professional fees and Vat and can be used for funding purposes and any value engineering that may need to be done at that stage. For example: Do you really need that second spiral staircase to achieve what you are looking for? At this stage you may want to recruit a Professional Quantity Surveyor (PQS) to project manage the process for you and to monitor the cost.
3. Tendering drawings
Your PQS can run the tender process for you, making sure the contractors have all the information they need to submit a robust price and that price is detailed enough, sustainable and manageable.
4. Schedule of works or bill of quantities
Depending on the scale of the project a Bill of Quantities or Schedule of Works is prepared, this is a detailed list of the components of the work including labour and materials. The contractors fill these in at tender stage and this makes clear comparison between bids achievable.
5. Find a builder
A PQS can provide suggestions for candidates for your tender list based on our years of experience. Your candidates need to have the right skill set and track record and be available in the time frame you need.
6. Tendering process
The process of tendering is quite formal and time regulated, the PQS will advise on which form of contract is suitable for your project and will specify to the builders tendering the project, the terms of the contract, what we term “Prelims” these will include duration of the contract, any retentions etc. the desired outcome is to have a clear comparison between the contractors tender submissions.
The evaluation process involves meetings with the client and the contractor to interrogate the bid and to discuss the nitty gritty of how the contractor will work on the site. This is especially important if you are going to be living in the property at the time. At this stage you have confidence in the costs and it is a matter then of deciding who you want to work with.
8. Tender reports
A tender report is prepared by the PQS giving clear recommendations and comparisons of the tender bids and contractors. The final decision is of course with you the client, the formal tender process gives confidence and rigour to the successful bid.
Difficulties with contracts and disputes can develop when there is a lack of clarity or control on site. We have a rare blend of accessible know how in our practise including deep construction knowledge teamed with qualified legal and contractual experts. Don’t you want that in your corner – just in case?
10. Project management
What is Project Management? For us, it is monitoring and controlling cost, program and quality at every stage. Set up the project correctly, undertake monthly valuations, monitor and control variations and agree the final account in a transparent and fair manner.
Call us, a discussion can’t hurt, and a member of our knowledgeable and friendly team will be able to guide you.
How to get in touch
DGA provide a professional and comprehensive nationwide Quantity Surveying service.
As a member of the RICS, we are specialist construction cost consultants, we offer advice, guidance and support on a wide range of projects from small extensions to much larger commercial and residential projects. We can also help you with Contract Administrators, Employer’s Agents and Project Managers.
With many years of combined experience, our team can guide a construction project from start to completion with high levels of care and attention to detail.