We offer contract administration and site inspection services once your build is underway.
We can visit site regularly to check on progress and that the work is being carried out in accordance with the drawings and building regulations. We can also administer the contract between yourself and the contractor, certifying payments and fulfilling other contractual duties. The level of input will vary from project to project, and will often be governed by whether you have appointed a Quantity Surveyor or Project Manager as part of the team.
Site Inspection and Design Support
The services we offer during the site stages of a project are varied, and can be tailored to suit each clients requirements. The ‘base level’ of involvement includes visiting site at appropriate intervals to ensure that the work is being executed in accordance with the drawings. We’ll attend regular site progress meetings, offering continued design input as needed. We make sure that drawings are amended to reflect any changes made during the course of the build, so that the contractor is always working off an up to date set of plans. This level of input suits projects where a client has appointed another consultant to act as the contract administrator.
What Is Contract Administration?
Contract administration services are an additional role we’re able to take on in addition to continued design input and site inspection. These services include issuing instructions to vary the scope of the work, certifying payments to the contractor, assessing claims for extensions of time, chairing site progress meetings and reconciling the final account. We would also process requests for information from the contractor, and ensure that you are aware of when outstanding decisions need to be made.
During the course of the build we’ll issue you with periodic financial statements which illustrate how variations to the scope of work are likely to impact the final contract sum. Although we’re appointed to ensure your interests are protected, we have to make sure we administer the contract fairly and impartially.
Is that the same as Project Management?
In a word; No.
Contract administration and project management are too very different animals. As we’ve explained, contract administration essentially ensures that the work is carried out in accordance with the contract, the contractor is paid for work they have done and that you confirm decisions in a timely manner. Project Managers are responsible for the actual co-ordination of the teams on site, and that the work progresses as expected. You can appoint a specialist project manager if you wish, but most traditional building contracts assume that the main contractor will take on this role. After all, they have agreed to deliver your project for a certain amount of money in a certain amount of weeks so it’s in their interest to make sure that the works progress as expected.
What about a QS?
Once a project reaches a certain level of scale and complexity we would always recommend that you appoint a Quantity Surveyor. Although the role of contract administrator includes processing claims for payment, this is not the same as having a specialist QS on the team. Not only will they have prepared an estimate or bill of quantities during the tender phase, but they are extremely important in making sure the build continues within budget. If you decide to appoint a QS, their roles on site will be balanced with our own. Some clients appoint the QS to assess the contractors claims for payment, but retain us as contract administrators. For larger projects, clients may choose to appoint the QS as contract administrator and we act purely in a design role.
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