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BLOG: Taking on a large project? Don’t underestimate the value of professional advice!

We’ve all heard horror stories of trying to manage building work being undertaken on a residential property. From projects being abandoned mid-way-through whilst the builders disappear to another job, needing to fork out to rectify the shoddy workmanship of the original contractors, through to struggling to get a builder back to finish off a ‘snag list’, building projects don’t always go to plan in terms of time, quality or money.

Where issues with small residential projects can result in additional spend of a few hundred to a few thousand pounds, when it comes to commercial project, the stakes are much higher and due to their complexity, have a much higher propensity for issues to arise.

Here are three reasons to instruct the help of a professional when undertaking a larger project.

 

Get it right from the start

It is generally accepted that builders will cost in between 5% and 20% profit on any given project. Of course on larger jobs, this margin of profit could add up to several thousand pounds. However, considering the extent of outlay on building projects, such as labour and materials, these margins are actually quite tight and any major hiccup or overspend required could quickly eat into the bottom line. Employing the services of a professional Surveyor at the outset can allow you to get a more accurate handle on the costings of a project, and ensure that a proper suitable contract is in place, meaning that there should be no surprises during the on-site works. This will, in turn, enable you to release the best possible profitability from the build.

 

Up to date advice

As we sadly saw in the case of the Grenfell Tower disaster, materials and design details that fall below certain standards can be used in projects. Where Chartered Surveyors are instructed in large construction projects, they can prepare more detailed construction drawings, with all aspects designed to meet current Building Regulations Standards. In addition, they can also manage the process of submitting a Building Regulations application and obtaining statutory approval to ensure a smooth process from the outset. A Chartered Surveyor will also ensure that health and safety obligations are met in respect of the CDM Regulations, etc.

 

Keep contractors on track

One of the major causes of construction projects coming in over budget is delays during the build. Whether down to insufficient planning or poor project management, delays can have a significant knock-on effect. Depending on how labour is being paid for (either on a day rate or project basis), delays can also very quickly mount up to a sizable overspend.

Instructing professionals to oversee major projects can help to keep to both time and budget, and ensure that the required quality of work is achieved. For example, when instructed to project manage a project, Lea Hough would prepare a full specification / schedule of work and drawings to minimise the number of delays. From there, we would oversee a tender exercise, to obtain competitive tender prices from suitable local contractors. We would then deal with contractual issues and project manage the works from start to finish; ensuring quality workmanship and that all specifications are met.

Lea Hough are currently overseeing several large projects including new-build industrial units; major refurbishment of factories for commercial companies who are relocating; large-scale repair/refurbishment/safeguarding projects at schools and academies; adaptations and conversion works to care homes; and major repairs to a listed castle. We are also advising on a number of prestigious residential properties including high value project at an apartment at Leftbank, Spinningfields; the Dome House at Bowness and extensions to a number of listed houses in Lytham.

For further advice on this topic or to speak to us about seeking our professional services on a large commercial project, please contact us here.

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