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Project Management

Controlling Your Building and Construction Costs through Robust Project Management

Controlling Your Building and Construction Costs through Robust Project Management

Many people who are building their own home seek experienced contractors to manage their building works and to control the costs of their building project through contracting that is robust, but fair to both parties.

Once such a contractor or project manager is selected, they should select the appropriate building and supply contract, explain it to both parties and then fill it out, gaining agreement from both parties as they sign off on it. In this way, your project manager will be able to manage your project effectively, whether they be with one single builder, or split it into a number of trade packages.

They will also be able to control the work and the exchange of money in a way that is fair for both the client and the builder so that both sides can really appreciate the comfort that the contract brings.

It is quite common for changes to be requested part way through a building project, but the contracts will allow for these changes in the terms.

In the simplest terms, changes to the contract can only be made by the project manager or contract administrator. The builder must provide a quote for the changes to the work. The project manager will usually seek the approval of the client but must also give the builder approval before they go ahead with the work. read more about project management on :

Controlling Your Building and Construction Costs through Robust Project Management

Unfortunately, sometimes a builder will submit a final account or invoice that contains a number of extras and you may find that these are not covered under the contract. You may not want to pay these extras. It may be that the client has put themselves in a weak position by agreeing changes informally with the builder and, in these cases, it is more difficult for the project manager to use the contract to ensure that outcomes are fair and reasonable to both sides.

There is usually an agreed adjudication or arbitration route that comes with the agreements and it is an option for either side to ask for an escalation to a certain level but, in most cases, and for most claimed items, common sense would mean sitting down and coming to an agreement about what is fair and reasonable.

Your project manager would be involved in this and mediate, but won’t always be able to come up with all the answers. In these cases you could ask the following:

1. Is the item being claimed described within the contract or described as a revision to the contract and the contract sum?
2. Was it requested and approved?
3. Is it related to completed work?
4. Is there any evidence that it has been done?
5. Is it related to work that the contractor had to redo through no fault of his own?
6. Was it requested directly by the client?
7. Was it raised by the contractor to the client directly as an option that they may choose?
8. Was it clearly confirmed by the contractor to the client as being at extra cost?
9. Was it carried out with an element of risk by the contractor through not following procedure?
10. Is it in line with market rates for materials and labor time used related to the actual labor time used?
11. In light of the answers to the above, is full payment of the claim considered fair and reasonable?

By getting answers to these questions you may be able to avoid the bitterness that can come from either party feeling hard done by. For anyone considering building work of any level, I would suggest the following:

1. Write things down so you have a record.
2. Gain agreement from both sides.
3. If you are not comfortable with the type of work or the sums of money involved then get some professional advice and the assistance of a project manager that makes you feel comfortable.
4. Listen to the advice of your project manager. You can have the final decision but follow procedures and enable decisions to be documented and linked to a contract.
5. Enjoy your build. Everyone wants to go away smiling and feeling that they have been dealt with fairly. Set a few ground rules and work within them.

If you would like some advice or just to talk about managing your budgets and costs, get in touch with a local project management company or ask your architect or builder to recommend one. click here for more about managing your budgets and costs.