No one likes to pay a fee!

I was always taught that knowledge is power. I now have learned that this statement is not true! APPLICATION of knowledge is power! This could not be more so than in our industry. So allow me a brief moment to provide a small snippet of education for what will probably be the majority of you. I am often asked, using that well known phrase, “So what do you do?” My response that I am a Quantity Surveyor is often met with, “Oh yes, I often see you guys standing on the side of the road peering through those watchamacallits”, to which i have to go on to explain that that function is carried out by a Land Surveyor, not a Quantity Surveyor and that the two have completely different functions.

So what do we do? When asked the proverbial question, I have now learned to change my response to the following: “My practice Cost2Build has been established to reduce your risk, save you money and provide you with a pain free building experience”. From here I normally get an opportunity to educate my ernest listener on the ways of Quantity Surveying, Construction and Project Management and how we get to achieving our mission statement.

Of course, all of this attracts a fee and it is at this point that we would usually get a response along the lines of “Well, I can’t afford to now pay additional fees – I have paid the Architect, Engineer, Municipality, Builder, Estate Agent, transfer duties, etc – i can’t possibly afford to pay more fees!” Therein lies my point!

Most people’s first step toward building their investment starts with the architect, who diligently produces our clients dream design with gusto, a masterpiece. Then it’s off to the builder to price off the drawings with very little documentation, a lump sum contract, opening owner and builder up to huge risk. Of course the builder knows this, and adds a risk factor into his price to cover any uncertainty of between 10 – 20%, which is understandable under the circumstances.

The correct approach should be to start with the Quantity Surveyor, who can then massage the design together with the Architect to fall within budget. The QS should then complete a Bill of Quantities which is a document containing all components of the building for the builder to price, as well as a controlling document for use during construction to ascertain value completed when it comes to monthly payments (to prevent over- payment). This gives the contractor peace of mind in that he is pricing a document, rather than the project and therefore allows the risk factor to fall away, saving our client a fortune! It also allows a like-for-like comparison between contractors’ prices.

So the next time you consider building, think of using a Construction Consultant QS, and apply the knowledge in this article, to give you a fighting chance of being in control of your build environment.

Cost2build Construction Consultants and Management “Building your investment”

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