To ensure a building is offering value for money, the benefits derived from it significantly need to exceed its lifetime costs. The benefits are derived from the functions that a building performs, as opposed to the building itself. This would mean that even if a building is built cost-effectively and within budget, if it does not meet the needs of the business it does not provide good value. For this reason, it is crucial for client and end-users needs to be clearly defined at the initial stages by the project team. An effective plan will determine an optimum balance between cost, time and quality and eliminate the need for unnecessary expenditures.
Whether you are considering building a new property, refurbishing an existing property, or even just doing some minor alterations, hiring an established chartered building surveying firm can help save time and money in your construction project.
There are 10 stages in a building project:
- Define the type of construction or alteration project: Agree your project brief.
- Create a feasibility study to outline the costs, timelines and challenges the project may face. It is at this stage that a project may be abandoned or postponed for further investigation. If you only have a vague idea of what you want, you can have an option appraisal to identify numerous possible solutions.
- After you have decided on a solution, the detailed scope needs to be agreed.
- Create a detailed design and documents to allow contractors to quote.
- Meet with the chosen contractor to establish start and completion dates, costs, complications and approvals. This should all be discussed pre contract signing.
- Prepare and sign the contractor’s contract and documentation.
- Begin the project. During this stage your building surveyor should be ensuring the contract terms are being met, check progress and quality of work and create snagging lists.
- Practical Completion: agree the work has been completed to expectations, checking the contract, and then paying the final instalment.
- Your contract should have a defect liability period that will withhold funds from the contractor for a period of time (usually 1 year), after which your surveyor will inspect for defects and make sure the contractor resolves any issues before they can receive the final funds.
- At this final stage the final certificate can be issued, if there are to be any issues with the building, these will need to be handled through common law.
These stages are true to all building projects, whether you are the freeholder or leaseholder, or whether the project is a new build or altering an existing building. Following these stages carefully and correctly is likely to avoid any expensive mistakes; meaning that you are prepared. The temptation with a building project is to start as quickly as possible, which is never wise.
The majority of building projects will require approvals. Hiring an expert in this stage is crucial to determine if planning, conservation area and listed building consent may be required if you are extending or altering a building, this can prove to be a very complex process. Your build is also likely to be required to meet building regulations that relate to energy efficiency, structural stability and fire protection. Even if you are only leasing the property, your contract may stipulate that post lease you need to return the property to its original condition, or sometimes even improved condition.
Anderton Gables is a Northern property expert, the chartered building surveyors have offices in Manchester City Centre and Preston. The award winning commercial property surveying firm has secured their role as the northern property market leaders, with a large number of high profile clients, as well as many small businesses choosing to enlist their services. The designing, specifying and tendering of a building project with the guidance of an experienced property surveyor is crucial to avoid the risk of expensive oversights and surprises. Employing a chartered building surveyor ensures that there is someone looking out for your interests during all stages, this will be appreciated most during the build itself when disputes with the contractor are not uncommon.
Anderton Gables specialises in planning and building regulations, structural design and engineering services, cost consultancy, project delivery, along with a host of other project and development consultancy services.
For more information about Anderton Gables’ project and development consultancy services, or their commercial building surveying services visit www.andertongables.co.uk .