Construction Gone Wrong! What Now
Anybody who reads the papers will know of all of the contractor horror stories that are published every week – with homeowners losing thousands of dollars after placing their trust in the wrong construction team. If this happened to you, you need competent legal representation
A lot of the time, such losses occur due to a lack of care before construction has even started. Many people don’t even bother to sign a contract with their contractor and subsequently, there is little they can do once things go wrong.
Taking the above into account, here is our guide to selecting the right type of procurement for your next home improvement project. It should be noted that this is only the tip of the iceberg and once you have selected one of the following three, you must then acquire a standard contract that can be used with your chosen method of procurement and complete it appropriately.
As the name may indicate, the traditional method of procurement is the most common in the construction industry. In simple terms, it means that the design stage is completely separate from the construction – meaning that the project is basically split into two parts. The design of your project will have to be created before you can source the contractor.
There are several benefits to this method, most notably the certainty and the fact that it is the industry standard. In relation to the former, as you already have the design prepared, there are no excuses for the contractor not to provide you with an exact figure for the project. If they do not stick within this budget throughout the project, you are not liable for any additional costs. The popularity of the traditional procurement method means that practically every contractor out there will know how to work with it, and this will obviously promote efficiency.
Unfortunately, there is a drawback, with this focussed around time. As the project is split into two stages, design and construction, it will take slightly longer to complete than projects which are procured in different ways.
Design and Build Procurement
Again, the name gives everything away in relation to this procurement. Unlike the traditional method which was split into two stages, the main contractor is responsible for both designing and constructing the project. Unsurprisingly, this means that the project can run much more efficiently – as there is no overlap as is the case with traditional procurement. Furthermore, the design and build procurement method holds the similar advantage of certainty – as you and the contractor will agree on the cost of the project at the very beginning.
Unfortunately, it’s not a perfect method and there are suggestions that this type of procurement does not promote the best quality design. This is because a lot of contractors merely specialise in one field, meaning that they may not be quite as proficient at designing as they are in actually carrying out the practical elements of the project.
The final type of procurement we’ll take a look at management and if you are merely having a small alteration to your home, this is probably not going to be considered. It involves a main contractor being appointed and being responsible for managing the whole process – meaning that they appoint sub-contractors to carry out specific sections of the project. However, you will be responsible for sourcing a design professional – with the main professional only accountable for the practical elements of the contract.
To put the above into an example, we’ll look at the situation in relation to a proposed extension to your home. You will firstly hire an architect or design team to design the extension, before then sourcing a main contractor to manage the whole construction process in relation to this design. They will then hire contractors for each separate process; so this could be a large firm such as Taylor Lane for the frame of the extension, or NRC Ltd for the roof covering.
Management procurement is another method that is regarded as being very efficient, as processes can overlap each other and the construction phase does not have to start once all of the designing has been performed. Furthermore, unlike the design and build system, the main contractor can bring in specialist teams which should help with the overall quality of the project.
Unfortunately, there is a lack of certainty with the management method, as each segment of work is let at a different time. Therefore, if you are working to a strict budget, this might not be the most advisable solution.