Commercial Property Refurbishment – Project Management
When undertaking larger scale refurbishment to a commercial property, it is recommended that unless you are experienced in commercial property matters, that the project is professionally managed by Building Surveyors.
The reason for this is simply because Chartered Building Surveyors have extensive experience of managing projects and are fully familiar with all of the processes.
Usually, professional project management will include:
A formal specification is required so that contractors bidding for the project are all quoting for the exact same work, including the quality and quantity of materials to be used. It’s the blueprint of the project essentially, so is a very important part of the process. Get it wrong at this stage and everything else fails!
Sometimes, planning permission is required for certain works, though this will depend on the extent of the project and how it’s going to affect the look and use of the premises. If the property is going to be extended, then planning permission will usually be required. We undertake this work for you as part of the project management service.
Building Regulations will be required for most commercial property refurbishment projects, especially if things like wall cladding or roofs are being changed. Our project management service includes for this, though fees payable to local authorities or third party building control inspectors are charged separately and in addition to the project management fee.
Invitation to Tender
Chartered Building Surveyors have to abide by a code of conduct and will ensure that your project is tendered fairly to a limited number of building contractors. The contractors invited to tender can be those who you know yourself, or those recommended by the surveyors, or a mixture of the two – it’s really your choice.
Tender Administration and Adjudication
Once the tenders have been returned by the set date, they are opened and checked for validity. It’s not uncommon for a contractor to make a mistake with their pricing or their arithmetic!
The tenders are then submitted to the client with a formal tender report, outlining the advantages and disadvantages of each tender, along with a recommendation to the client as to which one is the most advantageous. It is ultimately down to the client to determine which contractor is chosen.
Health & Safety (CDM)
Not just a box-ticking exercise. Health and Safety on construction sites is now a major issue and it’s vital that you understand your responsibilities as an “employer” when you’re undertaking refurbishment projects. As part of the project management service, we will undertake all CDM duties to ensure that you are adequately protected.
Site Inspections / Contract Valuations
Regular site inspections are vital when undertaking construction projects. Our surveyors will visit site and check progress against the project schedule and carry out contract valuations at the same time. The contract valuation schedule will be agreed prior to commencement of the project at a pre-contract site meeting.
Following each meeting, the contractor will submit an invoice for the amount agreed at each contract valuation.
Most refurbishment works are usually completed on a JCT contract.
This is a legal document stating the basis on which the works will proceed. It’s a long and quite complicated document that is designed to avoid any dispute between the contractor and the client.
At the end of the project, the surveyors will attend site and inspect the work to ensure that everything has been completed satisfactorily and will sign off the works.
It is usual for a defects liability period to commence at this stage, in which any defects that become apparent, can be resolved later by the contractor and an agreed retention will be held back from payment to ensure that the contractor honours this agreement.
Once the defects liability period expires (most commonly 6 months), the surveyor attends site again to make a note of any defects (if present) that can be put right prior to the balance of the final sum being paid.
Throughout the project, the surveyors will build and maintain a health and safety file which is handed to the client at completion. It lists all of the materials used in the project, along with specifications, the contract of course, plus any variations that have been made along the way.
Fees are usually charged as a percentage of the contract value, paid in two instalments at the start and end of the process. The percentage charged will depend upon a number of factors but allow 10% for budget purposes.