Q: Should we consider using your service before or after appointing a contractor?
A: Ideally before the award to a Contractor, but the service can still be beneficial once a Contractor is appointed. The potential options for cost optimisation though are less, to obtain the best result, the document reviews should be once the project is deemed ready for sending to a Contractor(s) for pricing.
Q: What if my designer objects to you being appointed?
A: There should be no reason why your designer would object to you wanting to optimise your costs. Its always best to explain to your designer that we are not out to find fault with their documents, merely to assist you in ensuring you get the best price you can without compromising the intended quality of the project.
Q: What if my appointed Contractor refuses to accept any of the suggestions you provide?
A: Then you pay us nothing, but you should ask yourself why the Contractor has rejected them and then ask them to explain the reasons as well. Our services do not target the profits of Contractor's, we understand that they are in the project to return a profit, equally you do not want to strip profit out of their service as this potentially leads to lower quality and soured relationships. We can work in conjunction with the Contractor on a collaborative basis if there is resistance to reinforce that they should not lose out on the savings that are proposed. If anything their return on profit increases.
Q: I'm still not sure this is the best thing for me.
A: You have nothing to lose - if we cannot save anything then you do not need to pay us. Its totally risk free for you.
Q: How do you calculate the savings?
A: The starting position are the costs from your existing budget against which we present options each costed based on what you will pay from a supplier/contractor. If there is no budget or it is not sufficiently detailed, the starting position is based on what you will pay from a supplier/contractor.
Thus if in your budget Product A is $10, we may present an alternative to Product A at $8, which is a $2 dollar saving. If there is no budget and we do not know the cost of Product A (the original) we will seek the price which should still be $10. At all times we work with you.
Q: Is this the same as a build broker?
A: No, its different. Build brokers generally take a commission from the builders when they win the job. They tender the project to a selection of builders who compete for the job and will generally measure the savings as the difference between the highest and lowest bids. They essentially do what a Quantity Surveyor (QS) could do but are not necessarily more economical than using a QS. A QS will take a fee for their service so there is no inbuilt commission in the Contractor's pricing.
Q: Are you qualified to offer this service - how do we know that you are?
A: Yes we most certainly are. Our principal, Paul Bishop, has over 30 years experience as a Quantity Surveyor having worked on some of the world's most complex projects. We understand costs of construction intimately and are well placed to offer you this service to leverage optimised costs. Paul is both a Chartered and Registered Quantity Surveyor as well as an Expert Witness in his field. You may validate this independently via the New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.