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Building for the first time?

Building can be an incredibly daunting affair if you are doing it for the first time. Whether you are building your dream home or fitting out the first physical shop for your to-date online-only shop.

It involves lots of money and not always scrupulous professionals and builders. It can be very easy to dive in too deep and end up building a nightmare.

That's where we come in. We are committed to making the building process as simple for our clients as possible - taking on all the really stressful responsibilities of managing the process so all you need to really do is focus on the fun things like choosing bathroom tiles.

This page is intended as a guide to the first time builder.

If you still have queries, let's grab a coffee and I will talk you through everything you need to know.

THE BUILDING PROCESS

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Stage 1

Inception & Project Brief:

This is the start of your project. You've had an idea, now you need to talk to someone who knows how to make it happen (us).

Stage 2

Concept & Feasibility:

We need a few people to help us - an architect and maybe a QS. We put together an outline of what you want and understand your budget.

Stage 3

Design Development:

Now we get some engineers as well and we start developing a detailed design for your project. Your architect starts having fun.

Stage 7.1

Patent Defects Period:

For the next five years unknown issues at the time of project close out may present themselves as the facilities get used. During this period contractors may need to come back to fix these issues.

Stage 7.2

Building Operation:

Your building is now live. People are using it, living in it, and enjoying the new spaces that have been created. Regular maintenance and servicing will be required.

Stage 4

Tender & Documentation:

We have a design, now we need someone to build it. We put together a tender pack and find some competent contractors.

Stage 5

Construction:

Site is operational! The design gets refined as we go, specialist subcontractors are brought to site, and we build. Now is your biggest cash outlay.

Stage 6

Close Out:

Your building is complete and latent defect free. Your contractor vacates sites, you make a final payment, and we hand you your keys.

KEY ROLE PLAYERS:

Architect

This is the person responsible for designing your building and producing detailed building plans.

Usually does town planning and council applications too.

Quantity Surveyor

This is the person who is going to handle the costing and most financial aspects of your project.

May include project financing and feasibility studies.

Project Manager

This is the who is going to guide you through the whole project and coordinate the other roler players involved.

Principal Agent

This is the person who manages the contractual agreement between you and the Main Contractor. Usually the architect, often the QS, ideally the project manager.

Main Contractor

This is "Bob the Builder."

This is the person who does the physical construction work on site and manages the subcontractors. May sometimes just be a project manager, sometimes a full company.

MEP Engineers

These are the electrical and mechanical engineers responsible for designing the services layouts and systems in your building (electrical, plumbing, and  HVAC (heating, ventilation, air-conditioning).

Structural Engineer

This is the person who will design the structure of your building - including earth retaining systems, concrete structures, and steel structures are required. Essential for anything above 1 storey high.

Interior Designer

This is the person who will make the inside of your building looking fabulous. They'll help you choose your final finishes (tiles, doors, taps, carpets, cupboards, paint colours, etc).

Subcontractors

These are the specialist suppliers and installers who work underneath the Main Contractor. Plumbers, cupboard installers, tilers, electricians, waterproofers, carpenters, landscapers, etc.

Local Authorities

These are the people you need to keep happy. You apply to them for building permits, water & electrical connections, etc.

Work that is not within our scope of expertise:

Design work

We are not architects and we are not engineers.

We do absolutely no design work.

Even under our "Green Building Consulting" scope of work there is no design element - we advise the design team and coordinate their work. Once the contractor is on site, we make sure they are doing their work correctly.

Cost work

We are not quantity surveyors, although we have partners who are.

We don't cost projects, we don't do feasibility studies. Our QS partners will do that.

We coordinate the acquisition of prices and we assist in payment administration.

Building work

We are not builders.

We manage builders and the process of getting them to site, ensuring the work on site is done well, and get them off site again.

We have no labour or equipment of our own. Even for renovations, we will bring in other companies to do the actual, physical building work.

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Still feeling bamboozled?

Send me an email or give me a call.

Let me take you for a coffee and we can have a long chat about what you need and I can answer all of your questions.

If I am not the person who can help you, I will find you the person who can.

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Project Manager:

"Project managers are change agents: they make project goals their own and use their skills and expertise to inspire a sense of shared purpose within the project team. They enjoy the organized adrenaline of new challenges and the responsibility of driving business results."

- Project Management Institute

A further Wikipedia definition may be found here.