How We Can Help Save You Money
An experienced construction consultant can save clients a lot of money. Although the services come with a fee, the expert can offset this expense with their knowledge of how to reduce building costs.
One of the main advantages of hiring a construction consultant is to save money and to help you stay within your budget. Martin examines the building plans and analyses costs of the materials you want. You will also have to choose appliances, flooring, cabinets, and many other things.
For example, you may want to put solid wood floors throughout the house. However, he might have to tell you that this will cost way over your budget. He might suggest a solution that requires cutting costs in another area. Or, you may put the solid wood floors in the living room and dining room, and put less expensive quality engineered floors or laminate floors in the other rooms.
In Martin’s experience, many clients are surprised at the high cost of some of the materials and building that they would like to include. For instance, a client was building a home from the ground up. This client had the architect draw up the plans of the project. Their budget was $3,000, but Martin calculated that the actual price of the house drawn in the plans would be about $5,000 or more. His job was (and is) to give clients accurate information so that they can avoid problems and stress.
Here are some ways we can help you lower costs:
- Insurance Claims: Martin can work with your home insurance company to get you a higher compensation than the original insurance company offer. He has been able to get clients 1.5 to 4 times the amount of the original offer and additional money for unexpected expenses. Examples of unexpected expenses could be additional costs from the building department or inspectors, upgrades of the house to meet present-day codes, items of work not accounted for in an insurance claim, inaccurate costs due to local cost indexes (frequent when adjustors are out of state), and more.
- Real-Life Example: While working in Florida, Martin negotiated with the major insurance companies for wind, flood, content, theft, and more. In order to ensure his clients the maximum coverage in their payment items of construction, he wrote itemized lists for costs. These costs included those included by the insurance company and those that are NOT included in the insurance company manuals. Martin knows how insurance coverage and line items work. With this knowledge, he can help you get the best insurance payout for your situation.
- Guidance: He can answer questions based on his 46+ of experience in the industry and guide you so that you can avoid penalty or liability costs on your project.
- Prevention: Martin can analyze and advise you if the construction on your project is being done efficiently so that mistakes are avoided and time isn’t wasted. Mistakes are avoided by checking in-progress work. Time is saved by following a CPM (Critical Path Method) or other scheduling techniques for all aspects of construction.
- Real-Life Example: Martin has knowledge and familiarity with industry CPMs, which will save you time and money. In one case, a company providing materials burned down, during which time the company had about 8 or 10 materials on backorder. Fortunately, the CPM called for that materials to be ordered with 6 weeks lead time and the job did not have to be shut down.
- Permits: He is at home in a building department and can ensure that your permits are obtained in a timely fashion. Martin is familiar with where permits are often slowed down and can advise you how to plan department visits to keep your job running smoothly and keep your costs as low as possible.
- Real-Life Example#1: In some states, demolition permits can be acquired separately, which can give you a big jump on your time frame. Knowledge of tips and tricks like this is what makes Martin a huge asset for you, your pocketbook, and your time.
- Real-Life Example #2: In 2004, Martin bid on a job where the architect drew the plans without first consulting with the Zoning Department, which found the plans to be completely incorrect. This delayed the permit approval for about 3 months. If the architect had consulted with a knowledgable consultant or contractor, he would’ve saved the architect and the owner considerable time, effort, and money.
- Variances: He can work with homeowners on variances, which are items normally not approved by the Zoning or Building Departments. He can help you present your case to the zoning and building departments with solid reasons for why you should be able to build something outside your city’s building codes.
- Licensed and insured: Ensure that contractors, subcontractors, and owner-builders are properly licensed, insured, and possibly bonded.
- A licensed contractor is acknowledged by the state that they can handle finances, taxes, labor costs, supplier costs, and are properly insured.
- Construction bonding is used for high stakes projects. This risk management tool uses a bond as a legal guarantee that the project will be completed as per the terms of the agreement.
- Worker’s Compensation and General Liability Insurance: These are essential insurances for the general contractor, all subcontractors, and owner/builders in case of workplace injury.
- If the contractors aren’t licensed, then in the case of a workplace accident or injury, the homeowner is 100% responsible for what Worker’s Compensation or General Liability Insurance would have covered. These insurances protect the owner’s interests and the workers on the job. This is why Martin suggests always double-checking that your contractors are licensed.
- Building code: Martin can ensure that the building is done as per your local building codes and industry standards.
- Plans: He can help you work with plans to ensure that you are building in a way that is financially sensible and to get you the best bang for your buck.
- Vetting personnel: He can help you to vet contractors, architects, and other personnel to ensure the best person for your project at the most reasonable prices.
- Checking contractor references is an extremely important part of this process. Martin recommends a minimum of 3 previous clients of the same kind of construction and price range. You want to be sure that the contractors you hire are experienced in jobs that are the same price and scope as your job.
- Real-Life Example: When working on a clinic in Florida, a client hired a contractor without checking references or licensing. Later, Martin was hired to review the work and noted several major problems. When the contractor was dismissed, he ended up causing huge problems on the job and could not be held accountable to the licensing board or with insurance. The owners lost money and time and had to redo all of the work up to code, which Martin helped to complete so no further time or money was lost. Always check references.
- Choosing a bid: People might be inclined to hire the lowest bidder, but surprisingly often a higher bidder may be a better contractor who can save you money in the long run.
- Liens: He can help you get a release of lien from each contractor and supplier.
- In terms of construction, a lien is when property owned by a client can be possessed by a contractor until a debt owed to the contractor is paid. A contractor, subcontractor, or supplier can put a lien on your property if they aren’t paid. This means they can take legal action to get you to pay. A lien means you can’t sell the property or refinance it. When payment is made, the owner obtains a release of the lien and then has full access and control of their property once again.
- Building materials: Martin can ensure that building materials are of good quality, that they will last, and that they will be safe.
- Scheduling: He can ensure that a CPM (Critical Path Method) or other scheduling format is being used and used correctly, and also check to be sure that the job is on schedule.