Procurement for Homeowners

Procurement is the first step in any construction project and it is the stage which we believe is the most important in terms of engaging the support of a Quantity Surveyor.

Gaining cost certainty at this early stage, as well as reassurance that you’ve chosen reputable contractors who can meet planned project timeframes is invaluable.

What is procurement?

Put simply, procurement is the buying / securing of works from contractors.

What is involved in Procurement?

The first step in procuring works is to detail all of your requirements, which is often achieved with the support of an architect who will produce planning drawings, followed by a more detailed Buildings Regulation Pack that typically requires some design input from a structural engineer.

However, Building Regulation design doesn’t typically include final design details which are needed in order to gain cost certainty when estimating costs and procuring works.

AG Surveying has developed a process whereby we can identify gaps and ambiguities in this information, and subsequently determine with the client what their requirements are in relation to these points.

The Procurement Process

Step 1

As a first step, AG Surveying will collate and document all requirements that might be missing from the Buildings Regulation Pack including: structural design details, plumbing, mechanical and electrical requirements (e.g. number and type of lighting, light switches, power sockets), plumbing (e.g. does the boiler require upgrading / replacing), and finishes such as flooring, sanitary-ware, tiling, doors, etc.

All of these details carry cost implications and if they aren’t detailed and documented before you enter into a contract with a builder or trade, you are at risk of them having not been considered adequately or at all when prices are returned.

Step 2

AG Surveying will produce a Schedule of Employers Pricing Requirements Queries which makes suggestions and asks questions regarding your projects requirements.

For example, we might need to determine who is supplying doors, whether you have a specific door in mind that should be included, or perhaps whether we would want to ask that contractors allow a prime cost allowance for each type of door.

By capturing this information within a pricing schedule, we reduce the likelihood of any confusion around responsibilities and ensure all contractors are pricing on a like for like basis, giving more cost certainty.

Step 3

Once we have all responses to our queries, we will use this in conjunction with the existing project information to produce a comprehensively itemised pricing schedule that clearly defines all of the details of works.

This pricing schedule could be either measured or not measured (thus allowing for the contractor to measure drawings themselves), depending on the level of detail and security you wish to attain. 

Providing a measured pricing schedule attracts slightly more upfront costs for the client (as they will need to the pay the Quantity Surveyor to measure their works), however this further encourages contractors to price the works accurately. It also further encourages a like for like and fair tender process.

Step 4

AG Surveying will then draft tender and contract documents, working with you to devise a contract that includes a level of detail and security that you’re comfortable with.

We will typically send this to three contractors (these can be selected by you or recommended by us) complete with a return deadline for prices. We will ensure that the contract we distribute is comprehensive and includes for every detail we believe needs to be covered for your particular project.

Step 5

AG Surveying will assist with queries that are raised during the tender process (whilst contractors are preparing their prices). To ensure full transparency, we will share the answers to these questions with all contractors tendering for the works to ensure fair pricing, and will manage all Q&As over the course of the tender period. 

Step 6

Once each tender pack is received from each contractor, a Quantity Surveyor will analyse and compare each one.

A Quantity Surveyor can then identify anomalies, i.e. areas where prices seem too low or too high, and use these disparities to raise queries, ensuring that contractors have interpreted the contract correctly and that prices are accurate.

Step 7

AG Surveying will then make recommendations as to who we think is most commercially competitive and suitable for your project based on each contractor's estimated programme duration and availability / start date. 

Step 8

Finally, we will execute the contract agreement and works are procured. 

The benefits of engaging a Quantity Surveyor at Procurement Stage

The benefits of engaging a Quantity Surveyor to support procurement at the front end of your project is of course, that you are entering into a contract with a contractor who you know is competitive and who has agreed to terms and prices based on an advanced level of detail.

You therefore know exactly what they’re providing, what Prime Costs and Provisional Sums are included within their price, and which areas may fluctuate as the project progresses.

Note: A Prime Cost is an allowance stated to be allowed for set material for an element of work, e.g. “supply and install large module tiles based on a Prime Cost of £30 per m2 for the tile”

A Provisional Sum is an ‘all-in’ allowance for works that are typically not defined, and are to be firmed and pre-agreed once the requirements in relation to the work are defined prior to commencing.

Due diligence at the front end of a project helps to ensure it runs smoothly throughout.