By: Irena Kosturska

As building cost consultants with over ten years of experience, Accent Estimating understands that creating a realistic budget that incorporates all the materials and labour required for the project determines the success of the completed build. Dedicated estimators cover all the variables and unforeseen costs that can quickly throw off an impractical budget and building schedule. Our team have seen some build situations quickly go awry when the builder has misquoted the budget and today, we’re covering the warning signs to notice during the tender and construction process and how to avoid any costly complications.

Underquoted tender

For many clients, the tender process can seem overwhelming. It could be that this is their first home build or construction project, or they’re unfamiliar with the many integral costs of a complex project beyond simply the materials and labour. This can lead clients to select the cheapest tender without analysing the costs that have been cut or considering the need for contingency planning, or builders to misquote costs and create an unrealistic build timeline. Tenders need to be detailed and thorough and many builders lack the time or tools to avoid tendering at a loss.

As building cost consultants, our team has seen many quotes that are considerably cheaper than competing tenders during the tender analysis stage, typically not due to cost-effectiveness but infeasibility. Avoiding the warning signs of underquoted tenders and tender mistakes during the early planning stage is a great reason to hire an estimator for your project. Great estimators provide multi-faceted and realistic estimation services that successfully secure tenders for construction businesses.

Inaccurate or poorly timed progress claims

Progress claims are an important facet of the build process, ensuring that builders are paid promptly and that the construction schedule is effective. Usually, progress claims are submitted detailing all the costs of labour and materials at the end of each phase, ensuring precision with the allotment of funds for each construction phase. Clients can run into issues when regular progress claims aren’t submitted or the work that is invoiced simply hasn’t been completed as claimed.

Builders should plan ahead and have the cash flow needed to finance 2-3 stages of construction to avoid any delays to contractor payments. Progress claims should also clearly outline the work included and include a claim schedule detailing the percentage of work completed. Red flags to notice include if a builder’s progress claim does not match the build progress or they are requesting payments outside of documented progress claims.

Inexperienced builders

An obvious warning sign that your build will experience delays is if it is outside your builder’s or contractor’s field. At Accent Estimating, we’ve been approached by clients who have received tenders from contractors who don’t even have construction backgrounds! If the builder does not have experience in your project type, then this suggests that their craftsmanship will not be of a high calibre. Inexperience also indicates that a tender will be incorrect due to their insufficient knowledge of the scope of the project. An obvious indication that a builder is not right for your project is if the builder’s license is in a company name and not a personal name, or if the builder does not supply HIA or MBA membership.  

Poor project management

If there are warning signs that the builder is inexperienced, it will undoubtedly lead to poor project management. Unknowledgeable builders will be unable to correct any work that has been completed to a poor standard and may also not yet have built a trusted network of contractors. This can lead to further inexperienced apprentices undertaking your build while the builder manages the site over the phone. To avoid poor management or scope disputes, builders need estimators to help any project go smoothly and ensure that all work is proceeding according to plan and budget.

Conflict of interest

A builder recommended by a party with a direct financial connection can cause a potential conflict of interest and an inaccurate tender and budget.

A neutral party like an estimator or building cost consultant works alongside the architect, builders, contractors, and clients to create the most streamlined schedule and budget possible. An estimator supports a project from start to finish with an accurate budget, realistic schedule, comprehensive claims, and cash-flow forecasts to avoid any scope disputes or conflict of interest.

Looking for premium building cost consultants in Australia?

As expert building cost consultants, Accent Estimating knows that accurate estimations ensure a streamlined build process without any costly mistakes. Our experienced team provide reliable support to builders and contractors within the property, development and building sectors for accurate estimates every time.

We are uniquely positioned to provide high-quality remote services across Australia including Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane. Our team utilises the best industry resources to provide straightforward, estimating support for over 700 projects since 2015.

If you would like to find out more about our estimating services, you may give us a call on 0413 953 869 or fill out the contact form on our website.