3 Ways Quantity Surveyors (QS) Prevent Disputes in Contractual Relationships

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3 Ways Quantity Surveyors (QS) Prevent Disputes in Contractual Relationships

19 March 2021
 Categories: Finance & Money, Blog

Typically, most construction projects are long-term in nature, which often translates to uncertainties. Disputes are a classic example of uncertainties, and they can hinder the progress of any construction project, not to mention the cost implication. Therefore, construction project disputes must be avoided or resolved as soon as possible. It is the reason a property developer needs to hire a quantity surveyor. Apart from being the construction industry's financial whiz-kids, quantity surveyors also keep a close eye on contractual relationships. They are capable of preventing disputes between contractors in a project. Here is how.

Communicate Changes Early

Part of a quantity surveyor's job is to ensure that a construction project runs within the allocated budget without compromising quality. Often, it means replacing construction materials with cheaper but quality alternatives. If a quantity surveyor fails to communicate their intentions to change specific building materials with an architect and a builder, the chances of a dispute are high. For example, late communication often leads to delays in sourcing new materials, affecting a builder's timeline since they have to wait before resuming operations. Communicating potential changes to construction materials early enough gives other contractors the chance to adjust their operations accordingly. Most importantly, it promotes understanding between contractors and prevents disputes. 

Keep Regular Contact with Suppliers

Suppliers are a crucial cog of any construction project. The earlier they supply construction materials to a project site, the easier it is for the QS to operate within the proposed timeline and budget. However, suppliers operate under uncertain conditions, which often lead to delivery delays. For instance, a rebar supplier might be forced to change its route due to weather conditions and extend delivery by a day. However, the delay might force a concrete contractor to wait since they cannot pour it without rebar. Therefore, a QS should always keep regular contact with suppliers to ensure that contractors know the status of materials they need to perform their role.

Notes Errors in Design Early

Design errors can significantly impact the structural integrity of a building. If errors are identified late, then builders, AC contractors and architects will not be happy. The reason is that correcting design errors identified in the latter stages of a construction project might involve knocking down parts of a building. It means that other contractors have to wait for the corrections. Such incidences delay a contractor's operations, hindering them from filling their portfolios as planned. A quantity surveyor who is always at a project site can identify design errors early and order corrections. It allows all contractors to work smoothly and prevents disputes.