Do You Need a Consultant? Part One: Cost Estimating, Means & Methods, and Shop Drawing

Running a successful construction company is demanding. Owner/operators may find that it can be difficult to  finish projects on time and within budget. So, what can you do to keep your company competitive while meeting contractual obligations? Many companies turn to an experienced consultant to help them with a wide variety of services. In this series, we will begin by talking about a few of those services.

 

Cost Estimating

Comprehensive cost estimating may help to predict budget and resource allocation needs, and determine if a project will generate profit. Factors behind cost estimation are typically material, location, equipment, and labor. A skilled cost estimator will consider future trends that may affect cost. This knowledge can help your firm perform work more efficiently, understand timelines and realistic chances of meeting a client’s expectations, and manage resources.

 

Development of Means and Methods for Specifications

Typically, contractors develop means and methods of construction. However most smaller firms that do not employ engineers may find this difficult to do on their own. Developing means and methods involves creating a detailed listing of the labor, materials, tools, and equipment that will be needed on any given project then creating a timeline that maximizes the use of each.

 

Shop Drawing and As-Built Drawing Preparation

A knowledgeable engineering firm can help contractors free up resources for other tasks by preparing detailed drawings based on the clients’ construction documents. These plans are crucial to project progress, scheduling, and in helping contractors and the craft labor on sites perform their work.

 

Just as the name implies, “as-built” drawings show the project as it was actually built, which can often vary from the client’s bid drawings. When confronted with changing factors such as site conditions, problems with materials, or government regulations, the contractor is required to record them in the as-built drawings.

 

Another factor that makes hiring an engineering consultant advantageous is that they can provide as-built drawings while a project is under construction. Such documents can aid with unforeseen changes in the scope of work, which supports potential negotiations and design changes. This ultimately leads to faster project closure, including final payments.

 

If you would like to talk to Walden about how an engineering consultant can help grow your business, contact Walden today at 516-559-6976.

 

This blog post is the first of our Contractors’ Guide series. The remaining parts will be distributed over the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned for more!

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