No-one wants their school building project to turn into a headache. So, what practical steps can you take to help ensure that the building contractor you choose will operate efficiently, and that the quality of work will meet your required standards?
Before you even get to tender stage, there are a few simple things to look out for when shortlisting potential companies:
- Have they worked with schools previously?
- Do they hold the accreditations you would expect? As the contractors are working within an environment where children may be present then having a DBS checked person on site for example may be required.
- Do they answer any queries or questions you have fully and clearly?
- Are they proactive in suggesting options when you speak to them?
- Do you like them? Some might say this is beside the point, but we promise if you don’t then site meetings will only become a drag in the future!
Once you’re satisfied the companies you’re thinking of inviting to tender meet the above criteria, then you’re halfway there already. Practical steps to take to then decide which company to choose include:
- Holding a pre-tender (or pre-quote) interview. This ensures that the contractors you are asking to take the next step fully understand the brief, as well as giving you an opportunity to understand their likely approach and current workload.
- Make sure that all contractor queries during the tender itself are answered promptly and fully. You make wish to share these answers with the other tender companies to ensure everyone is working to the same brief.
- Assess tenders according to a combination of cost, approach, previous experience and qualifications and how confident you feel that they will meet the quality required and deadlines proposed.
- Negotiate with your preferred contractor and potentially retain a reserved tenderer.
Once your preferred building contractor is engaged, you still have some influence over the success or otherwise of the project. By agreeing the method and frequency of communications throughout the project and ensuring regular reviews of the work undertaken so far are scheduled, you can be confident that you have given the project the best chance of success.
We have put together a free downloadable guide which covers the above points in more detail – so please download here if you think it would be useful.
Also, to see more information about Alabas’ work with schools, please click here.
Finally, if you have an upcoming project that you would like to discuss with us, or would even just like an informal chat, then please give us a call on 0117 911 1464 or drop us an email on [email protected].