Subcontractor Case Studies

Subcontractor Take Off

This subcontractor tradesman required a take off and schedule for work he was quoting for on a Wellington school being constructed by a main contractor.

Walker QS Consultants met with him to gain a greater understanding of his business, requirements, hourly rate, health & safety costs and expected profit margin.  Using this brief, industry experience and our industry-leading estimating software, we completed a detailed schedule, which we discussed with the client along with reviewing the main contractors’ programme and an overview of the risks and opportunities associated with the project.  Our client was completely satisfied that he had a comprehensive schedule in hard and soft versions, to price the job.

Complete subcontractor services

A regular subcontractor client was invited to tender for an extensive new build project. With a large forward workload, the subcontractor required a viability assessment to confirm whether or not the project would be worthwhile financially, and in terms of long-term relationships.

Walker QS Consultants analysed the tender documents and programme, used our extensive network to gather informal background information about the project and came to the recommendation that it was worthwhile for the client to tender for the project.  To support his submission, we carried out intensive project scheduling using the supplied project drawings, specification and programme to produce a complete material and labour take off.  Current market rates were then applied, adjustments made based on the numerous previous tenders we have assisted this client with.

A full project report was then presented and discussed with the client.  Further adjustments to price and breakdown were made before compiling the submission document, along with associated tags and clarifications to ensure that our client’s interests were protected from any ambiguous specifications or details.

The client’s bid was accepted pending a pre-let.  Walker QS Consultants were engaged as full support for this project, and we attended the pre-let meeting to go over tags, clarifications and contractual terms.  Using our experience, we negotiated fair terms with the main contractor on behalf of our client, while retaining their excellent long-term relationship.

During the 11-month project, we carried out site visits prior to submitting each progress claim, as well as negotiating and submitting variations and contra charges.  Each payment schedule was assessed in response to our claims and we addressed any issues quickly to ensure a quick final account agreement.  Upon completion of the project, we assisted the client in negotiating retention release and a final account.

Variation dispute resolution

This subcontractor client was experiencing issues with the main contractor regarding large deductions on their claims.  With the project close to completion and the magnitude of the sums being deducted, the subcontractor was concerned that their business existence was becoming questionable.  Walker QS Consultants met with the client and his site manager to go over the project, the contract and contractual documents.  Based on the reasoning for the main contractor’s deductions, we carried out a remeasure on the additional works to substantiate the figure being claimed.

This was presented along with marked-up drawings, full schedules and breakdowns of the rate applied, based on the signed contract and daywork sheets.  We wrote the contractual responses throughout the negotiations which assisted the client in claiming 70% of the value that had originally been knocked back.

Through effective use of the Construction Act and carefully structuring our submissions, our client  avoided incurring the large costs of going through the legal route to resolve the issue.

Due to our substantiated approach, the relationship between our subcontractor client and the main contractor was maintained and they continue to work on projects together.