Should I hire a construction claims consultant?
Do I really need a construction claims consultant?
Can't I just do it myself?!
First, we need to understand what a construction claim is:
It is a request for additional time and/or money made by the contractor due to a change in the terms of the contract.
They may also take the form of delay claims, where there is an issue around who should be liable for an increase in project time or cost-related to a delay.
These claims may arise due to changes in design, construction, administration, external environment, bad planning, or a huge list of things that may take a whole article to cover!
It is important to know the exact terms of the claim and its consequences before signing.
Most construction claims are complicated, so you may feel the need for the help of a qualified claims consultant to help you make the right decision. The consultant should analyze the situation and work to resolve the dispute.
But what do Claims Consultants offer that others don't? Here are five things to consider!
- Experience Handling Different Claims
Experienced construction claims specialists work on disputes in almost every area of construction.
They should have extensive experience on claims related to extended project costs, damages, unpaid change orders, cost escalation, delay damages, and much more.
Irrespective of how simple or complicated your case is, these types of experts should be able to help.
- Understanding Technical Jargon
Every construction claim is loaded with technical jargon, especially when it is written by lawyers. Some of the lawyers who draw up these claims, may actually prefer to write the documents only in a language that another lawyer can understand!
So for people like you and me, wading through this jargon is difficult.
A wrong understanding of the claim can cost you more money and more time.
By hiring a construction claims consultant, you may get a clear understanding of the claim.
- Able to Take the Right Action
There are many types of construction claims, so the right course of action varies with the type of claim and other factors.
To make the right decisions, you need a consultant who is capable of performing detailed analysis of your case. Based on this analysis, he or she should make the appropriate recommendations to save time, money, and resources.
Even with all the software out there now, there are still so many human elements to claims that an experienced professionally is still required to guide you through this process.
- Stay on Top of Changing Standards
Do you know the recent updates made to important standards?
Construction standards are ever-changing to keep pace with the nature of the business environment.
A construction claims consultant stays on top of these changes, so they are in a better position to make the right suggestions for you.
- Experience in Negotiations
Negotiations are a key aspect of construction dispute - you need the best negotiators to get the best resolution.
When you have a dispute with a contractor or the owner then you may have a host of different things to think about - how to go about it or what is the best possible solution.
Do You Really Need a Construction Claims Consultant?
The answer is yes.
If a case has been taken out against you, you absolutely need knowledge and experience is this area to protect yourself from great financial losses.
If not, you will be in the dark and in a position to be taken advantage of!
That said, there are a number of things you should look to do from the very beginning of your project that you might look to prevent delay claims all together:
- Proper Schedule Reviewal
Nowadays there are a number of software that help you take the necessary precautions against delays and claims.
This might be a way of you cutting off claims from the very root.
To read an in-depth look into this topic, then click here.
The broad-strokes are that you should do your construction scheduling in a specialist software (like the popular Primavera P6), then run that schedule through an add-on software to sniff out any issues ahead of time.
The best of these are Claim and Schedule Cracker, which you might learn more about here.
- Construction Consultants
Thanks a lot for reading, everyone - we hope you all take the necessary precautions to defend yourselves against these sorts of delays and claims.
To learn more about how to keep your projects on track, please see the related articles below.
Thanks again and take care,
The Project Cracker Team