Chartered Quantity Surveyor & Building Surveys
based in Matlock, Derbyshire
‘When you buy on price, you can never be sure. It is unwise to pay too much, but it is worse to pay too little.
When you pay too much you lose a little money — that’s all. But when you pay too little you sometimes will lose everything, because the thing you bought is incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do.
The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. It can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is as well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do this, you will have enough to buy quality.’
Ruskin. Circa: 1895
I don’t know why but I do like the above quote by the well known social critic John Ruskin. Its something a surveyor should always remember, so you embrace quality and value, rather than always lowest cost. I’ll keep it here as a reminder should I forget.
Are you looking for someone to manage your construction finances or perhaps carry out a building survey? If so, I can help. My uniqueness is that in my previous life I owned a building contractor carrying out new build, extensions and conversions, and managed a seperate subsidence & structural repair business, both for 25 years. The specialist repair business lead me to working as a subcontractor to main contractors. Having surveyed hundreds of properties with subsidence related defects gave me a thorough understanding of the practicalities of dealing with them. Working for myself has instilled in me a financial commercial experience and discipline that is difficult to gain elsewhere, and I can hopefully help others to improve profits and have financial control of their construction project.
Stephen Hodgson BSc MRICS
Builders Estimating & Bills of Quantities
I can provide you with a build budget, a fully detailed estimate, or a Bill of Quantities. I use whatever digital technology will speed this task up and make it more accurate. The more detail I am provided with, the better the estimate or Bill of Quantities. Many problems with clients going over budget are due to the lack of time spent on the initial specification. resulting in lots of extra costs by way of variations to the initial drawings. Some of the services that I can provide include development feasibility studies, individual new build estimates, bills of quantities for builders to price from and an estimating service for builders.
Subcontractors Quantity Surveyor
Since establishing LQS, I work for firms such as steel fabricators, groundworker and decorators. I help these companies with estimating, settling disputes and keeping control of applications for payment, cash flow forcasting and profitability and help with financial aspects of business management. Please note I will not share any confidential information about your business or your suppliers with anyone else.
The “Construction Act”, as it is known, can be quite difficult to understand, so its useful to have it entrenched in your ways. Know your default legal payment rights, when your applications become due, when they should be certified, when a payless notice must be issued by, and the last date you can expect payment. Remember to read your contract, what you have agreed to because those are your actual payment terms.
Handy tips on how to avoid a dispute
- Know your Contract with your client
- Issue notices of delay, disruption, commencement, variations, completion and potential costs at the time, and never wait until the end of the contract
- Obtain written instructions for variations prior to commencing them if you want to get paid promptly
- Obtain agreement to costs prior to commencing, where possible
- Build up a final account from day one and keep the client updated with a projected final account
- Keep a daily updated programme with delay comments and regularly resubmit to the client
- Formally give notice of delays if you want to be paid for them
- Keep records such as detailed timesheets, dated progress photographs, quality control photographs of up covered work, numbered events, variations in a methodical and sequential order
- Never allow an unpaid account to go unresolved
- Speak to a senior manager if you are getting nowhere with the on-site staff
- If the above still fails, never be afraid to refer the matter to Adjudication.
On a freelance basis I can provide all the services provided by a contractors quantity surveyor including Bills of Quantities, estimating, taking off, resourcing, subcontractor payments, project management, programming and coordination, monthly valuations, pricing variations and final accounts, contract correspondence and resolving claims and disputes.
Agreeing accounts with main contractors and end customers is something I have always had to do. Management of this aspect of construction is about preventing disputes, keeping everyone informed, not getting into arguments. You need to have virtually an OCD attitude to project control if you want to get the best of your project. Try and work with your customers not against them. Make sure you perform diligently on site and build a quality product. Failure to do this will not only cost you your customer but will cost you financially in all directions. Finally you then get embroiled in a dispute, only because you didn’t manage the situation properly in the 1st place.
If you have got into a dispute, are being heavily penalised by a contractor, then a new face on the scene can liberate the often trapped feeling you get in these situations. You lose sight of where you need to be heading. Detachment from the problem sometimes frees the way for a solution. I have resolved many difficult situations, by digging into the reality of the claims being made and acting independently can break a deadlock.
Homeowners Quantity Surveyor – VAT free
A Quantity Surveyor can help a homeowner in many ways that many homeowners often don’t realise.
One of the biggest complaints from homeowners is that they have already received wildly varying quotes from builders. It becomes virtually impossible for them to make an objective decision about which builder to choose. The principal idea in quantity surveying is to give all the builders a level playing field to price from. A priced schedule of works prevents many arguments over what is and is not included in the price. A proper contract will require a builder to justify his costs in a fair manner.
If you need help with a dispute or sending out an enquiry to builders’ please make contact. I can also check you are getting good value for money.
Building & Condition Surveys – VAT free
I can survey your property with an experienced eye, and detail all the defects for every component that makes up the property. This can include an estimate of the cost of remedial work.
I am asked to carry out different types of surveys from tenants condition, repair schedule, delapidations to full building surveys.
The price for a detailed building survey and report on a small house start from £400. Conditions surveys start at £75 for a flat, but please call for a quote.
Terms and Confidentiality
My promise is that no information you provide me will be shared with anyone else. If you are a contractor I will never use your suppliers for the benefit of another contractor, and I will never let another company benefit from your business information either during or after I have ceased working for you. All information you share will be passed back to you at anytime.
- Bills of Quantities
- Pricing Variations
- Interim and Final Accounts
- Project Management
- Tendering & Procurement
- Take Off & Resource Listing
- Financial Controller
- Cost Value Reconciliation
- Dispute Resolution
- Claims Calculations
- Property Surveys
- Condition Reports
- Building Surveying
- Subsidence Reports
- 25 years with Builders, Subcontractors and Main Contractors
- Property developments
- Private homes
- New builds and homes
- Barn conversions
- Subsided Properties
- Structural, Specilaist & Concrete Repair
- Steel Fabricators
- Access Conquest Billing & Estimating Programme
- Sage Evaluate
- Sage Accounting
- Plan Swift
- Building Works & Price a Job
- Excel Advanced Use
- MS Project Planning
- Painting Estimator
- Building Cost Information Service
- SMM7, NRM2, ROCK