A construction consulting agreement establishes the terms and conditions of a working relationship between a client and the individual hired to assess a construction project. The contract will spell out pertinent details such as the payment terms, what duties the consultant will be expected to perform, when the project will start, and how the agreement may end. The document also informs both parties that the consultant will act as an independent contractor and must manage their tax obligations.
A construction consultant is an experienced professional that uses their specialized knowledge to provide insights into construction projects. They often work for government agencies, consulting firms, contractors, and legal firms. Many construction consultants have a degree in construction management, engineering, or architecture. These individuals help prevent and solve any problems a construction project may face.
A construction consultant might specialize in any number of construction-related fields. Some common specialties include:
- Building surveyor
- Planning consultant
- Structural engineer
- Civil engineer
- Environmentally sustainable design (ESD)
- Building services engineer
- Geotechnical engineer
- Quantity surveyor
Construction consultants can be brought on at any stage of the project development. The number of consultants hired on a project will depend on that project’s scope and budget. Generally, the consultant’s duties fall into three (3) categories.
Any successful construction project requires significant planning before on-site work can begin. Construction consultants are often contracted during the planning phase in order to:
- Determine project viability.
- Improve project designs.
- Estimate costs.
- Determine insurance needs.
- Explore the environmental implications.
- Map out project timelines.
- Determine what permits will be required.
When construction begins, construction consultants will often visit the work site and review reports to inspect the project’s progress. The consultants will use their experience to solve problems the project may face, improve efficiency, and ensure the project remains on budget.
It is crucial to determine what went wrong if a construction project fails. Another essential job a construction consultant may perform is identifying how and why a project failed in order to prevent future projects from facing the same fate.