According to Wolf Street, commercial real estate is expected to hit its peak in 2017 with 346,000 new rental units hitting the market. Dallas-Fort Worth alone is the second largest contributor adding 25,000, slightly behind New York City at 27,000. With all of this activity and the pressure to finish each project ahead of schedule and under budget, it’s important to remember to dot each “i” and cross each “t”. Quality assurance, project documentation and secondary review have become necessary parts of today’s most prominent owners and developers best practices, and those owners and developers are turning to third-party consultants to help get the job done. Here are three key reasons why.
Due Diligence. Mandatory city inspections provide stakeholders with important detail about the project’s code compliance, but engaging a third party consultant on the project adds another critical level of assurance. By having a consultant on the team from day one, stakeholders can expect proper reporting and documentation of the structure throughout the construction process. For stakeholders who own the asset or are looking to sell the structure, this means all documentation outlining the quality of the project can be handed off to the buyer. For the buyer, this means peace of mind knowing the investment will not be compromised with defective construction down the road.
Litigation Protection. Whether it’s for an asset on portfolio, buyer or seller, it’s critical to ensure the assets are protected from potential litigation claims. By having a third party consultant on the team, stakeholders receive a detailed portfolio of plan reviews, observations, reports, and photo documentation that provides superior protection on the investment. Creating a detailed portfolio of how the project was built (relative to plans, specifications, code and industry standards) can be time consuming for project managers to undertake. When a project is in full swing, it’s very easy for project managers to miss the intricate details about the project, such as improper lapping of the balcony waterproofing for unit six on the third floor of building seven. But having an outside third party consultant who is independent from the day-to-day management of the project can help ensure proper correction documenting and archiving down to the last detail. Not only will this save time, it will also ensure that all parties involved have their bases covered.
An Eye for Detail. Commercial projects can grow very complex. Numerous assemblies must work together in order to create an aesthetically pleasing, well-constructed building that will stand the test of time. However, what is designed or set out in the plans may not be feasible once it makes it to the field. By having a third party construction consultant on the team, he will evaluate building plans prior to construction and will help identify errors before they become problems during construction. The consultant also takes this eye for detail to the field where those assemblies and components are constructed. If actual construction varies from the agreed upon project plans, the consultant will note the deviations, alert project management and work with the trades to develop a solution for future installations. Simply, a third party consultant can recognize issues and provide solutions that may be otherwise overlooked.
To summarize, stakeholders and project managers have a lot on their plates. With build cycles often lasting months and maybe years, the amount of detail crossing a project managers desk is astounding. But no matter how bogged down a project manager might get, it’s critical to maintain quality construction and document that construction throughout the lifecycle of the project. Third-party consultants can help with the process and can maintain a level of focus on construction quality that is often difficult for stakeholders and project managers.
When choosing a third-party consultant, due diligence is important. Third-party consultants need to have local knowledge, industry experience, recommendations and a history of successful projects. Each project is unique and the challenges often vary, but a strong third-party consultant can mean the difference between significant profits or damaging loses. For more answers, visit www.burgess-inc.com.