See what our client says about us

"I would definitely recommend using Bushell Raven as both QS or Project Managers. We worked with Jon & Ed for 2 years as we designed, planned and completed extensive refurbishments on our pub – The Hare and Hounds, Levens. They were involved in the planning and execution of this complicated and phased build, which was completed on time and under budget due to their thoroughness and dedication. Jon was readily available to deal with all my concerns (some more legitimate than others!) and would always put my mind at rest and propose and enact solutions quickly and efficiently when needed. Nothing was too much trouble. We would not hesitate in using Bushel Raven again."

Becky Dewar
Hare and Hounds, Levens

Why is it essential to have a building contract in place between client and builder?

Weekly Topic – Cost of project and payment terms

  • The overall cost of the building project will be agreed between client and builder (with the aid of a quantity surveyor) and written into the building contract. This will be accompanied by a full breakdown of the costs and a set of drawings and specification. This ensures all parties understand the cost and scope of works.
  • A standard building contract will set out standard payment terms between client and builder. This ensures all parties understand how each payment will be calculated and when it is due for payment.
  • A quantity surveyor can give specialist advice on building contracts.

Why is it essential to have a building contract in place between client and builder?

Weekly Topic – Quality and design liability

  • A standard building contract specifies the quality of work and specification to ensure all parties understand what is required.
  • If the quality of the work is not in line with the building contract and some work is identified as defective, the contract will dictate the procedure to be followed to rectify the defective works.
  • A contract will specify who is responsible for the design liability of the project (e.g. architect, structural engineer or builder). If there is defective work due to poor design, then it is clear under the contract who is responsible for that design.
  • A quantity surveyor can give specialist advice on building contracts.

Why is it essential to have a building contract in place between client and builder?

Timescales and programme.

  • The building contract will set out the agreed timescales of the project which will include a start and completion date. This ensures the client and builder understand what to expect.

  • If the builder fails to complete the work by the contract completion date, the building contract will dictate the process to be followed.

  • A quantity surveyor can give specialist advice on building contracts and the timescales for the project.

Why is it essential to have a building contract in place between client and builder?

Protection of all parties.

  • A building contract provides protection for both the client and builder. All parties understand what is required at the outset.
  • There are several industry standard building contracts for use on all sizes of projects ranging from large scale commercial projects to small domestic projects such as a single storey extension.
  • The contract will cover many items such as the overall cost of the project, payment terms, timescales, quality of workmanship, design liability, defective work.
  • A quantity surveyor will be able to give advice on the appropriate contract for your project.

Why spend money on employing a quantity surveyor?

Dealing with changes on site.

Changes made during the build may have a cost implication and a quantity surveyor will be able to:

  • Ascertain if any costs quoted by the builder for additional work are fair and reasonable to ensure the client is receiving value for money. If a builder quotes £5K for some additional work, it may be that the fair cost is only £2K and the quantity surveyor will negotiate this cost with the builder.
  • Advise on material changes that may be better value for money without affecting the overall quality of the building (e.g. different types of insulation with the same thermal value).

Why spend money on employing a quantity surveyor?

Weekly Topic – A good quantity surveyor can save the client far in excess of their fee while maintaining quality

Examples of recent jobs showing fee verses savings made:

Job A: Full renovation of existing terraced stone cottage, Cumbria

Bushell Raven’s role:          Project manager and quantity surveyor
Initial cost estimate:          £104K
Final cost from builder:     £86K
Bushell Raven’s fee:           £8K
Client saving:                      £10K

Job B: New bespoke domestic house, Cumbria

Bushell Raven’s role:          Project manager and quantity surveyor
Initial cost estimate:          £849K
Final cost from builder:     £590K
Bushell Raven’s fee:           £19K
Client saving:                      £240K

On both projects Bushell Raven worked with the builder to identify cost savings but not to the determent of the quality and specification.

Why spend money on employing a quantity surveyor?

Weekly Topic – Employ a quantity surveyor early in the project (prior to an architect preparing drawings or submitting a planning application)

  • A quantity surveyor will provide early cost advice to the architect as to the likely floor area that can be constructed for the client’s budget. The architect can then prepare drawings.
  • A quantity surveyor will provide a detailed cost estimate of the proposed works to ensure the architect’s drawings are affordable based on client’s budget prior to submitting a planning application.
  • The client will be informed at the outset of the likely costs of the project.
  • Architect, client and quantity surveyor work together to enable a design to be produced based on client’s budget while maintaining the level of quality the client’s requires.

Why spend money on employing a quantity surveyor?

Weekly Topic – Misconceptions about quantity surveyors (QS)

  • A QS is just an added cost to the project – WRONG
  • A QS can save money on a project which therefore lowers the quality of the build – WRONG

These are incorrect. A good QS adds value to the project by ensuring the client only pays a fair and reasonable cost for the quality specified. Over the life of the project, the QS will often save you far in excess of their fee by keeping tight control of the costs from start to finish.

Why is it essential to employ someone to act on your behalf when dealing with a builder on any building project?

Weekly Topic – Checking tender returns / quotes

  • There are often errors, discrepancies and exclusions in a builder’s quote. These will be identified by the quantity surveyor and presented to the client to ensure the client understands exactly what has been priced.
  • You should not choose a builder based on the lowest price without a quantity surveyor checking the quote. One quote may be lower due to exclusions or inferior materials and therefore not provide best value.
  • A quantity surveyor will produce a comprehensive tender report for the client identifying areas of risk and making appropriate recommendations. The client is then in possession of all facts and can make an informed decision of which builder to appoint.

Monthly Topic: Why is it essential to employ someone to act on your behalf when dealing with a builder on any building project?

Weekly Topic – Checking tender returns / quotes

  • There are often errors, discrepancies and exclusions in a builder’s quote. These will be identified by the quantity surveyor and presented to the client to ensure the client understands exactly what has been priced.
  • You should not choose a builder based on the lowest price without a quantity surveyor checking the quote. One quote may be lower due to exclusions or inferior materials and therefore not provide best value.
  • A quantity surveyor will produce a comprehensive tender report for the client identifying areas of risk and making appropriate recommendations. The client is then in possession of all facts and can make an informed decision of which builder to appoint.

New Projects On Site

Bushell Raven are appointed as project manager and quantity surveyor for the phase 2 refurbishment of an existing bespoke house in Natland, Cumbria.

Bushell Raven are also appointed as quantity surveyor for the flood reinstatement works at the Grade 1 Listed Abbott Hall Art Gallery in the heart of Kendal, Cumbria.

Works to both have commenced on site.