Why You Need To Understand Prelims

When you are undertaking a refurbishment project you will have to take into account the cost of prelims.

A builders tender document may have a figure for prelims

Prelims are elements of a project that are non productive but essential

Most people would call them overheads

These may be things that you cant start the project without or once the project starts you cant do without

Before the project starts you may need to pay an Architect , Quantity Surveyor or Structural Engineer

These are essential costs that you cannot complete the project without, but wont actually make you any money

If you are employing a Project Manager that will be classed as a prelim

Although the PM may be essential for pushing the project along and avoiding delays or extra costs to the project they will still be classed as non productive

You might be paying for site security or portable toilets and canteen facilities or a cleaner

These are prelims

Scaffolding, plant, water, temporary lighting are all prelims

When you look at a builder or subcontractors tender they might have put in a figure for prelims

When you break it down you will see that they are paying for office space or a Project Manager to run the job

You wont see the benefit of this but they will feel it’s essential for them to complete the work on your project

Prelims can add up to 20% onto the total project costs

That’s why its essential that you take these into account when stacking a deal

You will have to carefully consider each item that is classed as a prelim. You must decide if each of these is essential to the project

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What is an Early Warning Notice

An Early Warning Notice known as an EWN is a contractual clause that is used in contracts construction projects

There are many different types of contracts used on construction projects

You should always use a contract on a refurbishment project

When either the client or contractor becomes aware of any issue that may delay the project or increase the cost they have a duty to inform the other party

These can be used on smaller refurbishment projects

An example may be that the builder has said it will take 4 men 4 weeks to do the plastering

After 2 weeks you may notice that the work is only 25% complete

At that rate the plastering will not be finished in 4 weeks

On your Project Programme you have the painters coming in directly after the plasterers are meant to be finished. This will disrupt the planned programme of works

In this instance you would send the plastering contractor an EWN

It is then up to them to increase the rate of production or increase labour levels

If you don’t send them an EWN and the painters are held up the painting company may charge you for an additional weeks wages for their men to stand around and do nothing

You will not be able to pass these charges on to the plastering company

If however you have sent them an EWN and they did nothing about it you could then pass the additional costs on to them

This works both ways

The plasterer may be on target but is concerned that you have not yet built the walls for him to plaster

In that instance he would send you an EWN

If you don’t resolve the issue you could end up having to pay him to have men standing around doing nothing

When one party sends an EWN to the other the next step is to hold an EWN meeting.

Here both parties will discuss how to avoid or mitigate impacts to the project

Sending EWN’s should be a last resort. It will not improve relations on site

As soon as you see something that gives you concern you should talk to the contractor. Then follow it up with an email

If you mention it several times and don’t get the issue resolved your only option is then to issue an EWN

If you need advice on contracts on your project please contact us here