Getting to grips with a challenging project

Published: January 4, 2023
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One client had an £8 million development in Mayfair. It had been standing empty for years, and now there was finally interest in it. The client had a private group of investors waiting for the right developer to take the job. 

They needed all the paperwork pulled together – a full project appraisal, tender documents, full costings and an offer from a reputable builder – and all the construction contracts in place in just 4 weeks. Not to mention all the project team appointments that needed to be made.

The project was designed to a white-box level. Planning permission was granted, and fit-outs were due to be scheduled. Our client was at a loss on how to progress the project under incredibly tight timelines.

Doing 3 months of work in 4 weeks

It usually takes a minimum of 3 months to prepare this package; our client only had 4 weeks to do it. Their previous quantity surveyors agreed to take on the project – but they needed those three months to complete it. 

That simply wouldn’t work since the investors were ready to sign on the dotted line and the deal would be lost if it wasn’t ready to go in 4 weeks.

Negotiating an extension and finishing in 5.5 weeks

We decided to do whatever it took to make it happen. But as much as we wanted to take on the project, finishing it would require more time.

Taking on the project was only possible if everyone could commit to completing it in 6 weeks’ time. For this to happen, the whole team had to be on board from day one.

The first step was establishing a precise plan showing all deliverables and the path to follow – and ensuring everyone knew what they were responsible for. At this stage, we identified 2 contractors who could start pricing the project immediately so that we could keep moving forward.

Then we met with the investors and presented a proposal to deal with the fit-out phase later. After this meeting, our client got an extension on their deadline by 2 weeks, in line with our proposed 6-week time frame.

Four of our quantity surveyors got to work: they completed the Bills of Quantities and tender documents in just 2 weeks so we could send them out. Once sent, we prepared all the documentation and proceedings required by the investors – including the contracts and project team appointments. 

About one week before the deadline, we managed to get all the prices from contractors, and we spent the last few days negotiating. All of this was completed with half a week to go before the deadline.

Our project was approved, and development began just 6 weeks later.

Quick on our feet

When a project comes in with ‘impossible’ written all over it, we don’t shy away from a challenge. We love ‘difficult’ projects. They bring our team together to achieve one goal.

Our team is cohesive as much as it is diverse – each member brings value to a project. Like clockwork, everyone has a clear role and purpose and understands where they fit into the wider project. Great things happen when we put our best foot forward, exceeding even our own expectations.

We do this by establishing our objectives, having a clear plan and using our team to bring these elements to fruition.

So if you have a complex project, get in touch. We look forward to finding a way to bring your vision to life.