Your Area or Development Manager will know your building well and have lots of technical knowledge in matters such as health & safety and finance. Major works, such as large internal redecorations, or external refurbishment works, require specialist input from a Building Surveyor. They help plan complex works and repairs and run major works projects that require skilled expertise. They also play an important role in managing quality control and contractor performance during projects.
FirstPort has a team of in-house Building Surveyors, as we believe that working closely with our onsite FirstPort staff ensures that project communication and the process is made more efficient. We save customers money and inconvenience by being able to intervene early on complex problems, plus our surveyors are able to coach the Development Manager along the way in an activity that is not their core skill. We believe this efficiency is reflected in our competitive rates.
We have a team capable of covering around one-third of the work demanded by the properties that we manage. We use external surveyors for the remaining projects, which means that not only can we cope with peaks and troughs in workload, but also benchmark our skills and rates.
What projects do FirstPort Surveyors work on?
Our in-house team of Building Surveyors work on projects or works that are considered outside the normal repair and maintenance of the property. The majority of projects that will involve the appointment of a surveyor will be large internal or external redecoration projects or internal or external refurbishment works. Sometimes, they will be involved in more specialist work such as a roof repair or lift replacement. They can also help to carry out diagnosis on defects or complex building issues such as leaks.
FirstPort Surveyors will also prepare specifications and tender documents to support the tender process for any major works. When requested, our Building Surveyors will help determine the long-term maintenance needs of a building, by creating or updating Asset Management Plans (this is the tactical plan which sets out how the key elements of the building will be managed over a period of time). This is supported by work on Life Cycle Costing (determining the cost of major building items over a long term period – often 20 or 30 years) or Conditions Surveys (to help determine the current state of repair of part or whole of a building).
Isn’t this work covered by the management fee?
The Management Agreement sets out the duties that we carry out for the agreed Management Fee. This annual fee covers the work required for normal residential property maintenance. Major works, such as large internal redecorations or external refurbishment works are considered extra-ordinary work. This is because running a major works project is a specialist operation and requires qualified personnel – normally that of a qualified Building Surveyor. Whilst our Property Managers will know your building well and have lots of technical knowledge, the role does not require them to be a qualified surveyor. This is standard practice across the industry.
Management Agreements vary but some include within the Management Fee, the appointment of a surveyor and liaison with them and contractors throughout a major works process.