Latest practices are incredibly important when discussing a building tender. A large number of groups are invested in maintaining these standards, including the Master Builders South Australia, the Association of Consulting Architects, and the Royal Australian Institute of Architects.
The key element of assessing the standard of tenders is good management. As a client, you need to know that there is value in the services for which you are paying. Best practices are a cornerstone of effective tendering. It helps that both parties enjoy mutually beneficial contractual relationships. Guidelines that are created by governing bodies are considered to play an essential role in helping to reinforce high standards in the industry.
When you make a shortlist of contractors, each one submits costs for the project. That means that you are essentially being offered services. The regulations that surround tenderers are in place to protect all parties concerned. All involved parties in the distribution line, including subcontractors, are party to the agreement – or, at least, they should be.
For your part, reading the contract thoroughly and preferably having it looked over by an experienced lawyer is a good idea. Most contractors are well aware of their responsibilities but there are always the few who want to cut corners. Always ensure that your contract is binding and it covers all the important stages of the project.
Ethical behaviour is another consideration that is heavily associated with tendering guidelines. Australian Standard AS4120 is of particular interest whenever ethics are a concern. This Standard refers to all parties concerned, regardless of the time and level of personnel involved in any dispute. Electronic tendering is also included within the Standard, with more changes possible as technology advances throughout the years.
Behaviour is a significant factor in any interaction between client and tenderer. A qualified and licensed contractor is therefore more likely to behave in an ethical manner than a careless builder. It doesn’t matter what level the work is at on the ground-up construction scale, the contractor should adhere to the same set of ethics.
For a home builder or developer, it should be understood that the relationship with contractors is not exclusive. Even if you hire a single contractor, expecting the relationship to be inclusive, there are often other contractors down the chain. These contractors are all subject to the Standards that tenderers must abide by.
This may become complicated for the end client as the main contractor may have to seek services from other tenderers. If you are the person building a home, these details are important when discussing services with a builder. You need to know that all the work you have commissioned is carried out according to your requirements and as outlined in the contract.
When you receive a tender document, it should include a number of packages. The details in the document will, ideally, provide designs and specifications that tenderers can effectively use to fulfil their role in the project. The purpose of creating the document in this way is to make the project move more smoothly. It also allows the client to make price comparisons with other contractors.
As the client, you are not involved in much of the process. However, identifying the needs of any relationship between tenderers is important. Does your contract put the onus on the main tenderer, or is your project at risk because a sub-contractor is not reliable? These are the types of questions that every client should ask of a contractor. You never know when a contract essentially leaves you out in the cold.