Proservices maintenance services (PTY) LTD.

Who will be on site and how will it be managed?

This was dealt with earlier however, it is very important that you establish a chain of command on the site in the event that the main contractor is not available should a problem arise and who will oversee the staff in the contractor’s absence from site. It is also important that when a problem arises on site that you know who to raise the issue with. It is a good idea to have a pen carbon book whereby you can log the problem/issue and get that person who is in charge to sign for it.

Are your Supervisors in radio or mobile contact with your office?

There is nothing worse than a contracting supervisor who does not have mobile contact with the contractor, manager or representative in the event of the workforce requiring materials or assistance should a problem arise. It also allows people into your private dwelling should they need to use your personal phone to contact their respective manager or representative. This is also very unprofessional and could lead to a possible theft of personal belongings.

Can you provide a site safety file?

On big projects this is imperative, as you can fall fowl of authorities by not ensuring that the contractor has a site safety file; again the Master Builders Association can assist you in this regard. Is the contractor staff medically fit to complete the tasks at hand?

Can you provide a timeline of activities?

Before hiring a contractor, one should ask the contractor if he can provide you with a fixed starting date and an assumed completion date- weather permitting. These dates should be included in your written agreement or contract. It is also advisable to include a bi-weekly update of the timeline to be provided by the contractor and any delays that may arise in the event of non availability of materials.

Are these activities recorded by means of media and written?

Believe it or not, this is probably the most important factor relating to the elimination of grey areas, either the contractor or you should take pictures daily, am. and pm. These pictures should be filed in an appropriate folder on your computer for reference purposes or in the event of litigation or warrantee claims. Get everything in writing, record minutes of meetings, and make the contractor sign for them. Remember the contractor is only bound by what is written into the contractor contract or information that is provided in writing.

Do you require upfront payments or scheduled payments?

You will need to negotiate a payment schedule with your contractor based on the period of the contract and based on certain factors for renovations such as: once the floor and foundations have been completed, roof height, completion of plumbing and electrical etc. It is wise to break it up into percentages of the tasks to be completed ensuring that the last and final payment will only be paid once the project is 100% complete and all snagging has been completed. Retention may be kept for a period of 30 days from finalisation of the project such as 5% of the contract value. This must also be written into the contract.

Is your company properly equipped to undertake the scope of works?

Has your company got the specialised equipment to complete the project timorously and what type of storage do you require for the equipment or will you provide for your own storage? Will you provide for on site portable ablutions for your staff and will they be serviced by a reputable company? Do you have the required vehicles?

How will you keep me informed of progress and problems?

It is imperative that you are kept up to date on a daily basis of the progress on site so that should a problem arise, it can be brought to your contractor’s attention and dealt with immediately.

What happens should your contractor die tomorrow?

This question is never asked and can have drastic consequences to not only the completion of your project, but materials delivered to your site. For example, you have paid your contractor a 25% retainer to start work and the contractor has goods delivered to your site and the contractor is killed on the way to work. Firstly, your retainer is gone and you would have to claim from the contractor’s estate, or the materials have not been paid for and are removed from site by the supplier or you can be held accountable for goods used that have not been fully paid for, etc. Therefore, it is very important to deal with a company that has a full infrastructure and that can continue functioning after the death of any key member of its staff thereby protecting your investment.