It would appear that the quantity surveyors ‘want their cake’ and to be able to ‘eat it’ as well.
When quoting for Japanese Knotweed removal there is always the question of – ‘what is going on beneath the soil surface’. The roots and rhizome of Japanese Knotweed are known to extend beneath the ground and have been quoted as being ‘two metres in depth and extending 7 metres in all directions’.
This is a guide and is not a definitive figure – and is only for guidance.
In reality the plant can grow to much less depth and reduced distance – sometimes it does go two metres deep and seven metres outward – and in rare occasions has been known to exceed these figures.
So much of what we do when quoting for removal is educated guess work. We know roughly how long the plant has been growing and what the soil conditions are – thus we can give a fairly accurate idea of quantities based on over twenty years’ experience.
To improve on this ‘guesswork’ we can dig trial bore holes and give a better more accurate quote. There is a cost for these works (machine and labour) but it can end up saving the client tens of thousands of pounds by removing the risk element of somebody quoting a huge figure and then billing for spurious amounts of contaminated material that simply haven’t been removed.
Let’s just put this out there – the fairest way to bill for these type of projects is re-measure.
We give a quote for how much per wagon load of waste to leave site – based on soil samples and % of Japanese knotweed and we simply remove the problem – and bill for what’s been done.
However – this means that your project has a problem.
The price is open ended and could go either up or down depending on what is found.
Quantity surveyors and clients don’t like this – understandably – and want a ‘fixed price lump sum’ – so that they can do the math’s on their project and work out whether its profitable and viable to build.
This means that the ‘risk’ is passed on to the sub-contractor.
Now in most cases I’m prepared to accept this ‘risk’. I’ve been doing this a long time and we pretty much know what we are doing. The risk is that there might be a little bit more taken off and we lose a little money – with the benefit that occasionally a little bit less might be removed and we make some extra money.
I’m happy to work with clients if this is what they want.
But for fucks sake – please, please save me from the quantity surveyor that wants a ‘lump sum’ then when less is taken off – he wants a ‘credit note’.
Jeez – yes it happens.