CLPM Ltd – Contract Management Services That Helps You Build Better and Smarter While Saving You Time, Stress & Money
Have you got a building project you are trying to get off the ground? Do you have to manage architects, interior designers, tree specialist, builders, and various sub-contractors? Are there firm contractual agreements with each vendor including milestones and payment options? If you are struggling with all of the above and more then you need an experienced independent Contract Administrator like CLPM Ltd.
CLPM is a Hertfordshire based independent construction management consultancy that helps its clients build better properties by organising the entire process. From project conception through planning to the actual build, CLPM can take away all the stress by project managing the entire process so that you get the desired outcomes. The consultancy specialises in residential property construction projects like house extensions, renovations, refurbishments, or self-build projects.
Construction is a complicated technical industry. It is a process that is not well understood by many. So many people have had issues or lost money while involved in building projects. Communication, basic knowledge, and transparency are some of the keys to getting it right. This is where CLPM comes in. Nicky Bryden, Business Development Director spoke with Herts Review about their business and aspirations.
CLPM was formed from a merger of two independent construction management consultancies – ClearPlan Project Management and Charlie Laing Ltd in 2014. ClearPlan Project Management was a family business set up by Nicky and her husband James Bryden 10 years ago while Charlie Laing was set up 13 years ago. Both consultancies were operating independently but referring work to each other as they covered separate areas.
“James has a background in civil engineering and has managed many large commercial construction projects. Together we set up ClearPlan Project Management as we could see a gap in the market for supporting people through the process. As we referred jobs and shared knowledge with Charlie, we realised that we shared the same ethics and values and thought it might be better to merge our operations thereby creating a broad skill base and size that will help our growth plan. We are still privately owned and the three of us are directors of CLPM”.
“We actually started the business after listening to some horror stories of some of our friends that had embarked on home improvement or self-build projects. These were well-educated people with senior managerial positions in some of the biggest companies in the world. However, they would have a builder or subcontractor working for them with no contracts or agreements in place, handing over large amounts of money with no understanding of what they were getting in return. It was really astonishing. The construction process can be long and drawn out and not everyone has the time and the capacity to see it through. This is where we come in serving as that bridge between the client and other members of the project team”.
CLPM streamlines your construction journey by helping you build smart (i.e. getting competitive builder quotes, costings, and the right outcome) and build sustainably (i.e. being more energy efficient and using eco-friendly products were possible). The consultancy provides Contract Administration (managing your project), Quantity Surveying services, Energy Efficiency and Heating Advice. CLPM has a team of 23 including 8 project managers that are field based supporting clients in residential and commercial projects across London, Gloucester, Birmingham, and the Home Counties.
“The project managers are highly skilled and experienced. On average they have between 20 to 40 years’ experience. That is a lot of knowledge and expertise. Our Quantity Surveying teams do cost estimates, tendering, appointing contractors, the cost side of Contract Administration (the Project Managers take care of the site visiting side), cost reporting and project monitoring. We are a dynamic company and can work with a client from inception or at any stage of the project. On occasions we have been involved in rescue projects where designs are completed, building work on-going but something has gone wrong and we resolve issues with the builder and get the project to the finishing line. We also offer one-off services e.g. a client may just need a project cost estimate and nothing else”.
“Our building projects range from £150,000 to £5m. Usually we start working with a client once they have a basic outline or design. We help them with costing, the tendering process and identifying the right people for the job. For a successful project, you need the right people, at the right price, delivering the right quality at the right time. We advise that if you are embarking on a project, design work needs to be started at least a year before as there is a lot to do before building starts”.
CLPM take pride in their role as independent Contract Administrators. “There are some firms offering contract administration services. Most have preferred builders they refer work to. There can be a conflict of interest if they are using their preferred builder. Will they challenge them enough if things are not going well? We are independent with no relationship with other parties and our loyalty is to our client (the homeowner). We work with architects, interior designers, builders and subcontractors but our mandate is for all parties to adhere to a contract and act in a fair and equitable manner”.
“On face value our service may be seen as an extra cost for a building project. However, once we take you through the process and you see the savings you realise from cost estimates, tendering, limiting any errors in the process you actually recoup our fees and more. We also provide a guide price from speaking to various vendors and our experience of knowing what a service should cost. Our guide price alone can mean thousands in savings”.
“What you get with us is a reassurance that you are getting value for money. A reassurance that you are not spending more than you need to. You will know when to spend and when not to. Milestones are verified to see if they have been achieved. We inspect building works to ensure they comply with the design. Our objective is to help you through the entire process so that you have a successful project”.
The CLPM team are also building project management experts for Grand Designs Live, a television series on Channel 4 focusing on homebuilding projects and Build It Live, a self-build and home renovating exhibition. They present project management courses on behalf of the Self Build Centre in Swindon (NSBRC) and discuss a range of topical construction related issues with other industry specialists.
“As a country there is this heritage about owning your own home, but we need a lot of education on the construction process. Unfortunately, there are lot of TV shows on home building which makes the process seem simple and inexpensive. Construction is not easy. Having basic knowledge is really important. As a company we are putting out free instructional videos on our YouTube channel to help with the education process”
“We are also innovating. In the past our services have been bounded by geography. While some of our services still require our physical presence, we are also offering virtual support services to cover areas remote from our Hertfordshire base. For instance, we can do virtual heating or site monitoring surveys, weekly check-ups and provide cost estimates. This means our clients get more access, knowledge and support needed for a project. It also means we can work with anyone across the UK”.
If you are thinking of a building project and you need advice, help getting the correct specification, cost estimates from builders that make sense or you just need your project to go as smoothly as possible reach out to the team at CLPM here.