Client’s come from many different backgrounds and most industries have their own language or jargon. Clients therefore will probably not be familiar with the construction industry terminology.

On the other hand, contractors will use terms that are not familiar to clients and although they may seem to explain the situation, the client is sometimes left unsure.

Of course, it’s not always about the language. There are procedures and processes that contractors understand and clients are unfamiliar. This leaves clients nervous and uncomfortable. In my experience, the more clients learn about construction the more they realise what they don’t know.

In addition, clients make changes, which inconveniences the contractor. For each element of the works there is always a deadline by which the contractor needs information in order to purchase the necessary materials. Any changes after this date could be expensive for the client. It is paramount that the client is made aware of these timescales so that delays and avoidable costs are avoided. Sometimes contractors don’t ask in time, which isn’t the client’s fault.

The answer is for a client to employ an independent Quantity Surveyor or Project Manager to speak on their behalf who understands the sequences of the construction process. In this situation the client will feel more in control.