Beyond the Draw Review: What To Expect From Your Contruction Loan Consultant

By Jody Whitt

Monitoring a commercial construction project is a much more comprehensive process than simply “checking the draw”.

While reviewing the pay application is a critical aspect of the monitoring process, it is only one of the many responsibilities a commercial construction professional should undertake on behalf of the institution financing a construction project.

Quality Control

While the construction professional is typically onsite only one day per month, sometimes even for just a short time depending on the complexity of a project, there remain quality control indicators that should be reviewed as part of the monitoring inspection.

  • The construction inspector should always review updates to the project plans located onsite to document any major changes that may create additional costs or impact the value of the project.
  • The building permits should be reviewed to ensure the contractor is passing municipal threshold inspections and is in good standing with the local building department.
  • The inspector should be included on the routing of the third-party testing company to review material test reports and report on any performance measurements not meeting specifications.
  • The inspector should ensure that all stored materials are stocked in locations that are secure from theft and not in danger of being damaged by trades working onsite or by weather conditions.
  • Finally, the inspector should walk the entire site and document any construction concerns that deviate from the plans and specifications or represent shortcomings in the arena of construction best management practices.

While these items do not represent a full construction audit, they are measures that add to the overall quality control process for a project and further protect the lender’s interests.

Assessing Contractor Efficiency

Building a construction project is a process, and like all processes that strive for a successful outcome, they must be performed in an efficient manner. The best indicators of an efficient construction project are the adherence to the project budget and schedule. These items are at the heart of a construction inspector’s report. However, there are other factors at a secondary level that can affect these measurements and should be included in the construction inspector’s review.

  • The construction inspector should evaluate the number of trades and manpower operating onsite to ensure the project is properly staffed for the current stage of construction. This information can be obtained by interviewing the contractor’s field personnel and reviewing manpower reports.
  • The inspector should also determine if the trade groups are being organized in a systematic fashion that promotes not only an efficient sequence of construction, but also project quality.
  • The inspector should also evaluate if materials are being delivered and staged at the site in a condition whereby laborers can access, transport and install them in a timely and efficient manner.

Safety and Security

The final components of a thorough site construction review are assessments of the safety and security of a construction project.

The construction inspector should include a review of the safety process in their walkthrough inspection and report on the contractor’s safety requirements. The inspector should also note the presence of any unsafe work conditions or hazards.
Site security should also be assessed to ensure the improvements are secure from theft or malicious damage. Comments on the presence of security fencing, locking doors, off-hour guards and alarm systems should be part of an inspector’s consideration with respect to security measures at a job site.

How We Can Help

At AKT Peerless, we pride ourselves on a professional staff of Architects, Engineers and Environmental Professionals committed to thorough and professional consulting. We also offer a broad range of engineering services that assist developers and lenders through the due diligence process, including environmental and energy products.

Recently we added construction services to our product offering through our acquisition of Construction Loan Consultants (CLC), an Atlanta based firm serving lending institutions since 1974. With the addition of the construction services program, AKT Peerless can now perform our industry leading Construction Progress Inspection as part of our client’s loan administration process. The Construction Progress Inspection and Report includes not only a systematic review of the pay application, but additional information about the progress, quality and efficiency associated with a construction progress. At AKT Peerless, we strive to reach beyond the industry standards in our analysis and reporting, and exceed our client’s expectations with every project.

Contact us today at (404) 256-1779 to discuss your specific consulting needs.

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