Any project associated with the construction of a building, structure or infrastructure can benefit from the assistance of a professional engineering firm. No matter the scale of the construction work, many projects are burdened by strict deadlines and unreasonable budgets. Further unforeseeable inconveniences, such as dealing with a property with restrictive bylaws or a building with unconventional designs can cause even more complications. The success of these arduous undertakings often hinges on the proper coordination between architects, engineers, and contractors, as well as their ability to solve complex problems. And it is during these times of uncertainty throughout the project’s lifetime when the experience and expertise of the project engineer will truly shine.
When searching for an engineering firm, the primary consideration of many project owners is the cost of services. Especially if you are an owner that do not have much experience in the construction field, the cheaper option can often seem like the best one. In some severe cases, the cheapest option may even be your only choice. However, most veterans in the industry will likely advise you to base your decision not on the price, but instead on the level of professional experience the engineering firm possesses. And when you are looking at experience, do not just focus on the experience of individual engineers, but also consider the professional background of the engineering company as a whole. An engineering team that has been involved in relevant projects in the past will be able to provide higher quality solutions, which can easily save you more money in the long run. We at MR Engineering Ltd. have provided countless creative solutions for structural, electrical and mechanical problems that were able to save our clients a lot of money and hassle. These innovations could not have existed without the years of experience our engineering team has in the construction industry.
One major downside of hiring cheap and inexperienced companies is their tendency to overlook certain things due to a lack of understanding. Sometimes, cheaper firms may even choose to cut corners on purpose in order to conserve man hours. In one of our recent construction projects, the earthwork contractor did not properly prepare the property for excavation, likely to save some upfront cost; which lead to soil sloughing and the exposure of the neighbour’s foundation wall. This incident alone can cost both the contractor and the property owner thousands of dollars, not to mention the inconvenience caused to the neighbours. In order to resolve this sloughing issue, MR Engineering had to be involved to design a shoring system that is to be installed halfway through the excavation without impeding on the neighbouring property, which resulted in an even higher expense. Not to mention the time wasted waiting for the city to approve all of these additions. As evident in this example, cutting corners in a construction project can lead to disastrous consequences. In the end, a more experienced contractor could have prevented such mistakes from ever occurring.
From our perspective, one of the most intimidating aspect of any construction project is that many issues are one-of-a-kind. In order to resolve problems that are unique and unprecedented, the only thing an engineering consultant can rely on is their knowledge and wisdom brought forth by years of experience. One project that we have encountered with seemingly never-ending problems was a very complex mixed-use building designed by an architecture firm that operates outside of Alberta. Due to their lack of experience working in this province, the building’s architectural design was overly complicated and not practical for its intended use. Additionally, low-cost contractors were hired by the property owner in order to further reduce monetary expenditure. As a result, the entirety of this project was plagued with design flaws, repeated revisions, construction mistakes and missed deadlines. Luckily, our client was able to continue the project despite these difficulties, and we as the main consultant were able to devise an appropriate solution for each obstacle that stood in the way, supporting the building project until its completion.
The bottom line is that when it comes down to quality of service, the difference between a team of experienced engineers and a newcomer to the industry is like night and day. Construction projects are often unpredictable and time-consuming undertakings, so definitely do not overlook the benefits of hiring an experienced engineering firm. It is true that these companies may charge you a little bit more. But at the end of the day, all of the potential issues that can be prevented or resolved by an experienced engineering firm will net you more savings than the difference in prices at the start.