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What is a Construction Consultant?

Margo Upson
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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A construction consultant is someone who is hired to assess and advise on structural issues. These consultants are experts in construction, with a degree in engineering or a related field. They usually have several years of experience in construction, and are familiar with all aspects of the construction trade. Most work for consulting firms, but they may also work for legal firms, government agencies, or as individual contractors.

Construction consultants do many different things. Some assist companies with administration tasks; they make sure everything is running smoothly, and on time, so that the site owner and managers can concentrate on other business matters. A construction consultant may be hired to keep a project running on budget, and handle any problems that may appear. This may also mean working as an in-between for the owner of the site and the construction crew.

Project planning is another job that a construction consultant firm may be hired to do. The company would assist in designing the structure, and help to anticipate any potential issues. A consultant is able to create a flexible plan, in case something does go wrong. He or she would also be able to work with crews to develop a realistic timeline for the completion of the project. Consultants may also be hired to aid in cost estimating, giving site owners a realistic idea of what their plans will cost. This is usually given in a detailed report, listing each separate expense, and what they can expect to pay for it.

Another job that a construction consultant may perform is forensic work. In construction, this means determining why a building failed. The problem may be something small, such as a weak spot in the floorboards, or something as major as the structure collapsing. A construction consultant will be called in, and can tell clients where the building failed, why it failed, and what steps need to be taken to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

Legal firms may hire a construction consultant to advise attorneys on cases, and to act as an expert witness. Consultants may also be chosen by government agencies to assist in the building of new structures, or the renovation of older ones. They may assist in renovating historic districts, or private homes. Construction consultants may also help homeowners who are looking to build their dream house, or add an expansion onto their current homes, by creating a plan that fits the homeowner's needs.

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Margo Upson
By Margo Upson
With a vast academic background that has ranged from psychology and culinary arts to criminal justice and education, Margo Upson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her role as a Practical Adult Insights writer. Her wide-ranging interests and skill at diving into new topics make her articles informative, engaging, and valuable to readers seeking to expand their knowledge.
Discussion Comments
By Bertie68 — On Jul 15, 2011

Serving as a construction consultant for a big project, such as a new school is an interesting, challenging, and satisfying job to be involved with.

A person serving in this role would have to be thoroughly knowledgeable about large projects. In addition, he/she would need to deal fairly with many different groups and individual people.

If the consultant keeps the project under budget and sees that the projects is done on time, his/her reputation will be boosted, for sure.

His/her success will be judged by his ability to avoid problems before they get big, keep communication productive among everyone on the construction team, and successfully see the client's project to successful completion.

By Misscoco — On Jul 14, 2011

After reading this article, it seems like a construction consultant is an essential part of the construction team. And possibly, there may be a need for specialized consultants in several areas, such as budget, planning and legal matters.

Having a construction consulting person on board brings a feeling of professionalism to the project. With a consultant overseeing the construction, workers are more likely to do a thorough job.

Having access to a forensic consultant to take care of things when the failure of a building happens, is very important to a construction firm.

To have an engineering degree, experience in actual construction work, plus specialized consulting experience is a great combination.

By Monika — On Jul 14, 2011

@indemnifyme - Consulting in general is a pretty interesting way to make a living. I have a good friend that became a consultant in his field after about a decade of experience.

Instead of doing the same thing day after day, he deals with different people and situations all the time. He was hesitant to try consulting at first but he ended up loving it!

By indemnifyme — On Jul 13, 2011

It sounds like there are a lot of possible jobs a construction consultant could take. I'm sure anyone who works as a construction consultant never gets bored!

I think the forensic job sounds pretty interesting; I had no idea there was any such thing as forensic work in construction. I suppose if a building failed the owners of the building would want to know. Also, this information would probably be valuable in the event of a law suit.

Margo Upson
Margo Upson
With a vast academic background that has ranged from psychology and culinary arts to criminal justice and education,...
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