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.