Top critical review
5 people found this helpful
Could be better
on 26 August 2009
I bought this book to guide me through the contract practice related areas of the APC (I am attempting to become a chartered building surveyor). Generally it is satisfactory, however I do have a few reservations.
Firstly it is stated "this book .......assumes the use of the JCT Standard Building Contract". WHY? It may very well be that this is the most widely used contract, but, for example, the practice where I work regularly use GC Works on some projects so SBC does not have a monopoly in the real world. As such the book should at least make a justification for concentrating on JCT and ignoring its rivals.
Also a professional needs to be able to advise a client which contract is the most appropriate for their project and I do not feel that this book has provided me with the knowledge and necessary processes to do this. I feel that a few worked examples of the process of contract selection would have greatly helped.
It appears that David Brent from "The Office" was recruited to write a section on something called "value management" which seems to merely be an excuse to use some clever-sounding phrases like "value engineering" and "function model". A worked example or two of this alleged process in action might do something to convince the reader that there is something of worth here and that it isn't really all just meaningless "management speak".
Chapter 23 consists of a 17 page long list of the rights, duties and liabilities under the SBC. What use is that? I bought the book to EXPLAIN how construction contracts work not to be presented with tedious lists.
The final two chapters go into Insolvency and Capital Allowances in detail. This would probably be useful in books aimed at budding solicitors or accountants respectively but the amount of detail is totally out of place here.
Overall it is a useful book but with a little more thought about its intended audience and how to present the subject to them it could have been so much better.