Drylining Contractors | C-Link

Drylining Contractors

This guide provides a full review on the tips and considerations to make when procuring a drylining contractor. The guide broken down into sections: Tender Analysis, Value Engineering, Programming.

The Tender Analysis

Quotations received from multiple Subcontractors invariably have differences and it’s important to make sure you’re comparing Apples with Apples. Look out for these important cross-checks to make sure you’re comparing like-for-like proposals.

1. Rates

As the works progress it is common for unknown minor ‘builders works’ to be required. Even if quantities are unknown at tender stage it is advisable to request additional rates for access hatches/panels, pattressing and holes generally so that this can be inserted into any contract potentially with a provisional quantity.

2. Documents

When receiving a tender return, check that the subcontractor has confirmed its quotation is based on all the drawings issued. It is not uncommon for M & E drawings to be excluded and this can be important in terms of future costs relating to coordination and penetrations etc.

3. Qualifications

Check the subcontractor’s qualifications to ensure they have included for forming any openings, abutments, corners or T-Junctions etc. Ensure all builders work noted on the drawings is included.

4. Preliminaries

What preliminaries have been included? If there is design responsibility, there should be provision included in the prelims for this. In terms of site management, what have the subcontractors allowed for? How are the materials being distributed; has the Sub-contractor allowed for hand balling or using your crane/hoisting equipment? Subcontractors should have a QA process for when the build process starts – what is included?

5. Programming

What has been included and is the work based on a continuous visit on site – is this possible given the sequencing and 1st / 2nd Ensure the programme has been understood and is in compliance with the main programme.

6. Specification

Subcontractors often propose alternative materials to deliver value engineering options. This can be useful and often deliver savings but be sure these specification changes meet the performance requirements and ensure you’ve received technical data to support this fact.

Value Engineering

This next Chapter identifies five simple, intelligent solutions to Value Engineer a Dry Lining package…

1. Branded vs. Non-Branded

If you’re looking for a quick and simple value engineering solution, non-branded products (e.g. fixings, metal stud) are generally cheaper, as they are manufactured by the suppliers of drywall material, rather than the market leading brands such as British Gypsum, Siniat, Knauf. Just be careful with the lead-times as often they can take longer to deliver.

2. Penetrations and Builders Works

These elements can become costly if a full schedule of builders works, penetrations are not marked up at tender stage, it is always a good process to overlay M&E drawings on the drylining GA drawings to understand builders work upfront and prevent costly revisit works.

3. Pattressing

A pattress is plywood fixed within in a partition to which elements can be secured, such as cabinets, TVs etc. During the procurement phase, it is valuable to identify locations and quantities, as this allows you to pick up the additional costs which can be overlooked during the tender stage. In doing so you will reduce the likelihood of revisiting areas to "post" install pattresses. Having certainty on cost and rates pre-commencement also allows change management to be a lot more fluid and variation costs kept to a minimum.

4. Programme

It is vitally important that areas are watertight, dry and not damp before construction of Drywall - therefore, it’s important to have the Drywall construction correctly sequenced as to avoid potential water damage, as revisiting for water damage can be costly exercise in terms of programme and also material replacement.

5. Double-Sided

Look at wall finishes. Both sides of a partition wall may not require a finish. For example, if a skim coat is specified and one side of a partition is a bathroom, there could be a saving by ‘tape and jointing’ the bathroom side that would be covered by a tiled finish rather than skimming. This would generate a saving as taping provides a lower cost than skimming.


Dry Lining is a package of works that fall on the critical path of the project. Too often, little attention is paid to them to the detriment of the project - don’t make this mistake and follow these five tips for a snag free handover.

1. Sequencing

The sequence of installation is crucial. There are ways to make the build quicker, such as, 1st & 2nd fix elements being undertaken in areas that will not require any M&E installations. For example, can a simple 2nd fix element (like 2nd fix boarding) be done at high level to enable the installation of a ceiling on the 2nd fix side of a partition? This will speed things up.

2. QA Process

Is there an agreed QA procedure in place with QA reports throughout the project? This, along with the issue of photo evidence and QA sheets, will enable complete areas to be finished in one moment and in turn release other follow on trades.

3. Hand Overs

For Drylining, always make sure that areas handed over to the contractor are watertight, clean and ready for drylining works. It is advisable to check that simple things such as grid references and datum points are clearly marked as per the drawings.

4. Management

Is the correct management in place to deliver the project and who is the sole point of responsibility? It is vital that the Subcontractor & Main Contractor management work closely together so that the project can run as smoothly as possible throughout its duration.

5. Lead Times

With non-branded products, before accepting a quotation, be sure to check the lead times as they can often be longer. The majority of branded products can be procured with a very short lead time, depending on the quantities required, whereas non-branded can take much longer.