There are so many schools of thought on the whole project manager issue. Many others like to be involved with your building project, but do they need to be? Is it really necessary, what cause is there for it? Let’s explore.
Do You Need A Project Manager?
When contracting a builder to build or renovate your home, factored into the contract price is a project management fee. In our small business we take the management of our projects very seriously. You see, if a project is porely managed, it will reflect not only in the workmanship, but the overall quality and then client satisfaction. Unhappy clients, hurt business. So while it is in our best interest to ensure that we protect our business, this is actually done by keeping our clients happy.
What is the role of a project manager?
A project manager is the person responsible for ensuring that the job is running to schedule and ensuring the quality of the job. This can effectively be done in house, or a home owner may choose to have an independent project manager. Project managers are generally used in bigger residential companies or for commercial uses, however can be used on any project. This person will be directly responsible to the owner as well as to the builder. Generally in residential projects the builder will act as the project manager or have one in house.
Do architects need to be involved as a project manager?
From our perspective this is a no. We have been involved in projects where the architect has liaised with the client and builder in a project manager type role and every time we have worked on these projects, the client has paid double project management fees which is very costly. Do I think they had a better outcome than our usual clients? Actually, no. The architect has their role, as does the builder. The architect to design, and the builder to build. As simplistic as it sounds, that is it.
Is there a use for an independent project manager?
Actually I think the answer to this one is yes, depending on the job. When building with a large builder where the builder is not one site weekly to check on quality and progress or when building commercially I think it is an absolute must. If you were unsure of the quality of your builder than again I think there would be cause to employ an independent project manager. Though I would question your builder selection process and suggest that you check previous jobs from your chosen builder prior to signing your contract.
There are certainly times when engaging someone outside of your builder to project manage your job could be useful. For a regular residential build, it is an unnecessary expense. The best advice I can give on a residential renovation or new build, is to spend plenty of time researching your builder. Past work and previous clients are the best indicator of the work about to be performed for you. If you are happy with what you see, and the relationship you have built with your builder, then you can be confident your trust will be rewarded with good work.
Have you worked with a project manager? Have you built or renovated your home? What advantages do you think there would be to having a project manager?