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Do You Need A Project Manager?

Do You Need A Project Manager?

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?

Nicole xxx


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  1. Best post ever. Architects are the WORST project managers from our experience. A builder is the best because he/she can project manage and coordinate the best result for the client. A builder will also communication between an architect and client to ensure the best outcome is acquired. Will be sharing on my page later today. x

    1. Thanks for the support Bec. x

  2. This is quite funny as years ago – when I bought my first place – I wanted to re-do the bathroom. My budget was about $10k or less and I couldn’t really find a builder keen to take on that small a job. I had a ridiculously small ensuite bathroom and then shower-room / laundry and I wanted to merge them and add a bathtub.

    The idea of having to contact different contractors (plumbers, tilers, builders) was just too much for me to consider and I wanted someone to manage it all. One of my closest friends thought that was hilarious as in my day job I was a project manager (and even had a bloody MBA specialising in it). But… for me it was about someone else just taking care of it all for me and me not having to be responsible for something I knew nothing about!

    1. I think that is the biggest point you make right there Deb, its about letting people know what they are doing, do the job. I totally understand that, just like i don’t tell my hairdresser how to cut my hair, likewise clients are best not managing a job.

  3. We’re just about to start looking at building an extension on our tiny 2 bedroom 80sqm house and I am terrified and have no idea where to start! We have a $75k budget and I’m hoping we can stretch that to work, we only want to add one living area so fingers crossed!

    1. What an exciting time! That budget sounds do-able for an extension like you are looking for. Good luck and let me know if I can answer any questions along the way ?

  4. We’ve both renovated and built and Dave has always handled everything given his background. There is no way we could get a project manager. It would be a big clash ?

    1. I can totally imagine!! It would be like me getting another builder to build our house…..um no! ?

  5. I have never used one but havent really need to a job that would require one. I think definitely if we were going to renovate. I have been chatting to the project manager across the road, mainly because the workers have been there for 6 months now and the all park across from my drive! He is a nice man and pulls the young bucks into line.

  6. We watch a lot of Grand Designs and one thing I’ve learned from that is, never let the architect be the project manager. I think I’d have to have a project manager for peace of mind that everything was being done correctly and at the correct time. I think having renovations go on in your home is stressful enough, without having to manage tradies and the schedules. I’d much rather leave the management to a pro!

  7. I’ve never taken on a construction or renovation job so I haven’t needed the services of a project manager before but I would definitely use one – there’s no way I’d want to deal with all the trades, balance the budget and keep to schedule!

  8. Great post. My husband is a Construction Manager so we didn’t get one (funnily enough!) but if we hadn’t had the experience, we absolutely would have. #teamIBOT

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