ePrivacy and GPDR Cookie Consent by Cookie Consent What is a project manager and do you need one?

What is a project manager and do you need one?

A complete guide to project managers and how they can help you during the construction stage of your home extension.

4 min read

When it comes to getting the best possible result from construction, having a project manager on board can be just the ticket.

Not only can they help find the best possible builders for the job, they also ensure your finances are protected, and you only get the best quality results.

Intrigued? Here’s a breakdown on why more projects need a project manager...

What is a project manager?

As their name suggests, project managers will take over the day to day running of your project. This typically includes...

  • Preparing your tendering package
  • Interviewing / reviewing potential contractors
  • Preparing your construction contract
  • Devising a payment plan based around milestones
  • Site supervision
  • Work assessment
  • And general relationship management

How many of these responsibilities a project manager takes on is up to you. Some only come in during the tendering stage to help prepare both the scope of work documents perspective builders need, and to draw together a robust construction contract. For this reason, you might also hear project managers referred to as contract administrators too.

Benefits during tendering

Picking the right builder is one of the most important steps to any project. After all, it’s these professionals who’ll be handling the majority of your budget. Managing sums that range from £20,000 - £200,000.

The first thing a project manager will do, if taken on, is prepare your tendering documents. This will include your ‘scope of work’, a detailed overview of all the different elements a contractor will need to consider when putting together a quote.

By having such a thorough tendering package, you ensure that the quotes provided are as accurate as they can be. Not only making the contractor’s job easier, but also protecting your own budget from certain costs conveniently being left out, and added on later down the line.

Contractor working on residential extension

Once you’ve identified at least three potential professionals, it’ll then be time to assess their previous work. A project manager will be able to go with you to these viewings (we recommend seeing both a recently completed project, and one from at least a year ago), as well as conduct interviews with both the past clients and the contractor in question.

Then, when it comes to drawing up your contract, a project manager will really shine. They’ll make sure you put a milestone based payment plan in place, whereby funds are released in stages, and only once the work has been assessed for quality.

Your project manager will also ensure your contract includes…

  • Proper insurance is place
  • Agreed contractor day rates
  • Working hours
  • Timings and contingency plans in the event of delays

Plus, all the nitty gritty details most homeowners miss out, such as provisions for waste removal, making good with the neighbours, subcontractor assurances, and even toilet hire.

Benefits during construction

Once you’ve sorted out your contract, you can start the building process with real confidence!

At this point, you might take over project management yourself, or you might retain the one used in the tendering stage.

If kept on, the main thing your project manager will do is assess the work as it happens. Making sure, once a milestone has been met, money is only released, if the work has been deemed acceptable to the project.

On top of this, you might have your project manager look after the relationship with your contractor. Having a middle man might seem excessive, but keeping a healthy distance from your contractors can be the best way forward for a lot of homeowners. Especially if you’re someone who doesn’t handle confrontation well.

Could you point out when something was being done incorrectly? Do you have the experience to know when something is wrong / poor quality? If this doesn’t sound like you, a project manager might be just what you need.

Cost of a project manager / contract administrator

Project managers can cost between 15-25% of your construction budget.

As a rule, the smaller the project and budget attached, the larger this percentage will be. For this reason, we recommend modest projects use project managers for contract administration, whereas projects costing £70,000+ should strongly consider having them involved throughout the process.

While these figures might seem daunting, remember: it’s better to invest in a project manager, than it is to pay out for bad construction!

To learn more about project management, and how to ensure quality construction, book a free consultation with our team. Our connect service specialises in pairing up only the best professionals with your project.

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