When to engage a building Project Manager
If you are building a new home or doing a renovation on your house, how do you decide if you need a project manager?
There seems to be a lot of buzz lately about using a project manager on a domestic building job. Unless your build budget will exceed a couple of million dollars, or you have some reservations about your builder (don’t sign up with them if that’s the case) you probably don’t need to engage a separate project manager.
Your builder is essentially the project manager. He will be using all his own preferred contractors such as plumber, brickie, electrician. He will be managing the order that all these trades people work your job.
Here’s a simple example of a situation that builder would manage- The trenches for your footings have been dug, but there has been an unforeseen storm overnight and all the trenches have now caved in. The builder will call the concrete company and tell them there will be a delay while the trenches get dug out again.
Another case may be that the bathrooms have commenced with waterproofing, but the tropical humidity is slowing down the drying times between coats. The builder will let the tilers know that they can’t come in for another day or so.
No builder wants a project manager hanging around on site all day watching over their shoulder and the cost to have a project manager do so would become very expensive. The builder is the person who has the first-hand knowledge of how your job is going and how to most efficiently manage it.
However if you have taken on a very large-scale domestic build or renovation you may find that a project manager will be a good attribute. Usually a large sized job will require a building firm of a reasonable size. They may even have their own in-house project manager. This is common for large size building companies who do a lot of spec homes. The project manager works across all the jobs and keeps an eye on them. In that case the project managers costs are factored into the overall built cost.
The best option is to speak with people at the start of the process and find out what will suit your situation.