• 49B Panapa Drive, St Johns , Auckland, Akl 1072
  • 021 209 2214

Project Management For House Building And Renovations

Why It Pays To Use A Project Manager Instead Of Doing It Yourself

You’ve seen the TV renovation shows where people try to manage the renovation or new build themselves. You’ve seen the silly decisions they take, and think you would never do the same. In short, you reckon you can do a better project management job than they can.

Besides, a PM is going to cost as well. It is often said they cost about 10% of the building project. You know money will be tight during the total building project and nobody can blame you for wanting to save money, especially when you are in the process of building a new house.

Finally, you know what you want the house to look like, you’ve got the plans drawn up, and you’ve found a builder to work with, so you might use all these ideas as reasons to take on the role of Project Manager yourself.

What could possibly go wrong?

In truth, an awful lot can go wrong if the renovation or building work is not project managed professionally. Building a new house, or especially a major house renovation, can come with lots of unforeseen complexities and challenges. The TV renovation shows are popular because we want to see what does go wrong, and there are always big issues that come up which we find compelling viewing. And your building project will probably be no different, even with a new build from scratch.

So, consider these reasons why it pays to use an experienced Project Manager.

Better Budgeting And Financial Control

The budget is critical for any house building or renovation project. You could ask a quantity surveyor to assess the cost of materials but they are not expert in labour costs, or the actual building work. A builder will give you a quotation but clients often go for the lowest priced bid, not realising the different variance clauses, and the often big financial impact of those.

Then there is the change in design, layout, and materials that the client makes when the project is under way as people start to see the building itself. People want to change the size of rooms, change the appliances, and add extra fixtures. Just changing tap-ware could easily add an extra thousand dollars.

But an experienced Project Manager is more than just able to set a necessary and accurate budget. They also think ahead and take into account what can possibly go wrong. With a renovation this is critical. For example, in an older house there may be asbestos which is not visible but a good project manager will have an idea where they might come across asbestos, and budget for that before the budget sign-off. Un-budgeted asbestos can easily add $10,000 to your project cost.

More Knowledge About The Challenges

How often do you set up a plan and execute it exactly? Chances are you’ll need to make adjustments along the way because there are certain problems you can’t predict. And if you don’t know anything about building homes, then you won’t have any idea what to do if things don’t progress according to plan. If experienced builders come across unexpected issues, how can you know what to even consider?

The fact is you will run into difficulties while your house is being constructed or renovated. The question is how you cope with these difficulties when they surface? A builder might try to suggest one idea which might be a cheap solution knowing your budget is tight, but is that the right answer in the longer-term? How would you know? In addition to knowing what they might expect, a professional Project Manager can think on his or her feet as well, plus they have experience of similar issues and can give independent advice.  This may agree with the builder or it might be a better alternative. So when trouble strikes, you can trust they will have, or quickly come up with a good solution.

A Project Manager Knows How To Make The Right Decisions

Building or renovating a house means being organised and confident in your decisions. The consequences of not being able to make executive decisions can lead to many different problems. For example, when builders have been hired to work, but they can’t start due to certain legal issues that still haven’t been taken care of. That means you will literally pay the builders to stand around.

Building a house can turn into a very costly situation if you don’t take control even before the project starts, and it is exactly what a reputable project manager offers – control from start to finish.

Accurate Timing Saves Money

Knowing when to organise the various trades to turn up for work is crucial to a project coming in on budget or there being a budget blow-out. A knowledgeable PM will know when the electricians need to be on site, and not be held up by the framers. If they sub-contractors are standing around, they will charge you for their time, and, just as importantly, when you ask them to come back, they will not be confident in your judgements so will probably have other jobs organised. This will mean even further delays on your build. Having an accurate work schedule, and keeping people on schedule, is an essential skill.

For every day the construction carries on past the projected date, it costs more money.

On the other hand, working too quickly creates an opportunity for mistakes and sub-par construction. Your PM will be able to inspect the work and know if it is up to standard.

In other words, you need to really approach the time-frame for the project with great skill and vision. And once again, it is part of the package when you speak to a project manager.

Summarising Why You Need a Project Manager

An experienced project Manager will be able to:-

  • Produce and manage an accurate all-in budget.
  • They will know the types of issues to anticipate, and will have the experience to deal with those.
  • They will be able to make good, and informed decisions to handle different issues.
  • They can produce and manage a work-schedule so workers are not idle or make sure people are available when needed.

A good Project Manager will not cost you but is likely to save you money. They will almost certainly save time, and without a doubt, they will save you a whole lot of stress.

For more information about the Fever Pitch Building Project Management service, call 021 209 2214 for a no obligation chat.