Project management is a service often provided by architects and interior designers but professional project managers can be a practical alternative. Many people prefer to go it alone and to manage their own projects. So what are the benefits of bringing a project manager on board to manage a residential refurbishment?
In the UK, second homes, buy-to-let properties and holiday cottages are popular investments. Often owners live out of the area or spend time abroad and have limited time available to manage a build in a different county. That’s where local knowledge and building experience can add value to a project.
A good project manager will act as a co-ordinator for the project, bringing in contractors on schedule, troubleshooting when necessary and managing the budget effectively. A project manager can charge in a number of ways – a fixed-fee model, an hourly rate or a percentage of the build costs. Estimates should be provided ahead of time.
Costs can vary widely depending on the complexity of the project, for example some clients may already have drawings and specifications and will have made choices for their finishes. However, others prefer to employ a project manager to guide them through the process, to take care of all the detailed planning and manage the timelines.
Inevitably older properties come with their own history and may have hidden issues which are only uncovered when the work starts. Anticipating electrical, plumbing and plastering work and building in a contingency to cover any unexpected bills is a sensible way to avoid the project costs overrunning.
You don’t need to have a huge project to justify employing a project manager. It may just be that you are out of area and need someone with local knowledge to line up local suppliers and contractors. Or, if you’re working full time, you could do with some help with regular day-to-day site management and reporting. It’s worthwhile discussing your requirements with an experienced project manager and working out the most effective fee structure.
Find out more about project management costs from this article on Hiring a Project Manager.