Are You Embarking on a Home Renovation Adventure? Be Prepared! Expect the Unexpected!! Hire a Project Manager to be Your WatchDog!
Before Starting a Major Home Renovations, think about this – “If you were making a list of the top five riskiest financial ventures open to private people, major home renovations would be right up there. The potential for a train wreck is high unless you make absolutely sure it doesn’t happen…” Steve Maxwell – Considered one of Canada’s top handymen.
A Sad Commentary – Steve Maxwell continued with a lengthy story from a client – here’s an excerpt “I came home to find one of Mr. Contractor’s men sleeping in my basement, and another guy drinking beer from my fridge, but for his part, Mr. Contractor says these claims are all lies (even though he wasn’t on the site). His workers aren’t allowed to drink on the job. And ‘there’s nothing wrong with a guy closing his eyes for a few minutes on his break, is there?’” Problems like the above are not uncommon.
Don’t Drive Yourself and Family Crazy! When home renovation are underway, frustration, stress and disappointments are often the norm. Homeowners and their families face delays, cost overruns, flawed materials, dirty work areas and shoddy workmanship with little or no recourse. To assure the work is being done to specification, the homeowner is forced to be on sight at all times! Many times this is not possible. When you’re away – That’s when trouble begins!
The Basic $ Problem – Unfortunately, most homeowners are not able to supervise jobs on a day-by-day basis. Many General Contractors forgo having a supervisor onsite during every step of the process in order to lower project costs and keep within timelines. In addition, General Contractors work with the trades with whom they have a relationship. They often take overrides on the trade’s hourly wage. The General Contractors do not “Vet” the required trades to meet the owner’s specifications and desires! Remember – Every job should be checked and approved before the walls go up!
A Simple Solution – Hire a renovation Project Manager like PPR to coordinate the project from inception to completion! Working with a renovation Project Manager removes the owner;s burden for overseeing the project to meet or exceed the owner’s budget, timelines and expectations.
First Things First – It is imperative that along with hiring a renovation Project Manager you get a Forensic Inspection of your entire home before embarking on a project. While potentially more costly than a traditional Home Inspection that takes a cursory look at you home and the systems [Generally $300 to $500], the Forensic Inspection will thoroughly examine all of your home’s structures and systems to determine their viability and compatibility with the planned renovation. The cost will be dependent on the number of skilled professional trades that need to be utilized to perform the inspection. You’ll be able to make decisions throughout the inspection process to help control costs and save money in the future. Remember – The complicated structures and systems involved with homes require sophisticated diagnostic capacities implemented by trained professionals!
What is the Role of a Project Manager for Your Renovation Project?
> Overseeing – The project(s) from inception to completion
> Planning and coordination – Working with Architects, Engineers and Designers
> Reviewing – Plans and Specifications
> Compliance – Secure permits and schedule inspections
> Insurance – Assists in securing proper coverages
> Budgeting – Each phase of the renovation and the entire project
> Vetting and Hiring – Contractors and trades as required to provide quality and timeliness
> Obtaining cost estimates and bids – From the skilled trades and material suppliers – Generally, at least 3 per specific project
> Creating and Updating Timelines and Coordinating the Trades – The various laborers and trades – ie. decluttering & organizing spaces, demolition specialists, remediators,, roofers, HVAC experts, plumbers, electricians, drywallers/plasterers, tilers, counter installers, flooring specialists, deck builders, and many more.
> Inspecting – All deliveries for price, quantity & quality
> Returning all Unacceptable/Flawed Materials and Fixtures
> Managing Payments – For all materials and fixtures
> Inspecting all Projects – On a hour-by-hour/day-by-day basis
> Dealing with the Unexpected
> Coordinating the Payment of Trades
> Keeping Accurate Records and job site photos
> Establishing & Maintaining Open Communications with You and all other Parties
> Acting as Your Eyes and Ears – Your WatchDog!!
The Difference Between a Project Manager and a General Contractors – Night & Day! The big difference between the two is that the General Contractor is hired to work on a project and to manage his people – the trades. The Project Manager is hired to oversee and represent the Home Owners interests from the projects inception to the completion. The Project Manager answers only to the Home Owner!
The General Contractor may or may not get the work done on budget and on time. The Project Manager makes sure the work is done to the Architects, Engineers, Designer and Home Owners specifications. The Project Manager must oversee the work of the Contractors when one is required!
About the Cost of a renovation Project Manager – Ask Yourself the Following – “Am I wealthy enough to afford the cost of unpredictable overruns, poor quality and workmanship and delays in predicted completion dates? What price do you and your family put on sanity?”
Making the Decision to Hire a Renovation Project Manager – Why hire a Project Manager for your Renovation Project? Chris Mascelli, Clerk of the Works/NYS Certified Code Enforcement Official offers a simple answer – “Because it will save you time, money, and frustration! A Project Manager = Project Success!”
In short, the Project Manager shoulders the responsibility of keeping your project moving according to plan. The Project Manager’s goal is to manage the project so that it finishes on schedule and within budget, while still meeting building codes, plans, and specs and your expectations. Note – Your Project Manager will also assist with financing, developing timelines and calendars; vetting and hiring trades and on-site workers; developing a strategy for potential conflict resolution; and more.
Are you a Home Owner, Potential Buyer, Real Estate Investor Planning a Renovation/Remodeling Project?
What to do next? Give Properties, Probe & Renovation (PPR) a call to discuss your project and the potential role of a Project manager. Whether or not you decide to work with PPR as your WatchDog, you’ll gain insights into how to avoid a Renovation Nightmare.
What can a Project Manager Do For You?
Tell Us About Your Project – PPR is a Good Listener!
Find Out More About Properties, Probe & Renovation (PPR)
We Will Be Your WatchDog!
Email Phil Eide – [email protected]
Text/Call – 216.577.5579