building project management

The Ultimate Guide to Building Project Management

Are you planning on building your own home or getting stuck into another kind of construction project? Many dream of this opportunity, but the reality can feel rather daunting. With plans to create, contracts to draw up, laws to follow, professionals to hire and schedules to keep, it can all become overwhelming if you do not have someone in charge of the details.

Putting reliable building project management expertise in place will minimise your stress while keeping your project on track. But what exactly is building project management and do you actually need it?

What is building project management?

Building project management is basically what it sounds like the management or handling of a building project from initial idea through planning and building, all the way to completion.

It sounds simple enough but there is an incredible amount to arrange for even the most straightforward of builds, including scheduling, cost control and risk assessment before you even think about getting the builders on site.

What is the point of project management for construction?

The idea of having a dedicated building project manager is to make sure the build sticks to plan and budget; all the necessary paperwork is completed; all the relevant legislation is followed; everyone gets paid; and you are happy with the beautiful end result.

Ultimately, the job gets done with minimum stress to you!

Who is involved in a construction project management team?

The key project management construction team figures are:

  • The owner

This is the person driving the whole project. If you are building your own home… this is you!

  • Building project manager

This is your best ally when it comes to getting the project completed. Your building project manager will have experience in what is needed, by whom and at what point; they will bring everything together to deliver your build.

  • General contractor

This is the person/company responsible for the overall build.

  • Construction estimator

Budget is always important, and an experienced estimator will evaluate all relevant costs including materials, labour and equipment. They can also negotiate and make recommendations to help you make important choices.

  • Subcontractors

The general contractor will almost certainly hire a variety of subcontractors to help complete specific tasks e.g. electricians, plasterers, roofers etc.

The main principles of building project management

There are so many parts to a building project managers’ job but their main responsibilities are:

  • Planning

A key part of the project manager’s responsibilities, they will create a ‘roadmap’ for the construction and create a schedule which will be reviewed regularly; set goals for the whole team; and estimate costs.

  • Hiring and supervising

The project manager will hire relevant professionals, supervise their work, resolve disputes and take care of firing/re-hiring if necessary.

  • Staying on budget

Keeping to your budget is a key responsibility and something your manager will take seriously.

  • Communicating

They will keep you updated on progress, issues and options. They will also liaise with all the other professionals involved with the project to make sure you have a unified team and everyone knows what is going on.

  • Drafting contracts

Creating draft contracts is extremely important when it comes to progressing a build. Ensuring this is done correctly prevents all kinds of problems later on.

  • Managing risks

Even more important than completing a build is making sure everyone is kept safe. Risk management is not just a set of boxes to be ticked and your building project manager can take care of this essential part of the project.

Do you need building project management?

It is highly likely you want to keep your build costs down to an absolute minimum and may think that hiring a building project manager is an unnecessary cost. Well, on one hand, you are right: you are absolutely allowed to fill this role yourself and take care of all the administration. There is no requirement for you to hire an external manager. However, lots of people who decide to act as their own manager discover this is false economy.

Without the experience and connections that come with years in the trade, people find themselves overwhelmed, missing important documents, forgetting payments, making miscalculations and ultimately worse off than if they had asked a professional to step in at the beginning. Building project managers are often able to negotiate prices, and industry professionals like the organisation and clear line of authority that is in place with a managed project.

Trinity Rose project management for construction

At Trinity Rose, we have years of experience acting as trusted building managers for our clients.

Here is a quick look at a typical project with us:

From the very outset, we control the documentation for the project: the drawings, and the written documents. If we are appointed at the very beginning, we will help develop the brief and appoint the design team: structural engineer, surveyor, civil engineers etc.

After that, we work with the design team, architects etc. to get those initial documents exactly as the client wants. Then, we work with the client through the design process which would include pre-planning and planning. The next step is to make sure any relevant planning conditions are followed and we help the client through the detailed design process (the technical specifications/drawings).

At the point of selecting contractors, we can be as involved as the client wants. We will happily oversee the selection of contractors and tender process, and advise on procurement routes i.e. which contract to use. We will help to produce construction contracts for contractors and carry out risk management such as health and safety.

Often, there are design reviews, and we will work on this alongside value engineering (cost control). As the work progresses, we can be the Contract Administrator, or we will work with one appointed by the client. We can advise on disputes, manage the programme and cost plan for the project.

Post completion, we will make sure all the payments are made to contractors, and confirm all regulation is adhered to and signed off.

Ultimately, we always work closely with the project team and will be as involved as the client requires. Our job is to make your build as straightforward as possible, helping you stick to budget while getting your project finished on time.

Get in touch

If you are planning a build and are thinking about hiring project management for construction, please get in touch. Whatever the size of your project, our experienced team will be happy to discuss how we can help and we are ready to answer all your questions.