Building Project Management

Business: Clearplan Project Management Ltd.
Address: 1st Floor, 36 Highfield Way
Contact No:….. 01923 896 550

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Building Project Management – what’s it all about?


Building Project ManagementAs a home owner you have a dilemma – you need more room for your growing numbers but the thought of trying to manage a home build or house renovation on top of the normal pressures of family life seems just to much.

There is the additional worry of the cost – everyone seems to have a building horror story of ever rising pricing and builders not turning up when required. So what do you do? Try and put up with the space that you have or take a fresh approach to the whole home renovation process.

A practical solution to building problems…

Building works don’t have to be the drain on your time and energy that you fear they may – there is one person who is a key player in your house renovation building team who can ensure your building project runs on time and doesn’t go over budget. This person is your building project manager, sometimes called your construction project manager.

At Rickmansworth based company ClearPlan Project Management we understand that building project managers exist so that your building project doesn’t take over your life or your bank account. The job of the building project manager is to prevent work running overtime and ensure the job is properly planned, quoted and that you are protected through a formal building contract.

Successfully managing a building project or house renovation comes down to two things – excellent planning before starting to build, and constant monitoring during the work.

But can’t I do it myself?

So why would you need a building project manager or construction project manager? Last year ClearPlan commissioned an independent survey of 200 people who had recently completed a building project or home renovation.

85% of people asked had spent more than they had budgeted for, with many of them overspending by more than 20%. At least two thirds of those building projects ran over time.

When asked if they would manage another build differently and consider using a building or construction project manager 60% said yes.

Saving you time, money and stress…

So what will your building project manager or construction project manager be doing to earn their project management fees and how will this save you money, time and stress?

Your budget…

Project Management for Building ProjectsThe first thing your building project manager should do is work with you on your budget. A realistic budget at the beginning of the project is critical.

Your architect may or may not have given you guidance and a builder may have provided rough pricing but until you start to fully break down all of the costs you will not have a reliable final number.

Going back to the bank or building society to extend borrowing at a later stage will almost certainly mean incurring more charges.

An accurate budget will also build in the correct amount of contingency funding, the “what if…” part of your budget. All building projects have risks – part of what you are paying building project management fees for is building project risk management.

What’s happening in my build?

Domestic build project managementAlong with the budget your building project manager should be earning their project management fees by pairing your budget with a Construction Programme (a timeline of what work will be carried out and completed by when). This shows the cash flow for the project and allows you to assess and plan for what money will be needed at what stage.

Importantly it also ensures that everyone involved understands the terms of payment – you will not be paying upfront for work not yet completed.

By preparing a formal Construction Programme your building project manager is earning their fee by providing you with the most likely route of getting your build delivered in the time scale that you need – this will save you money if you have for example taken a bridging loan or are in a rental property whilst your build is being completed.

Finding a good builder…

Project Management for Residential BuildsNext your building project manager will help you find the right builders and trades people for your home renovation. They will really earn those building project management fees in preparing proper documentation for a tender package.

A tender package means that every builder that you want to get a quote from will have the same information – the same drawings, the same room by room schedule detailing what work is to be completed and how the room will be left in its finished state. The builders will also be asked to break down each element of their price – this means that you will get like for like pricing and will iron out any potential nasty financial surprises sooner rather than later.

Price variations between builders can run into thousands of pounds. If you are confident that everything that needs to be priced has been and that the builders have been reference checked for quality, the cost of your building project management fees will be more than covered by the savings that you can make at this stage.

Once you have selected your builder, your building project manager will prepare and issue the contract under which the renovation or refurbishment works will be carried out. This should be a very inexpensive process and is essential to make sure that both you and your builder are fully protected.

But you charge project management fees – how do you save me money?

The build starts – your building project manager will ensure you are getting good value for money for their project management fees by effectively managing change.

Changes to any project are inevitable – some will be your choice and some will be unavoidable changes. Whatever the change, your building project manager will make sure you get all of the information to make an informed choice including the cost of those changes or “extras”. Your builder shouldn’t see change as opportunity to overcharge and make better margin.

Building project management fees are also covered through savings such as reducing the running costs of your site by, for example, reducing the time of expensive plant hired to site or scaffolding.

The final stage of your build is the “defects period” – this is usually a period of three months after your builder has finished on site. It gives the house a chance to settle and for you to compile an accurate list of the final “snagging” that the builder needs to come back and complete.

Your building project manager will earn their project management fees at this stage by ensuring that you have retained a sensible percentage of the total bill payable. The builder will need to return and complete the final items to yours and the project managers’ satisfaction before this money is signed off.

So tell me again…

Successful Building Project ManagementEmploying a building project manager or construction project manager to co-ordinate your home build will save your sanity, your time and your money. Most importantly, your home build does not need to be “Grand Designs” scale – anyone looking to build will benefit from the skills and experience of a building project manager.