Project Management vs Site Management vs Contract Build
Which method best suits your level of knowledge, the available budget, and personal time commitment.
Professional Project Management
A predominantly office based project manager would work on your project. Although the site based visits can vary, the remote based project manager will need to be commissioned pre design stage to be the most effective to achieve the most economic use of their fees and knowledge. In their normal role they should produce:
- Specifications, Designs & Appraisals.
- Planning conditions advice & approvals,
- Warrantee providers & insurance advice
- Tender packages
- Tender analysis
- Merchant accounts
- Hiring of subcontractors
- Purchase materials and take offs
- Supervise works
- Approve payments
- Dispute management
- Project logs and
- General overall control of the project schedules and budget.
Pros: A good project manager should cover the cost of his fees with savings based on their knowledge and contacts. It’s a formal legal based management profile. Project management largely considered client management amongst project managers.
Cons: PM is not site based, they only visit site at key stages. Not all designers and professionals value 3rd party project management. If your present designer or supply professional has voiced concerns that you wish to use a third party project manager. Ask yourself why! It is important that all elements are scrutinised, evaluated and your investment protected.
Fee’s: 7-10% of the total build costs. Raising to 15% for high spec time demanding projects.
Typically covers all aspects within the project manager’s role but is site based, has more control with onsite activities on a day to day basis. Would also be considered principal contractor (subject to fees). This direct daily employment ensures quality assurance and specification details are monitored more closely. All site managers should be SMSTS qualified and be holders of a first aid at work competency. They would be responsible for enforcing on site HSE requirements, inductions and direct labour and subcontractor control. Produce the final Construction phase plan as built file. Site managers take on the role of clerk of works, Health & safety, quantity surveyor, and in some cases can be a trade based working foreman. Some lenders insist on a management structure.
Pros: The client retains an overall control and is part of the project from concept to completion. Fulfills CDM 15 legal requirements. Set fees from the outset. A trade based manager can be extremely good value for money. The best way to protect your investment.
Cons: Requires an excellent manger / client relationship, an adequate design package. Clients must be fully compliant with CDM 15 and legal obligations.
Fee’s: £25-30 per hour. (Principal contractor by negotiation).
Single building contractor / Package Company
A single building company or timber frame package company would be commissioned by you by contract or tender process to build your project. This method requires a clear and precise specification and clear legal contract.
Pros: Subject to variation the build costs can be fixed.
Cons: Very limited client control, costly variations to original contract. Specifications can be limited to available products and construction techniques
Fees: Typically the most expensive of all the build options. Depending on design and specification.
You, the client become an all risk contract developer, legally you become the Principle contractor and client. You will need to ensure you fulfill your HSE responsibilities and have the knowledge and competent skill set to undertake the role. Self-management should only be undertaken by those that can/have sourced the required training and knowledge for management competently for a construction project and management of direct labour.
Pros: although considered the most cost effective due to budget restrictions of employing a project or site manager. You get to take overall control of your dream home.
Cons: Although self-management can be rewarding it will be extremely stressful. Depending on your skill set and knowledge of construction we recommend getting Health and safety training before choosing to go it alone.