What does a Construction Manager Do?
Have you ever handled a construction project? If so, you know that it is not as easy as it seems; a lot of processes are involved and there are so many rules to follow. It can be overwhelming to manage elements as varied as calculating the cost of project materials, scheduling subcontractors, and reviewing architectural drawings. That is why enlisting the help of a construction manager is one of the best decisions a project owner can make.
A construction manager is an individual that plans, budgets, supervises, and coordinates construction projects from concept to completion. They manage the project from start to finish, taking into consideration each and every detail of the construction process. Construction Managers ensure the project is completed safely, on time and within the allocated budget.
Project owners gain a lot of benefits when they hire a construction manager and we are going to look at those one by one. First of all, there are laws that govern the construction industry. Understanding these laws is not easy, and few have the time to keep current on them, never mind making sure they are followed. This is one of the many reasons to hire a construction manager.
Competent construction managers have field experience; they are familiar with the documents that are used during the project as well as the hands-on processes of building a project. Having another set of eyes looking at a situation and coming up with solutions can frequently benefit the project owner. Even more, because a CM understands construction, they are able to verify that the work being installed conforms to the contract documents and meets industry quality standards.
A construction manager can assist you in having a good contractual relationship with your contractor. For instance, many contractors use a standardized form when drafting up their contracts. This standardized form might benefit the contractors, but it might not protect the best interest of the project owner. A construction manager can help in the review of documents to ensure that the project owner’s interests are protected.
Another benefit of using the help of a construction management company: adherence to the schedule. Basic contracts don’t necessarily specify time tables, which is why you hear nightmare stories of jobs that start and then drag on forever. When a construction manager looks over the contract, they can make certain that firm and reliable start and finish dates are included. When the contract is executed, the construction manager can ensure contractors stay on schedule — or justify any schedule deviations beyond the contractor’s control. They can also point out any opportunities to accelerate the schedule.
Employing a construction manager can likewise help by ensuring that the project remains on budget. A CM can provide a realistic budget which eliminates unnecessary scope and cost. Construction managers typically reduce overall project costs well in excess of their fees, by knowing what questions to ask, avoiding duplicate costs and efforts, and understanding the marketplace. Related savings include enhanced competitive bidding, contract negotiation, and reduced change orders. Having an experienced third party working to keep costs under control adds great value to the project.
There are times when there is a huge separation of information and experience between the contractor and the project owner. Hiring a construction manager can close that gap. When a project owner begins construction, this may be the first time they’ve built something like this, while for the contractor this may be the tenth job they have worked on this year. Because of this, there is a difference in information and background. Hiring a capable construction manager who can see both sides and unite the parties together on shared ground is vital.
Ensuring the contractors know precisely what is expected from the start will keep everything on target. When multiple specialty contractors are involved in a project, it is especially important that all these individuals are coordinated effectively. Keeping the many intersecting lines of communications open is crucial.
Large construction projects are complex, with many details requiring close attention. A good Construction Manager will educate and lead project owners through the challenges of design and construction. The benefit of having an independent team of professionals manage the project is immeasurable.
Southern Cross Property Consultants is a construction management and facilities management firm. We have extensive experience and a solid focus on protecting our clients’ interests.