An overall budget needs to be determined, together with a breakdown of the various cost elements. The budget should include build costs, utility costs, fees, charges and levies. It should also include a contingency sum. The input of a quantity surveyor will be useful with regard to estimating the required budget. Find a quantity surveyor.
You should endeavour to ensure that any over-runs are compensated for, where possible, with savings while also calculating how much your involvement will save in terms of the budget.
2. Financial institution support
Ensure your financial institution is fully in support of and has approved the project. If you are managing the project yourself, you will need additional approval for your role as project manager.
3. Figure out how much time it will take
Work out what amount of time will be needed to direct, instruct, and manage the various workmen, electricians, plumbers, heating contractors etc. Understanding the time the project will take will help you know if you can manage the size of the project or if hiring a professional project manager will make a difference. Whoever is managing the project may well be required to be on site every day, including nights and weekends.
In addition to taking away the time and stress of managing a project, a project manager will be crucial to keeping your project on track and on budget.
Other factors to consider include:
- Material purchases & prices. Building professionals will know the most economical options for buying materials and often receive discounts which you may benefit from.
- Ensuring quality control. Building professionals will know how to gauge quality of workmanship, compliance with building regulations, codes of practice for installations of pipework, heating, electrical etc.
- Sourcing contractors. Building professionals are well connected to suitable, experienced, registered contractors and subcontractors. Not having the right contacts can slow the process.
- Decision making. Figure out the extent to which you will require technical input on a regular basis to assist you in decision-making. You may require the services of an architect/building surveyor, engineer or quantity surveyor at various stages during the build.
Using a project manager will help ensure you get the best material prices and keep project moving forward on track and on budget.
4. Obtain certification of the completed build
An architect/building surveyor will be required to provide a Certificate of Compliance. This document confirms that the build has been completed in accordance with the planning permission and the building regulations and is necessary should you wish to dispose of the property in the future.
5. Set yourself up to avoid delays
If you employ a builder to project manage the build on your behalf you should bear in mind the following considerations.
First, make sure you have the project finance in place from the financial institution to avoid any unnecessary payment delays which could hold up the project.
Secondly, a key consideration is to only employ a registered individual with a proven track record in project-managing similar developments. You need to do some research here and this could save you time, money and heartache in the long run. You need to check all references, look at other projects the builder has completed and talk to his previous clients.
6. Make sure that you have insurance in place for the work
Once you select a builder as project manager, the next step is to define the scope of the works and specify exactly what your requirements are. Agree on a fee and sign a contract to avoid any ambiguity over what he is expected to do.
You should also insist that the builder only uses registered contractors and subcontractors and it would be a good idea to review the list of who he intends using.
Other factors to consider include:
- Whether you require that he employs an architect/building surveyor to periodically review the quality of the work and to advise on technical issue
- Whether you require that he uses a quantity surveyor to obtain tenders, to manage the budget as outlined earlier and to advise on payments to the contractors, subcontractors and suppliers.
- How often you will undertake a review of the work and the budget — we suggest twice weekly.
- How he will ensure that you receive all the necessary warranties, guarantees and documentation.
- You will also need to ensure that you get a Certificate of Compliance on completion of the project.