Building project management – by which we mean splitting your job into its trade packages and purchasing those independently – is not for everyone. The traditional route for domestic projects is that they are carried out by a builder. The builder organises all aspects of the project and is rewarded for doing so. He takes all the risks on the project. To enable him to do this he charges a fee. This is an entirely sensible and fair arrangement. The more risk he is asked to take for example the higher the penalties threatened for being late, the higher that fee will be.
We find that there are three main types of clients for whom a project management route makes better sense:
1. Those who already know a series of tradesmen. If you know a good electrician, a reliable plumber or a good plasterer then why are you forced to ignore these tradesmen and use the builder’s. Alternatively, you try to get the builder to use your trades and get involved in a negotiation with the builder about who manages what aspect of the work, who takes responsibility for what and who is liable for any problems. Instead consider breaking the rest of the project down into its constituent parts and find the missing pieces of your jigsaw.
2. Those who are buying a large chunk of the project themselves. Typically this is a client who is buying a kit house, whether timber frame or ICF for example but it could be a kitchen and expensive floor. Why, when you know whoose materials you want and you know the price, should you pay a mark up to the builder to let them purchase it? (The answer is of course that that fee means it becomes the builder’s responsibility and without paying it he can blame you for any delay or problem) but if you consider the risk of the delay to be small, then why not consider taking that risk yourself, purchasing the kit and finding the other trade operations to go around it?
3. Those who have to save some money for the project to go ahead. We think that a builder typically charges about 15%. Some projects only become viable if this fee can be reduced substantially. One way of doing this, without reducing the specification, is to eliminate the role of the builder.
Still not sure if you need project management? Then let us know your situation and requirements and we would be delighted to help you!