House Extension Project Management
Planning a major house extension? Project management is key to a successful outcome, especially if the rest of the property needs remedial works. Often such projects are much more complex than their initially appear, and without an experienced expert at your side to guide you through the process such projects can easily run into difficulties.
This house extension project was in Oxfordshire. The large thatched cottage had been extended before but they wanted to add another extension and reconfigure the space, as well as make the property more comfortable and cheaper to run. As is usually the case, we were asked to get involved early, not only giving our clients project management support onsite, but to give advice in the pre-construction phase too.
As the building project required quite a lot of specialist knowledge and a build team who would be able to work with the eccentricities of an older property our clients appointed us to help specify the energy improvement works required, find and appoint the construction team and oversee the building works onsite.
Our clients had worked with a locally-based architectural technologist to design a double storey extension which would create an open plan family/dining area with an additional bedroom over. Our sustainability expert carried out an energy survey of the existing property and then used these drawings to create a plan to maximise the energy performance of the property. This involved highlighting the areas for energy efficiency improvement and then specifying the work to be done throughout both the existing building, and the new extension.
The next step was for our Quantity Surveying team to create a schedule of works. This listed in fine detail exactly what building works with what materials, eere required, and enabled them to then go on to calculate an accurate estimate of what the work would cost our clients to build. We find building estimates are useful as an affordability check for clients, as they help them to manage your finances more accurately.
Once a budget had been agreed we then started the process of finding and appointing a builder. We always recommend our clients carry out a formal, competitive tender to decide on which build team they should use. This involves creating a shortlist of suitable builders, preparing all the tender documents and meeting with and briefing the builders individually. We then deal with any queries, chase the returns and analyse the results before helping our clients select and appoint the most appropriate contractor. Again we always recommend preparing a formal building contract as we believe this is the best way to protect our client’s financial interests.
Once the building contracts were agreed CLPM were kept on to support our client as Contract Administrators, which involves monitoring and controlling the building works and ensuring the work is completed to programme and any issues or changes are dealt with in a fair and timely way.
Unfortunately, as is sadly sometimes the case in today’s tough climate, towards the end of the project the main contractor had some financial difficulties. However, as we had been the project’s Contract Administrator we had been in control of the project budgets, ensuring our clients only paid invoices after the works had been completed and quality checked to our satisfaction, so this was not a major problem. We simply paid the builders for the work they had carried out and then pulled together a new build team to finish the project. As the project was not far from completion we finished the works by fully project managing the build and employing the individual trades people directly, a simple solution which avoided not only major financial worries but also painful delays and heartache for our clients.
While the original builder had financial problems, this was never a major issue for our clients, as by organising the build so thoroughly and using a Contract Administrator they had protected their financial interests along the way. Had they not had the foresight to do this, things could have been very different. The finished result is a beautiful, energy efficient house, sensitively enhanced by blending the old with the new.
CLPM Services used by our clients:-
Design Review, Budget, Tender Process, Monthly Cost Reporting. Contract Administration role with main contractor with site inspection then full project management of individual trades.
“I know I couldn’t have managed without Charlie”Mrs L, Oxfordshire
Get in touch
At CLPM we always aim to deliver a bespoke service, tailored to the individual situation of our clients. If you are in need of advice and support or house extension project management we’d welcome the opportunity to have a chat.