For most homeowners considering a new home construction project, being your own construction project manager is not realistic. Beyond the time constraint is the necessary experience and tools to ensure the project stays on budget and on time. Hiring a construction manager makes sense, but if you have never done this, it can be just as daunting a task as the project itself.
You should treat the decision to hire a contract project manager the same way you would in hiring an employee for your business. This is a massive decision, with hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line, so you want to get that decision right. To that point, we have put together some key questions you will want to ask before making your final decision.
How Much Experience Do You Have as a Residential Construction Manager?
Experience should play a significant role in your final decision, especially if this is a complex project. Only so much can be learned in the classroom, as real-world experience makes a big difference in this field. You want someone who is proven, especially when resolving conflict.
What Are Your Credentials?
You will want to learn as much as a possible about the candidate and his or her company. What degrees do they possess? What are their qualifications to lead such a project? Is there anyone on the team that is LEED-certified? LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. This certification program was put in place in 1994 by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).
What Projects Have You Done Similar to This One?
Experience is great, but you also want to see residential construction projects that align with your planning. As we have stated before, every project will have its own unique challenges, but experience in similar challenges will go a long way to ensure your project manager can address these challenges without disturbing the flow or budget of the project.
What Sets You Apart from Your Competition?
This is a great question and it is one I have used in the business world since my first job interview. This will truly give you a feeling if the candidate is more comfortable in his or her abilities or if they are just looking to tear apart their competitors. It also shows if they are up to date on what their competition is offering. Word selection in this answer will tell you all you need to know. This should be about what they can do for you, now what their competition cannot do.
Are We on the Same Page?
This is the final question but it is probably one of the more important questions that needs to be asked. We have talked about conflict resolution many times in our posts, and you surely do not want that conflict to start with your own project manager. He or she needs to have the same vision as you when it comes to the project because they will be the one selling it to the contractors during the bidding process as well as overseeing the daily construction. There is only one acceptable answer to this question, and it is “yes.”