Front Page, Kitchen and Bath, Renovation | 10.09.2015

How Working With a Project Manager Can Help You


Every renovation project has complexities. Small projects can easily be managed by the homeowner, but as the scope of the project scales up, it reaches a point where the homeowner either does not have the time and/or the expertise to effectively manage it. This tipping point is different for everyone.

Managing Tradespeople

One of the biggest challenges that the project manager has is to effectively manage all the tradespeople. There are numerous things that can impact the most carefully planned schedule; sometimes unexpected things are discovered once drywall or flooring is cut away, sometimes homeowners decide they’d like to add a few things while we’re there, and unfortunately even we are susceptible to the common cold. A good project manager is always balancing start and end dates for components of the project, without derailing the overall expectations that have been set with the customer. Working with a company that has a longstanding relationship with their trades means that when unexpected things happen, your project is a priority for that trade because of the value placed on this ongoing relationship. This is one of the biggest assets of using a company that manages the project, rather than the homeowner doing it themselves.

Managing Quality

Having an experienced project manager generally results in a higher quality end product. Someone that can assess workmanship against industry norms can discover issues quickly in order to resolve them as they are happening, rather than waiting for call backs or getting into a debate on appropriate quality levels. The project manager is the customer’s advocate, while recognizing the limitations that may be inherent in a product or construction task. Generally, this makes the project smoother and results in a happier customer in the end.

All Those Other Details…

Some of the areas that a project manager will focus on are:

  • dealing with the city on permit and building code issues
  • scheduling workers so that they are used efficiently (which keeps the costs down)
  • dealing with warranty issues
  • keeping the home owner informed so that there is a comfort level in the progress of the project

A project manager can be thought of as a big Aspirin. A poorly run project will create many headaches, but a good project manager will, at best, result in no headaches and, at worst, will take on the headaches in place of the homeowner.

How much should that aspirin cost? In most projects the Project Management component is 10% of the overall project cost; this can vary depending on the ratio of materials and labour, with projects that have little labour taking much less management time.

In the end, every project will require a certain level of management. A company such as ours that includes it as part of their service offering, generally provide turn-key systems that the homeowner ends up greatly valuing. They get to observe a significant project come to fruition and then enjoy the results, without the associated frustrations that someone else has handled for them.