Supervising a Job Site

By HomeAdvisor

Updated December 12, 2016

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During home renovations, jobsite supervision is often a real sore spot with homeowners. Of course, you want the project to go as smoothly as possible, and maintaining continuous jobsite supervision is one way to ensure that things are going as you planned. Unfortunately, most homeowners are not able to supervise jobs themselves and many construction companies forgo having a supervisor onsite during every step of the process in order to lower project costs. In these cases, hiring a renovation project manager is an excellent way to take the burden off of you and your contractor and know that things are going smoothly at the same time.

Renovation Project Management: Is it Necessary?

While it can be extremely helpful in certain situations, hiring a residential project manager is not always a necessity. Every successful home improvement project depends on good communication and good leadership, and if you find that you can easily communicate with the contractors and subcontractors working on your home (without getting in the way, of course!), then you can probably rest easy without worrying about project management. On the other hand, if you are not able to be around for much of the project or find it difficult to keep track of all the crews that are coming and going, professional management is likely to be quite beneficial.

What Situations Are Better with a Renovation Project Manager?

In most cases, calling for renovation project management is going to do the most good when you are not close to the project that is taking place. When entering a major remodeling project that will leave much of your home inaccessible, many homeowners find that a nice vacation is a great way to avoid all of the hassle that comes with power tools at 7am, the constant flow of incoming and outgoing crews, and the blocking-off of important areas like kitchens and bathrooms. While this might make the storm that is major renovation a lot more bearable, it also limits your ability to check on progress and make sure you are getting what you are paying for. This is where your renovation project manager comes in.

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Renovation project management companies specialize in jobsite supervision when you are not able to be around. They will keep tabs on progress, help convey your needs and expectations to the contractors and subcontractors involved in the project, and keep you informed on how things are going, no matter where you are located. Often utilized when remodeling investment properties in other locations, project management allows you to keep your life simple while still staying abreast of everything that happens.

Renovation Project Manager vs. General Contractor

In many ways, project management sounds a lot like the job of a general contractor. There are, however, a few key differences that you should be aware of. Both general contractors and renovation project managers can act as a go-between for you and the numerous subcontractors that will be working on the site. Let’s face it, most of us don’t know the specific details of how every task in a major renovation are supposed to happen (or we’d probably skip the contractor all together and do the job ourselves at a lower cost); this can make judging how well the plumbing or electrical aspects of a project are going difficult for the average homeowner. In many cases, it seems like contractors and homeowners are speaking two different languages; both contractors and project managers can act as translators.

The big difference between the two is that the general contractor is hired to build and manage, while the residential project manager is hired to oversee and represent your interests. The first gets the work done; the second makes sure the work is done to your specifications. Some homeowners have found that they can do the job of either, but for most of us, having both on the job site is an easy and effective route to the results we want.

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