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5 Reasons NOT To Be Your Own Remodeling Project Manager
You might have played a major hand determining the overall design of the house and how it should look like after remodeling works.
Now the next question is… whether to be the main man/woman to manage the whole construction as project manager.
Actually, if we take a moment and consider this dilemma, it can make perfect sense to play the role of manager for the entire project. After all, who else will know best what and where the meticulous details are most important. And to ensure that workmanship is in tip top quality.
But no matter how much temptation is nudging you towards putting on the hat of general contractor, it is not a wise move to make.
New investors or homeowners who have never took on the role before might think that it would be fun and quite a learning process to go through. But most of them would regret it as soon as the early stages of work gets on the way.
Here is why.
1) Lack of control
If you are currently holding a job as a manager in a big corporation, it is understandable that you might think your job is as simple as ordering people around to get tasks done.
While is a partly true. It is also over-simplifying the responsibilities on hand.
Unlike a corporate structure where everyone have very much the same goal and overall objective, the very same cannot be said or assumed with contractors.
Bear in mind that you will be working with freelancers and small businesses in the likes of plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc. They pretty much work for themselves, not you.
Every party have their own interests to prioritize. Even if you are the “boss” who will eventually be handing them their paychecks, don’t for a moment make the mistake of thinking you have full control over them.
If for example, you select two different parties with two different expertise who cannot work with each other for personal or building reasons, it can be a headache that will not go away for a long time.
You might even buy fixtures that are not compatible because of a lack of knowledge in home construction that can cause chaos to works resulting in delays and waste of money.
For example, you might buy a beautiful and lavish commode that cannot be fitted with the remodeling configuration.
Leaving these problems to a proper project manager to manage is the smart move. He would also be able to command more respect and control since the sub-contractors are part of a team he usually works with.
2) Emotional involvement
At one point or another in time, we are all guilty of falling in love with the house… or the picture in our heads of it.
Being right in the mix of things can leave you prone to making illogical decisions that can make sense to you, but detrimental to living conditions in the long term.
Emotional attachment can leave everyone puzzled in your decisions. And in many cases, create problems that don’t exists.
For example, you might find that the grout along the ceramic tiles have stains on them and insists on replacing them. What you do not know is that the stains are caused by plain water and will promptly remove themselves with evaporation.
Being the hard-headed person driven by emotions could blind you from seeing this even when explained by the tilers.
This is just one small example of non-issues that can blow up into epic proportions.
They will just cause undue stress to the workers and delay completion.
3) Financial knowledge
There’s a lot a regular homeowner does not know about how and where the money flows for builders and contractors.
With money being the main motivation why people have agreed to be hired, failing to appreciate the deeper details of how they make money can potentially cause friction between you and the contractors.
For example, contractors run a business that is always tight with cash flow.
If you refuse to fork out a significant amount of down payment fearing about their credibility, there is simply no cash to purchase or import the premium materials that you want.
It’s simply not possible.
A contractor will not take on the risk of paying for you upfront and hope that you make good on the payment.
Some workers they hire will also require upfront salary payment to work on your project. Without this cash on hand, there is simply no funds to hire extra workers to put on the project.
Failing to understand the ins and outs of how finances are managed by contractors can create a lot of potential problems where things just cannot move forward as you are at loggerheads with when to make payment.
The examples listed above are just a little peek into this paradox. A lot of instances can pop up when money is the underlying reason things are not moving as smoothly forward as they should be.
4) Getting fleeced
When you become your own project manager, you will be hiring and paying several parties for the services rendered.
If this challenge does not already scare you, you must really have a lot of time and mental space on your hands.
Compare that to just paying one party which is the interior designer. He or she will then manage all the hiring and paying with the total project costs as described in the sales quotation.
He/she will then manage everything keeping in mind the budget… fully knowing that he/she will be getting an earful from you should extra money is needed.
When you are the project manager yourself, you might be susceptible to raising your budget after listening to the fancy sales talk of the various contractors trying to get as much into their pockets as possible.
It is much easier to demand that works keep within the budget instead to trying to do it yourself.
5) Time commitment
Unless you are out of a job, work from home, or don’t have a need to work, you are going to be busy during the day when the renovation works take place.
During this time, the project manager has to be available, and many times even on-site, to make decisions and provide supervision.
There is no way you can offer that time commitment if you have a day job.
If you think that you can manage it all with phone calls and instant messenger, think again.
You might be able to handle that in theory. But in practice, it is just a disaster in the making.
Decision makers need to be available to clarify major and minor issues. And being onsite allows one to fully understand the situation and make decisions accordingly.
It also allows one to instantly inspect certain design aspects and make immediate changes when it is still possible.
Being available on the phone simply would not cut it.
All in all, it is a bad idea to take on the role of project manager yourself. However, if you need a little adventure or add a little spice into your life, go ahead and give it a try.
After going through that experience, you’d be wondering how you convinced yourself to get into this mess voluntarily in the first place.