On a budget with your renovation or build project, or looking to save a bit of money by managing the project yourself? This is a scenario I see time and again – many residential clients feel that they can take on the project management of their custom home or investment property on their own.

If you have a construction background and experience in construction management, this makes perfect sense. But if you’re investing in your dream home or real estate investment property and construction isn’t your background, you could be doing more harm than good by not hiring a professional construction project manager – here’s why:

  • Risk of delayed projects: typically up to two to three times the length of a standard project – or even worse, non-completion.
  • Improper cashflow analysis and costing projections: these may put you at risk of non-completion and repossession from a bank or lending institution.
  • Non-compliance with code: you may have to retrofit your building or structure if it isn’t compliant with the Ontario Building Code.
  • Improper installation of building material: this could lead to major renovations post-construction or hyper-degradation of the building.
  • Improper building envelope construction.
  • Improper construction contracts or scopes of work: in the worst case scenario, this could have legal implications.

These are just a few examples, and while real estate and investment properties are very practical and viable projects, construction project management is an art, one which shouldn’t be underestimated. Construction managers are in high demand for a reason – it is not an easy profession and involves multiple variables, including tasks that integrate, building materials, finance, accounting, law, scheduling, negotiation, organization, building science knowledge, architectural knowledge, city planning knowledge and building code compliance. This requires a comprehensive understanding of how all components of the building are put together in synergy.

It saddens me when I come across client halfway through a project who tried to save costs on a project manager and end up spending 25%-50% more on the project at hand. The irony is that a project management firm will charge between 8%-15% depending on the job size to guarantee an approximate budget and timeline ultimately saving you money and mitigating all risk associated with the project.