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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Which kinds of homeowners can benefit most from project management services?


A.  Homeowners who utilize project management services typically fall into one of two profiles:

  • Homeowner with limited time and capacity - someone who has the means and desire to undertake a custom home construction or luxury remodel project, but is unwilling or unable to commit the time and personal resources

  • Out-of-town homeowner - someone who is building or renovating their vacation or second home, lives outside the area, and cannot optimally manage this construction project from a long distance


Q. What are some of the common pitfalls that cause projects to go off the tracks?


A. Some of the most common pitfalls:

  • Poor communication among project professionals and clients

  • Incorrect decisions due to client’s lack of understanding of the building process

  • Decisions not made or communicated in a timely manner

  • Incomplete design and construction teams

  • Projected budget not discussed or not followed during the design or building phases

  • Bids not explained or clarified

  • General Contractor not up-to-date on documentation and change orders

  • Scheduling delays due to untimely ordering

  • Cost overruns due to poor planning or execution

  • Sub-standard quality of work 


Q. What does a project manager do?


A. Much like an attorney uses legal expertise to represent clients in a courtroom, a project manager uses construction experience and management skills to represent homeowners in the building process. A project manager acts as an objective and independent advocate for their clients throughout the building process. Homeowners can count on skilled representation with exceptional service, along with protection of their interests and investments. The project manager acts as the quarterback, taking responsibility for execution of the project. They identify risks, make decisions, control costs, increase value, solve problems, and generally monitor the health and progress of the entire construction process.  


Priority 1 Projects utilizes a proactive team approach, wherein the owner, project manager, contractors, and design professionals are motivated to communicate and cooperate; analyzing problems in light of cost, schedule, aesthetics and quality, and seeking solutions that best meet the Owner's established needs and budget. I approach my projects as if I was building for my own account. I advocate a team approach, where all project professionals are challenged to work together from inception to completion, with the common objective of best achieving our client's design, operation, and financial goals.  



Q. What are the benefits to homeowners who use project management services? 


A. The two key benefits to homeowners are reduced time commitment and increased control over the project. You’ll spend less time worrying about construction details and problems, which frees you to focus on the results you want. You’ll have more control as a result of comprehensive schedules and clear budgets. Improved communication among designers, contractors, trades persons and yourself will avert potential problems and increase efficiency of the project, which will save you money and help ensure the project is completed on time.



Q. What is the arrangement between the homeowner and the project manager? How is a project manager paid?


A. A project manager acts in an advisory capacity as an independent consultant to the homeowner. The project manager does not contract with any other entity besides the homeowner. All contracts with contractors, trades people and suppliers are made directly with the homeowner. 

Project management services are billed on an hourly basis. The homeowner determines the scope of services provided by the project manager, and thereby controls the project management costs. The project manager is not financially connected to any other professionals working on the project, and project management fees are not tied to a percentage of the project cost. Therefore, the owner's project manager has no financial incentive to increase building costs or prolong the project on its way to completion.



Q. What is the difference between a project manager and a contractor?


A. A project manager is not a licensed contractor and does not have the qualifications to act in this capacity. Rather, a project manager provides coordination services to the homeowner as they relate to all parties involved in the construction project, while a contractor contracts directly with subcontractors to perform various trades within the construction process.



Q. What should I look for when hiring a project manager?  

A. The most valuable service a project manager provides is coordination. The project manager should have excellent organizational skills. They should also be adept at construction project management software and financial spreadsheets to effectively and efficiently coordinate the project. 

The second most valuable service a project manager provides is communication. The project manager should be an effective communicator, able to interact with a wide range of individuals. They should be able to talk creatively with designers, technically with engineers, effectively with contractors and trades people, and efficiently with homeowners regarding project progress and critical issues. They should be adept at determining the most effective way to communicate with each of their constituents, either through a phone call, text message, e-mail, written report or in-person meeting.



Q. What services are provided by a project manager?


A. Project Management Services are provided during three different phases of a construction project:



Design Phase

  • Clarify the homeowner's vision and establishing a plan of action to accomplish their goals

  • Formulate a realistic initial budget based on clients financial resources and project requirements

  • Assist in selecting a design team: architect, interior designer, landscape architect, lighting designer

  • Pre-screen and qualify building contractor candidates

  • Independently oversee the bidding process and assist with choosing the right contractor for the project

  • Assemble the project team: architect, builder, interior designer, engineers

  • Communicate owner’s positions and decisions

  • Review construction contracts

  • Review materials and design

  • Review budgets, estimates and expenditures

  • Review construction process and labor needs

  • Assist with applications and building permits

  • Ensure there is a realistic budget that encompasses all costs both soft (design, engineering, permits), and hard (construction).

  • Ascertain whether the developing design matches the budget and advise accordingly

  • Create a preliminary schedule for the entire process from design to move-in

  • Offer suggestions on products that may enhance the performance of the home

  • Manage communications, ensure everyone is working towards the same goal



Construction Phase

  • Create a construction schedule based on information provided by contractor and update schedule as project progresses

  • Continuously monitor costs vs. budget

  • Provide owner with regularly updated payment schedules and cash flow projections to assist owner in managing funding requirements

  • Provide owner with regular project status reports

  • Maintain a cloud-based construction project management (CPM) system for the project budget, schedule and documents

  • Periodically update CPM system with all relevant plans, documents, progress photos and correspondence to keep owner updated on project status

  • Visit the project as often as necessary to document progress with photos and ensure contractor’s compliance with the project design and specifications, and to advise owner of any noted discrepancies

  • Assist owner in determining whether contractor is properly and timely completing the Project

  • Review contractor’s material and labor invoices to determine consistency with contractor’s bids and the construction contract between owner and contractor

    • Attend and/or run project meetings and organize weekly site meeting

  • Confirm that the appropriate lien releases are provided at the time of each progress payment to contractor

  • Review the insurance policies of contractor and the subcontractors to ensure such policies conform with contractual requirements

  • Obtain and maintain on file current certificates of insurance as required from contractor and the subcontractors

  • Assist owner with any contractors, trades or workers that are involved in the project directly through owner, rather than as subcontractors of contractor

  • Assist owner in dealings with contractor, architect and interior designer regarding requests for clarification of design specifications and change orders

  • Assist owner in working with contractor regarding any discrepancies between construction work and plans, specifications

  • Manage communications, ensure RFIs (Requests For Information) are concluded

  • Review requests for payment and change orders

  • Monitor schedule and alert appropriate team members of upcoming tasks

  • Resolve conflicts before they become problematic



Close-Out Phase

  • Develop independent punch list and areas of completion

  • Conduct a thorough final quality control walk through and review before owner's final payments

  • Review construction and material quality

  • Oversee completion schedule and punch list

  • Review close out documents

  • Review operations and maintenance schedules, warranties and manuals

  • Review final occupancy inspections

  • Follow up with contractor regarding final documents

  • Ensure owner receives all appropriate lien releases and warranties

  • Monitor and offer advice on final payments and release of retained payments

  • Create an Owner’s Operating Manual to help in the future control and maintenance of systems

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