Hiring a PM to oversee new construction

11 Replies

I'm curious if anyone has ever hired a project manager to oversee one single family home being built.  I have the ability to do it, the subs and the costs.  I just don't have the time to oversee everything and schedule it all out.  

Anyone ever hire one and at what cost?


@Jared S. Its seems like a waste to not have a GC but then hire a PM.  Why not just hire a GC that is responsible for the entire job? While a PM can add value, they are not in control and likely will not provide the same value as a good GC.

It sounds like @Manolo D. is talking about doing inspections, not necessarily schedule crews, coordinating materials, etc.

To me it sounds like you need a GC.

I work for a builder here so I know all the subs and the costs.  I just can't be on site everyday, etc.  I'm looking for the cheapest alternative for help, but that help has to be knowledgeable and assist me.  If that exists.  

@Mike Wood The presumption was everything is signed and subs are in place. The per visit fee is to make sure everything is running smoothly, material coordination is assumed to be the sub's SOW. Setting it up is a different story as well as closing it down. We do full turn-key PM, bidding to punchlist, charge around 5-10% of project cost.

@Manolo D. Thanks for the clarification.  I kind of figured that.  Quite interesting that a turn key PM is only in the 5-10% of project cost.  Something to consider for someone versed in construction not wanting a GC.

@Jared S.

Do you know any lead carpenters/skilled handyman you could have on site the majority of the time? Depending on the length and value of the project it could be economical.  I know that almost every day I am on a job, I could make a partial day of work for myself either supporting subs or dealing with materials or making small repairs/alterations that would prevent a sub call back.

@Kyle H. Work load and project size usually. In CA, regular size project is 50k, and with that size, we usually charge 10%, that usually only ends up within 4-6 weeks, when someone hires us (in-house crew) 50k only will run 2-3 weeks. However if someone spends 300k on a build, price drops to 5% a little more if it is a more complex building like on a hillside, these projects usually are 10-12 weeks. One of our foreman did a side job when everything was slow, a 2nd story addition, 1400 sf with 4 guys in 30 days (5 weeks). We don't usually go to site everyday for PM, at max 3 times a week with max 4 hours a day. PM is not really that hard, but you need to have a system and a good eye for details.
@Mike Wood Indeed, we just developed it for RE investors, there are a lot of safeguard that surrounds the price but they are pretty basic, licensed, insured, and bonded contractors only with ACORD printout and all that. The contract with owner and subs are pretty stringent, and they will have to accept or reject.

@Jared S. , I, and others I know, provide exactly the ad hoc project management you desire, so yes, there are folks out there doing that.  It's essentially an Owner's Representative.

The rewards can be great too - not only in turning over the project, but in real savings potential that such a PM/OR may be able to provide.  A lot depends on how much leash you're comfortable handing over.  

I had a client where my billables were less than the direct savings I provided them through the value engineering and procurement process, as well as alternative solution suggestions. Further profits, although less tangible in associating a dollar figure, came from the ability to preempt issues, be they with the project documents or field issues.  One recent example of this was field checking the pre-pour prep work for the basement slab.  The flatwork contractor had the thickened slab (footings) in the wrong place - they were off by a foot or two.  The inspector only checked that the prep was done, not that the prep was in the right place.  As such, the flatwork contractor would have poured as they had prepped for - an expensive fix no doubt, but also a likely issue down the road had it not been caught since these footing were intended to carry interior structural walls.

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