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Self Management Vs Project Management

Self-management will always be the cheapest option but unless you physically have the time to manage the trades and ensure all are working harmoniously, it may not be an option you would want to consider and arguably any self-managed project can be challenging especially if you have never managed a project before and aren’t sure where to start.

Independent Project Management or (IPM’s for short) is a relatively new concept within the building industry and has been commonly associated with TV programmes such Ch4’s “Property Ladder” and “Grand Designs”, but an IPM not only manages large projects like a new house build or a major renovation such as a barn conversion, they can be just as cost effective on a small project such as say a kitchen replacement or a minor alteration like the removal of a structural wall.

Conventionally, a building company will already have a manager or supervisor employed to oversee a project from start to finish and will deal with the day to day progress; liaise with the client, the building inspectors, suppliers, architects, structural engineers as well as the sub-contractors. Traditionally, the cost of this management service would (amongst other things) be included in the estimate provided by the builder as a ‘hidden’ uplift within your quotation.  This uplift is known as O&P or ‘overheads and profit’ and can range from between 25% to 50% depending on the company. In other words, for every £1.00 it costs the company, up to £0.50p is added just to cover their overheads and profit.

This uplift is added to virtually everything including materials, sub-contractors and plant hire and is used to pay towards the company’s outgoings and expenditure such new vans, rent, business rates, lighting, phone, staff wages, corporation tax etc. It’s not uncommon for the building company to then request even greater savings from its supplier after they have been awarded the project and this reduction will make them even more profit as these savings will never be passed on to the customer.

A fundamental part of the Project Manager or Supervisors role is to closely monitor the financial elements of the job to ensure that the project stays within budget. However, this part can in our experience prove to be the most contentious as often it’s not made clear what extras have been added until the very end of the job and disputes can often arise as a result.

At Halo, all of our experienced, reliable tradesmen have worked for us for many years so we know the quality of their work is of the highest standard. Also our team has managed projects for some of the well-respected & established building & construction companies in Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire & Northamptonshire for many years.

So acting directly for you the client, we will guide you through the maze of regulations & offer the advice you’ll need to help you make an informed decision. We will prepare a work specification and an estimation template to obtain accurate like for like estimates on your behalf, source the trades and materials monitor each stage of the build no matter how big or small the project is. We will ensure that the project runs as quickly & as smoothly as possible & to the budget you have set.

To avoid any horrible financial surprises, all alterations or amendments to the project will be accurately priced and approved by you before work commences. One of the many benefits of using an IPM is that once we have been assigned the project, we can seek estimates from various contractors’ part way through the build and those savings will be passed on to you. This alone can save you a substantial amount of money if any unforeseen problem comes to light once work has started.

At the end of the job we will provide you with an operating and maintenance pack which will include details of the materials used (this can be very useful when you need to get replacement parts at a future date after the guarantee period has expired), all the necessary certification provided by our NICEIC and GAS SAFE qualified engineers and final certification provided by building control which will be required when you eventually come sell your home.

We are happy to offer FREE advice on design & planning issues without any obligation & we have access to every trade needed all of whom have been in the industry for many years & will turn your dream into a reality. For any building projects in the Peterborough or Cambridgeshire areas where you feel our project management services would come in useful, please get in touch!

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