Every Build Needs a Captain
Every ship needs a captain, just as every build needs a manager. New commercial construction or remodeling entails a high degree of expertise to complete the job that is sustainable and efficient, as well as on time and within budget. Although many business owners are experts in their fields, they are not as versed on the specifics involved in a building project. That is where a construction manager comes into play.
Commercial construction managers are experts in their field. A Managing Agent’s primary job is to coordinate their client’s build effectively and efficiently from start to finish. Construction managers are the captains of the build.
Construction Management Focused
According to the CMAA (Construction Management Association of America), the purpose of a managing firm is to apply effective planning techniques, design, and construction from concept to completion. However, what is considered effective is not always uniform across all agencies. The interpretation of duties and services may vary from firm to firm. It is true that many consulting firms offer management services. However, it is not their primary focus. It is more often an add-on service.
Your project deserves an expert rather than an extra added service. Hiring a company that specializes in management ensures uniform services to manage a build properly. It is the reason that business owners are using management firms to complete their commercial design-build projects.
From office remodeling to retail construction, selecting the right construction manager accomplishes a successful build. They help to manage risks, control costs, and ensures a timely and quality finished product. A skilled manager will be an invaluable asset to the project. They should have an excellent history of:
- Managing time schedules
- Coordinating meetings
- Working with stakeholders
- Negotiating commercial construction bids
Whom you hire matters, and choosing the proper firm can make or break the project.
What to Look for in a Construction Manager
How do you choose the right management firm for your project? To choose the right construction manager, you want to make sure they can, in fact, lead and manage. Asking questions about their managing skills will help you choose who to hire. There are 6 things you should ask before hiring a construction manager.
1. What is Their Management Style or Methodology?
Design-build managers should be efficient in all aspects of the project. And that means managing people. They not only coordinate the people, but every aspect of the project itself. Asking the right questions about their management style will shed light on how well they will manage your build. Important qualities to look for is their style and methodology.
The candidate’s style and methodology refers to how the construction manager coordinates design-build elements and workforce demands.One question to ask is “How would you approach my project from start to finish?” Some other good questions to consider are the following:
- Are they highly motivated, organized, and detail oriented?
- How are their time management skills?
- What are their general work hours and daily schedule?
- Do they have a good reputation with construction specialists?
- What experience do they have with preparing budgets?
- How do they prepare a site and what strategies do they use?
- What quality control methods do they use?
- How do they handle safety?
Find out if the construction manager you are working with possesses the style and methodology that echoes your build needs.
2. How Well do They Communicate?
Good communication skills matter. Excellent communication and listening skills are necessary for a construction manager to work effectively with a team, and function as a representative for the client. They must be able to actively listen to the needs of their customers and contracted workers. Then, the construction manager must be able to relay the information to each party clearly and efficiently. Since they oversee every aspect of the building site, they must be skilled communicators to interact with contractors, construction workers, and government agencies.
One way to determine how well they communicate is to ask how they handle high-stress situations, adapt to changing client demands, and supervise a large workforce. Their ability to problem-solve, coordinate people and talent to manage complex construction projects are critical for managing a build.
3. What is Their Experience?
Every commercial build is different. You want to be sure that you are hiring a skilled, experienced professional for your specific retail or office construction project. Check their portfolio before choosing to hire a company. Their former projects will show whether they have the qualifications to complete projects similar in size and scope to the one you are planning.
4. Who Will be Working on our Project?
Find out who is working on your project. A construction manager might include a “team” of people in client meetings. Sometimes the people attending are not the actual professionals working on the project. Ask if the attendees are part of your team assigned to the build. You do not want to assume you are meeting with your “team” only to discover later that you are working with an entirely different staff of professionals.
5. What are Their Qualifications?
Asking a potential candidate about their educational background will help you narrow the field. It will help you decide if they are the right fit. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a trained construction manager has often completed a bachelor’s degree in one of the following areas: construction science, construction management, architecture or engineering. Ask questions about previous projects, long-term experience, and specialized skills and certifications. Making sure the candidate has the necessary education for your commercial remodel or new construction is key to hiring a captain capable of directing your project well.
Education is not the only factor when checking the qualifications for a construction manager. Some other tasks they must be skilled at are:
- Interpreting technical drawings
- Understand contract requirements and building standards
- Properly manage documentation
- Have experience with construction management software.
- Dealing with unexpected delays efficiently
- Manage materials
- Keep the project on schedule
6. What Do they Handle, and What are We Expected to Handle?
Make sure your expectations and the services they provide lineup from the start. Construction projects are multi-faceted and complex. Because of their complexity, they often experience some bumps along the way. Expect some things to come up during the process. It is important to be clear of what is expected when problems arise. Knowing what they handle, and what is your responsibility will help you determine if they are the right fit for you.
A Step in the Right Direction
Hiring an experienced construction manager is a valuable asset to a project. The right “Captain” makes any new construction or remodel run smoothly for their customer. They make sure you get what you want, and done within budget. It all begins with hiring the right one for the job by asking the right questions.
Deciding to hire a construction management company is a big step toward a successful project. If you have any questions about how a construction manager can benefit you, contact Rocky Creek Construction and find out how we can help.