The Role of the Residential Project Manager in Home Construction

If you are planning on a home remodel, addition or new construction in your near future, you may be looking into hiring an architect to design your house plans. But that’s only the beginning. It is also important to consider what an architect and your project manager will do for you once construction begins. This blog provides some details about your project manager and what you can expect. 

What is the architect’s role during construction?  Your architect, during construction, makes sure the work in progress adheres to the architect’s design intentions, advocating for you, the client.

What is the role of a residential project manager? A residential project manager is responsible for all aspects of a project; managing the costs, timeframe, quality of work, and supervising the work. The project manager communicates with you and solicits for your input, and the architect’s input, as needed.

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One of our project managers, Michael Hibbits, on the construction site of a whole home remodel in Arch Cape, along the Oregon Coast.

Not all residential project manager job descriptions are the same. Sometimes, your general contractor acts as your project manager, depending on the size of the business or your construction project. Some contractors employ an estimator to give you a quote and then will pass awarded work onto a project manager. At Hamish Murray Construction, our project managers own the estimate and the project. We strive for our project managers to have full accountability, from start to the finish, including costs, timing and quality of work.

How a good project manager makes a big difference for home construction

You can anticipate that you have a good project manager when he or she:

  • has a deep expertise in construction
  • shows a willingness to explain details to you
  • is very organized and can keep track of many different issues 
  • demonstrates the qualities of an effective leader 
  • shows attentiveness towards your family’s needs, especially for a remodel or addition

Your project manager is your architect’s liaison, interpreting your plans. Your project manager should be fully attentive to your architect’s drawings. Some architects will have a very detailed set of construction drawings where little is left to interpret. But most plans need some careful interpretation at some point. When the drawings are not specific on details, the project manager will either make an informed and autonomous decision or ask for input from the architect. These judgment calls are best done by someone with experience – and by someone who truly values the architect’s design abilities.  

Your project manager is your builder’s liaison. If you plan on living in the house during construction, your project manager will coordinate with you on your living situation and orchestrate the project so there is a minimized impact on your family.

Your project manager keeps the project on time and on schedule. Once construction begins, there are so many factors that can interrupt a project; material or labor delays, miscommunications, or important details that are missed. Many of these hindrances can be alleviated through a strong project manager working with a strong team. You do not need to be surprised or expect delays in your project. 

Both the architect and project manager can help you make product choices. Your architect or designer will recommend most of your products. Early in the project, you’ll be asked to start making final choices such as cabinets, windows, doors, trim, countertops and fixtures. Because a project manager has experience in overseeing the installation process for many products, you’ll find that your project manager is another helpful resource when selecting certain materials. He or she will anticipate if these products have short enough lead times to keep your project on schedule. 

Provides multiple quality checks So much of the quality control of construction is left up to the project manager! Yes, there are city inspections made, but these inspections only cover a small percentage of the work done. It’s up to the project manager to inspect the work, such as checking the critical work on the roof or siding, or ensuring the bolts that tie the home’s framing to its foundation are well secured.

Schedules client meetings It’s exciting to be part of the changes during construction. A strong project manager anticipates when it’s best to include you and will schedule meeting times onsite with you and your architect. 

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Tell us about what’s important to you.

At Hamish Murray Construction Inc., we pride ourselves in knowing not just how to build a quality home addition, or remodel, but how to build on schedule and on budget. We would be delighted to talk with you about your project ideas and introduce you to a few of our project managers. We seek to bring your home dreams to life, while keeping your project within a realistic budget for you.

Contact us

We’d love to meet you. Contact us or call us at (503) 460-7203 with questions you have, or ask us about our philosophy, experience, or any other question that is on your mind.