Your choice of a construction management company is essential to the success of your building project. Here are four questions to help you find the construction management company that’s best for you.
What experience do you have as construction manager on projects similar to mine?
In construction, reputation is everything. Ask about the company’s recent experience, work samples, products like cost opinions and progress reports, and contacts for completed projects. Keep in mind that no two projects are exactly alike. An occupied school or hospital project, for example, requires a different approach than a ground-up office or retail project. Choosing a construction management company with experience in your particular project type allows you to get the best idea of their ability to meet your expectations.
Talk to some of the company’s former clients about their experience during the building process. Unlike a general contractor, a construction manager approaches your project as your advocate. The construction company should be large enough to have the necessary internal resources (estimating, project management, project supervision, quality, safety) and relationships with the subcontractor community to complete the project on budget and on schedule and to meet quality and safety requirements.
Who will be working on my construction project?
Construction management companies are only as good as the people they hire and train to oversee their projects. Ask about the company’s culture and about their team’s education, experience, skills, and references. The pre-construction process can sometimes be lengthy and unpredictable. It is not uncommon for the project manager or jobsite superintendent initially proposed by the construction management company to be assigned to a different project. This makes it even more important to select a firm with a superior reputation and depth of resources.
Understanding that changes can happen, you should ask that the construction management company bring in people for the initial interview and preliminary meetings who they expect to work on your project. This allows you to properly vet potential candidates. Trust your instincts: if you are not comfortable with and confident in the team during the interview, it’s probably a good indication of how the project will go.
How involved will I need to be in this project?
Your construction management company will handle the majority of the work involved with completing your project, but your team will need to be involved in some aspects of the process. Find out what decisions, input, and information you will need to provide throughout the project. Compare the services provided by various construction management companies, and decide which services are most important to you. Understanding the services provided by the CM up front will help you determine how much time you’ll need to invest at what stages during construction.
What kind of communication should I expect with your team?
Expect (and demand) regular, open, and transparent communication from your construction manager about how the project is going and what are doing to address project-related issues. Construction projects are fraught with little challenges throughout the process; the difference between construction managers and general contractors is how they handle these challenges and the impact on the project’s budget and schedule. With consistent, open lines of communication, you shouldn’t have any surprises at the completion of your project.
If you still have questions about the construction management process, contact Holland. For more than 30 years, Holland has led the construction management industry with unwavering integrity. We’ll go the extra mile to make sure you are completely satisfied with your project.