How to Choose the Right Construction Management Company
How to Choose the Right Construction Management Company
When deciding to undergo any construction project, especially with an outside construction management firm, there are several things that need to be considered well before you even begin to worry about the design of the building or the materials that’ll be used to build it. Choosing the perfect location, finding the right people for the job, and figuring out how to manage it all can be a massive undertaking especially if you’ve never done it before.
And not to toss more coal in the fire but there’s even more to consider. How will you make sure the contractors and subcontractors are OSHA-compliant? Who is in charge of making sure that the construction is following the initial design? What’s the process for handling problems that occur after your project is finished?
If you’re reading this and are thinking this all sounds a bit complicated, you’re right. Construction is a very complex industry. Things are being built every day and you’d be forgiven for not thinking about the sheer amount of things going on that you can’t see.
When deciding how you’ll get your project completed, a construction management company is usually the best approach, especially for bigger jobs like schools, government buildings, or large retail shopping centers. These critical pillars of our society cannot be haphazardly thrown together by any old construction company — they require experience, expertise, and execution.
Construction management companies offer an ‘all-in-one’ solution to completing construction projects. From the initial design phase to after-sales support, a construction management company will handle each and every aspect of the project to ensure completion on time and on budget. But how do you know which construction management company to choose? After all, there must be a difference between their capabilities, right? How do you know the company you hire is going to do a great job?
The Top 3 Questions to Ask Your Construction Management Company
There are many aspects of any construction project, but they’re typically broken down into three main phases: design, bid, build.
If the company you’re considering hiring can easily answer these three questions, there’s a good chance that they’re worth the price of admission and you should place them at the top of your list of considerations. For those that can’t, they’re probably not the right construction management company for you,
1. Do you have the right experience to take on my project?
This is the easiest question because it will help you quickly eliminate experience mismatching. For example, a construction management company that primarily builds nuclear power plants may not be the best fit for your upcoming school project. While it seems like an obvious answer, many companies don’t have a particular niche or specialty and will take on many different types of projects. This may be great for that company’s bottom-line but could leave a lot up to chance when considering how well they’ll perform on your particular job.
In business and in life, it’s usually best to find someone who specializes in solving your particular problem rather than a generalist.
Start by taking a look at their portfolio and determining the types of projects they usually complete. Some things to keep in mind are:
- The average size of the project completed
- The type of structure that was built
- If the project was a ‘from scratch’ construction or a renovation or add-on to an occupied building
Following these considerations will help you make a better, more informed choice and should give you a good idea about how your experience would go. It’s also a good idea to consult with the company’s past clients to gain a feel of their overall project satisfaction.
2. What will be required of me during the construction process?
Construction management companies are involved in each aspect of the construction process. While they typically handle the bulk of the work, there will still be some aspects of the project that will require the owner or client’s attention.
Knowing this information upfront will help you plan out any times when you or your team need to be directly involved and when you can continue handling your other priorities. A good construction management company will usually provide an estimated schedule of events to help make this a bit easier for you to manage.
This should be clearly communicated by the construction management company to you. You should always know what will be expected of you and what you can expect from them. You should also receive quick communication should either of those expectations change.
3. Who will handle issues that arise before, during, and after construction?
Knowing who the ultimate responsible party is will make things a lot easier.
In the event of a design problem, who will be responsible for getting it resolved?
If a problem surfaces during the build, will the construction management company be able to handle it?
Does the CM have a good closeout and warranty process, or will you be responsible for handling those issues on your own?
Having a good strategy for when things don’t go according to plan is the sign of an experienced construction management company with its clients’ best interests in mind. Additionally, you should also receive timely status updates on the progress of your project. This helps keep you as the owner informed while keeping the CM accountable.
The Right Choice
While there are many more questions that you could ask, these should serve as an excellent guide to choosing the best construction management company for your upcoming project. By asking these questions, you’ll arm yourself with the ability to quickly weed through companies that may be a mismatch for your specific needs.
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