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Builders are not Project Managers

Builders are not Project Managers.

I suppose, that is not strictly true. They are, in as much as they manage and organize their work, their materials, their subcontractors. But when they do that, it is for their benefit, not yours.

So it would be truer to say that builders will not do your project management.

When you decide to build a home extension, you are committing to spending a lot of money, maybe increasing your mortgage. That is a large investment and surely you want to protect that investment and get the very best value from it.

Builders have responsibilities and priorities, but they are not the same as yours. When you go to work, you are most likely doing the job you are best qualified for, for the employer that pays the best salary or offers the best perks, so you can look after your family the best you can. That is human nature and applies whether you are employed or work for yourself. Your main priority is your own family.

Well a builder is no different. His main priority will be his own family and how well he can provide for them. As he is in business or self employed, he may well have secondary responsibilities - to pay his workers, run his vehicles, pay his subcontractors and suppliers on time so he continues to get good service and prices from them, maintain his plant and equipment, do his accounts, pay his taxes on time, prepare his quotes, advertise his services to build up his workbook, keep up to date with regulations, health and safety legislation, record keeping and the hundred and one other things you have to do to run a successful small business.

So have a guess as to where, on the list of priorities, managing your project comes!

If you have been lucky enough to get a good builder to build your extension, or refurbish your house, he will try and understand exactly what you want to achieve and do his best to deliver it. He will be as honest as he is able with his quote and he will work to a good standard. Hopefully in the end you will have achieved the result you want and have paid a reasonable price for it. Note please, the use of the word "hopefully"!

Because unless you project manage your project, hope is all you have.

If on the other hand, your luck is out and you get a less than honest builder, you are facing a potential disaster. You may even get a bit part on one of the many TV series on Cowboy Builders or Homes from Hell or some such.

You want to get the best builder, using top quality materials, working to a high standard, to an acceptable timescale, for an acceptable agreed price. And you want to avoid nasty surprises.

So how can you give yourself the best possible chance of achieving that?

More later.

The Project Master