A Complete Guide to Construction Management

About the Author: David Perrotti

Dave has over 20 years of experience in the construction industry, is a Bestselling Home Improvement Author on Amazon, and constantly seeks to reinvent the remodeling industry. As a veteran of the Army and Air Force, Dave operates his business, Fine Home Contracting, on the core army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.

For homeowners taking on a major remodel or renovation project, construction management provides an alternative approach compared to hiring a general contractor. With construction management, the homeowner brings on a construction manager or firm to oversee the project, while retaining control over decision making and hiring contractors.

Benefits of Hiring a Construction Manager

There are several advantages to using construction management for a home remodel or renovation:

  • More homeowner control – You get to choose contractors and make key decisions while having an expert handle coordination.
  • Scheduling and efficiency – The construction manager creates schedules, sequences jobs, and manages communication between contractors.
  • Cost savings – With their oversight on bidding and sourcing, construction managers can sometimes deliver cost savings.
  • Less stress – Construction managers handle all the complex logistics, approvals, and supervision.

Finding the Right Construction Manager

Not all construction management firms are equal. Here are tips on selecting the right one:

  • Check credentials – Look for relevant education, licenses, certificates, and membership in professional organizations.
  • Verify experience – Ask about similar projects completed and read reviews from past clients if available.
  • Interview multiple firms – Meet in-person, explain your project, and get quotes from several providers before deciding.
  • Ensure good communication – Make sure you feel comfortable with their responsiveness and clarity during the initial outreach and selection process.

Construction Management Process

If you decide to hire a construction manager, here is an overview of how the typical process goes:

Initial Consultation and Planning

•Initial meetings to evaluate the project scope, budget, timeline and discuss the overall plan.
•Paperwork including contracts and agreements on fees and responsibilities.
•Securing necessary permits and approvals before work begins.

Creating the Project Schedule

•Detailed schedule with sequenced phases and project milestones.
•Coordination of the trade contractors needed for each phase.
•Ordering long-lead time materials and items early.

Overseeing Bidding and Sourcing

•Soliciting competitive bids from qualified contractors in each trade.
•Vetting contractors, checking references, and advising on the best selections.
•Negotiating pricing and contracts with the chosen contractors.

Managing and Scheduling Contractors

•Functions as the general point of contact for all contractors.
•Scheduling contractor work in coordination with homeowner availability and other project activities.
•Ongoing management of contractors throughout project to ensure quality and budget is maintained.

Providing Ongoing Project Updates

•Regular progress reports to the homeowner with schedule and budget updates.
•Quick notification of any issues or need for change orders.
•Ensure great communication and transparency throughout the project.

Managing Inspections and Approvals

•Arranging all necessary inspections for building codes, HOA requirements, etc.
•Interfacing with inspectors and getting sign-offs on completed work.
•Ensuring any final project approvals are secured.

Project Completion and Wrap-Up

•Develop punch lists for any final fixes needed from contractors.
•Verify all lien releases are signed and no claims remain on the property.
•Provide documentation like warranties, maintenance manuals, and as-built drawings.

Construction Management vs General Contractor

Construction management differs from hiring a general contractor in some key ways:

Level of Homeowner Involvement

•With construction management, the homeowner takes an active role in decisions and contractor selection.
•A general contractor handles almost everything, with less hands-on control by homeowners.

Handling Payments to Contractors

•With construction management, the homeowner pays contractors directly after approvals.
•General contractors typically manage all contractor payments out of the total project budget.

Liability and Risk Exposure

•Construction managers act in an advisory role, with limited liability.
•General contractors accept more project liability and risk.

Flexibility and Change Orders

•Construction management allows more homeowner control over changes.
•Change orders typically require general contractor approval.

Cost Considerations

There are a few ways that construction management can impact your total costs:

Construction Manager Fees

•They charge a fee for their services, often 10-20% of total project costs.
•These fees are generally fixed or capped through a contract agreement.

Potential Cost Savings on Contractor Bids

•Their oversight on bidding can sometimes result in lower contractor costs.
•However, cost savings are not guaranteed.

Overall Budget Control

•While costs on individual contracts may be controlled, construction managers are not responsible for holding to a final overall budget.
•General contractors are more likely to deliver a complete project within a guaranteed maximum budget.

Key Takeaways

Weighing the Pros and Cons

Construction management offers more control for homeowners who want that flexibility, but involves taking on more responsibility for the overall project outcomes.

Who Can Benefit from Construction ManagementIt can work well for large, complex projects where the homeowner has time and interest to be actively involved in decision making throughout the process.

How to Have a Successful Project

Whether using construction management or a general contractor, the keys are thorough planning, realistic budgeting, excellent communication, and working with reputable professionals.


How large should a waiting room be for an office?2023-11-28T15:52:50+00:00

The size of a waiting room for an office depends on factors like the number of expected visitors and the overall office layout. As a general guideline, allocate around 15-20 square feet per person. However, specific requirements may vary, and it’s advisable to consult with a designer or architect to determine the optimal size based on your office’s unique needs.

What should I consider when designing a reception area?2023-11-28T15:52:32+00:00

Designing an effective reception area involves considering the brand identity, creating a welcoming atmosphere, and ensuring practicality. Choose comfortable seating, incorporate branding elements, and optimize the layout for efficient traffic flow. Lighting and color schemes can also impact the overall feel of the reception area.

How do you design a doctor’s office?2023-11-28T15:52:06+00:00

Designing a doctor’s office involves creating a welcoming and functional space. Consider factors such as efficient patient flow, comfortable waiting areas, and the integration of medical equipment. Compliance with healthcare regulations is crucial, and consulting with a design professional with healthcare experience is recommended.

What kind of contractor renovates commercial offices?2023-11-28T15:51:40+00:00

Commercial office renovations typically require the expertise of a general contractor experienced in commercial projects. Look for professionals with a portfolio that includes office remodels, as they understand the unique challenges and regulations associated with commercial spaces.

How long does it take to remodel a commercial office?2023-11-28T15:51:23+00:00

The duration of a commercial office remodel depends on the scope of the project. Small renovations might take a few weeks, while larger projects can extend to several months. It’s essential to establish a realistic timeline with your contractor based on the specific requirements of your remodel.

How much does a commercial office remodel cost?2023-11-28T15:51:02+00:00

The cost of a commercial office remodel varies widely based on factors such as the size of the space, the extent of renovations, and the choice of materials. On average, prices can range from $75 to $250 per square foot, but consulting with a contractor for a detailed estimate is recommended.

Are open office layouts still in trend for commercial spaces?2023-11-28T15:36:51+00:00

Yes, open office layouts remain popular, promoting collaboration and adaptability. However, it’s essential to balance openness with designated quiet spaces. Consider your employee’s needs for silence and privacy.

Is a construction manager the same as a general contractor?2023-10-09T14:48:47+00:00

No, a construction manager and a general contractor are not the same. A construction manager oversees and coordinates all aspects of a construction project on behalf of the owner, focusing on the project’s planning, coordination, and owner’s interests. In contrast, a general contractor is responsible for executing the physical construction work, typically hired by the owner or construction manager to manage day-to-day operations, subcontractors, and construction tasks. These roles have distinct responsibilities, with construction managers emphasizing project management, while general contractors specialize in construction execution.

What does a construction project manager do?2023-10-09T14:46:50+00:00

A construction project manager plays a pivotal role in the successful execution of construction projects. Their responsibilities encompass a wide range of tasks and duties, including:

  1. Project Planning: They develop comprehensive project plans, including budgeting, scheduling, and resource allocation.
  2. Team Management: Construction project managers assemble and lead project teams, which may include architects, engineers, contractors, and subcontractors.
  3. Budget Management: They monitor project costs, control expenses, and ensure that the project stays within budgetary constraints.
  4. Schedule Management: Construction project managers create and maintain project schedules, ensuring that tasks are completed on time and within deadlines.
  5. Quality Control: They enforce quality standards and ensure that the work meets design specifications and industry regulations.
  6. Risk Management: Identifying and mitigating potential risks and issues that may arise during construction, such as weather delays or supply chain disruptions.
  7. Communication: Maintaining clear and effective communication between all stakeholders, including clients, contractors, and team members.
  8. Permitting and Compliance: Managing the necessary permits and ensuring that the project complies with local building codes and regulations.
  9. Safety: Promoting and enforcing safety protocols to protect workers and ensure a safe work environment.
  10. Problem Solving: Addressing unexpected challenges and finding solutions to keep the project on track.
What is Construction Management?2023-10-09T14:46:58+00:00

Construction management is a specialized field within the construction industry that focuses on the planning, coordination, and execution of construction projects. It involves overseeing all aspects of a construction project, from the initial concept and design phase to the final construction and project closeout. Construction managers play a crucial role in ensuring that projects are completed on time, within budget, and according to the specified quality and safety standards. They are responsible for managing resources, scheduling tasks, and addressing any issues that may arise during the construction process to ensure a successful and efficient project delivery.

How does using a construction manager compare to hiring a general contractor?2023-09-12T12:59:46+00:00

General contractors take on more responsibility for delivering the entire project within a guaranteed budget and timeline. Construction managers act more as advisors, with the homeowner retaining overall control.

How much do construction managers typically charge?2023-09-12T12:59:31+00:00

Their fees are usually 10-20% of the total construction budget. The exact rate depends on the scope of work and services provided. Expect to pay more for larger or more complicated projects.

What types of projects is construction management best suited for?2023-09-12T12:59:21+00:00

It works well on larger, more complex renovations and custom projects where the homeowner wants to be very hands-on with decision making. It may be overkill on smaller jobs.

What are the main benefits of using construction management?2023-09-12T12:59:03+00:00

The main benefits are having more control over contractor selection, scheduling, and project decisions, while still getting oversight and coordination from a construction expert. This can result in greater efficiency and potentially some cost savings.

About the Author: David Perrotti

Dave has over 20 years of experience in the construction industry, is a Bestselling Home Improvement Author on Amazon, and constantly seeks to reinvent the remodeling industry. As a veteran of the Army and Air Force, Dave operates his business, Fine Home Contracting, on the core army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Need a Contractor? We’re happy to help. Get in touch to request a quote.

Active Projects
Years of Experience
Google Review Rating