The Good, the Good & the Good of a Project Manager

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By Erin Reilly

So you’ve bought a do-upper just so you could get into the market, or you’ve decided that it’s time your trusty abode got a bit of makeover. Great! You nip into your nearest hardware store and invest in a builder’s worth of power tools, you don some protective glasses (because you’re not silly), then you lift a sledgehammer above your shoulder, thrust it as hard as you can into your kitchen wall … then promptly get drenched as you smash through your plumbing.

The idea of renovating starts out fun, but when an event like this happens it’s easy to dump the whole renovating process in the too-hard basket. Add into the mix the drawn-out process of designing your new home, the rigmarole of coordinating different tradespeople to make it happen (many of which the average homeowner might not know much about) not to mention the to-ing and fro-ing of dealing with council and you’ve got yourself all the ingredients for a perfect renovating storm.

If the hero of a classic Western is the good-looking cowboy who rides in on horseback, the hero of any building site is the project manager. Convinced you’d do a better job than a project manager? Here are a few reasons why you’re wrong.

A project manager knows what they’re doing – and they’ve done it all before.

“The project manager coordinates all aspects of the project, so the only thing the homeowner needs to do is enjoy seeing the renovation work being completed,” says Melbourne Refresh Renovation specialist, Paul Cree. “The project manager understands the needs and timings of different trades which enables them to plan the work more efficiently than someone doing it for the first time. Their experience of knowing what information is required by each trade means that everyone has the right information, reducing risks of misinterpretation of the design or homeowner’s wishes, which in turn helps to ensure the work keeps on track and minimises the chance of rework required.”

A project manager saves you time and money

A well-connected renovation company like Refresh has a lot of contacts in the building and renovation industry. Compare that to a homeowner who wants to renovate their home themselves but has no idea where to start and you’re well on your way to potentially wasting valuable time and money on processes and products you don’t know enough about.

Don’t forget your budget either. “Homeowners often miss or don’t budget for important aspects when they project manage themselves,” says Cree. “For example, it’s common for a homeowner to miss budgeting for electrical upgrades for the installation of an induction cooktop or not understand the permit requirements for minor structural works such as removing a load bearing internal wall. The experience of the Refresh team means that such elements are understood early in the design process and budgeted into the works, so there are no surprises during construction.”

A project manager takes the stress out of renovating

If you work fulltime or have children, project managing your own renovation could add years to your life (and a lot of strain on your relationships). The beauty of a project manager is that they’ll literally manage everything for you. Sure, there’ll be plenty of times when you have to make some decisions or sign some bits of paper, but your project manager will give you plenty of warning and tell you exactly when these parts of the process need to happen.

“Renovating is a really stressful process,” says Tom Bentley, a Refresh Renovations specialist based in London. “The beauty of Refresh is that we take all the stress out of the equation, so the homeowner just has to sit back and relax while we do the hard work. We understand how hard it is to live in the middle of a renovation too, so we work hard to minimise any disruption.”

A project manager gets the job done, within budget

We’ve all heard those stories whereby someone sets out to spend $100,000 (or £50,000) on a simple renovation that should have taken a few months to complete, only for the project to encounter a ‘few problems’, the budget to quadruple and the project to stagnate due to a severe lack of funding. Using a project manager right from day one will help avoid nasty hidden surprises in the first place. Refresh Renovations invests a lot of time in upfront planning to make sure your budget and expectations are aligned from the beginning. We also provide regular costings all the way through the quoting, designing and building process which prepares homeowners financially and enables the project manager to complete the job within the expected timeframe and budget.

“Project managing a renovation isn’t just about changing a house around,” says Wellington Refresh Renovation specialist Nicholas Leko. “We’re in the business of making homeowners’ dreams come true, within their means. And that’s exactly what Refresh does.”

Get in touch

So, if you're ready to get your renovation project underway (with the help of an expert property manager) get in touch today to arrange a free consultation with your local Refresh Renovations specialist.

Get inspired

Check out a few of our past projects for ideas on how you can improve your home through a renovation.  

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