Project manager please?

Astrid asks:
(updated on Tuesday, August 07th 2012)

We want to get some renovations done on our rental property while our tenants are away. We are living in another city and are both working so we are unable to oversee the renovations. We are looking for someone to look after this for us. Would a builder normally do this as part of the job or are we better to get an independent person to manage it? Would other tradespeople then be hired by the builder or us? Also, how could we keep control of the budget?

Our Experts Answer:

It is definitely possible to find a builder that could manage the whole process but the key here is identifying someone suitable. Ask a bunch of questions when selecting the contractor to make sure they are capable of dealing with all aspects of the work. Make sure that they have experience managing renovations including appointing and managing sub-contractors.  I would also recommend asking for references from previous clients who had similar renovation work done. The nature of the contract you agree is also important. In many instances the builder would quote for the entire job including the use of subcontractors but the detail can differ from case to case. It is important that the quote is detailed in respect to the budget and timeframe. You should also discuss what would happen in the case of unforeseen expenses. If there are regular communications throughout the process you should be able to keep good control on the budget. We deal with lots of people who need work done on properties that are not in their home town who use to source tradespeople for their jobs.

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