More and more people are choosing to act as their own construction managers when building a home. This decision can have huge implications on the success – or failure – of a building project.
It is perfectly normal to consider acting as your own construction manager, but should you hire a pro or do it yourself?
Generally speaking, it is better to hire a professional construction manager to oversee the construction of any single-family home or duplex in Vancouver. A qualified professional construction manager has the benefit of experience, is skilled at navigating the regulatory environment, and can coordinate between the myriad professionals at each stage of the building process. In addition, a professional construction manager can source materials at a better price than someone who is doing it for the first time.
There is much more for you to consider so keep reading if you’d like to know if you have what it takes to handle the intricacies of managing your own home construction project.
Do You Have a Construction Background?
If you don’t have a strong construction background, it is unlikely you’ll be able the handle the challenges and difficulties of managing your own home construction project.
The thought has a certain allure – after all, managing a construction project is enticing, especially when one thinks about the possibility of saving money.
The reality is much different. Maybe you worked in a construction-related field for a little while, consider yourself a handyman, or have always daydreamed about the possibility, you might be tempted to think about managing your construction project. Whether you have experience or not, at best you have been exposed to only one or two aspects of successfully building an entire home and all the challenges that are included.
Before you do, consider this: today’s homes are more complex than ever before (and home construction is heavily regulated in Metro Vancouver).
It is monumentally difficult (bordering on impossible) for a novice to successfully navigate all the regulatory hurdles involved in building a home or a duplex in Metro Vancouver.
Can You Coordinate Between All of the Construction Pros Involved in Building a Quality Home?
Many people don’t realize the sheer number of professionals it takes to successfully build a home in Metro Vancouver. If you wish to work as your own construction manager, you will need to be able to coordinate the activities of a structural engineer, energy advisor, and architect or architectural designer.
Once you have done that, you’ll also need to communicate with contractors and subcontractors to ensure that everything is properly done, while striving to keep the building process on a completion timeline. This is much more challenging than you might think!
Will Vendors Treat You with the Same Respect They Would a Professional?
One of the open secrets in the construction business is that vendors don’t always treat everyone the same. Fair or not, the reality is that vendors will treat those with whom they have worked repeatedly differently than they will someone who will only turn to them for help once.
Mistakes are Inevitable: Are You Prepared to Pay for Them?
A different aspect of working with vendors is that of mistakes. When you manage your own building project, you will make mistakes – some small, others large. Unlike a professional construction manager, anyone who tries managing their own home construction project will make mistakes they have never made before.
Any good professional construction manager has made (many!) mistakes and knows how to avoid making those same mistakes ever again. You don’t. Instead of having learned through real-world experience, you will make mistakes that you will (literally) own… for years to come.
Will You Save Money on Materials?
Most everyone prides themselves on their ability to save money. When it comes to sourcing the best prices on building materials, a professional construction manager has something you don’t: volume purchasing power.
A professional construction manager knows where to go for the building materials he or she repeatedly uses. They know where they get volume pricing and, in some cases, they know how to negotiate better deals than anyone else can get.
As a non-professional construction manager, saving a noteworthy amount is nothing more than an illusion, a relentless, fruitless pursuit of a unicorn. As you know, unicorns don’t actually exist!
How Will You Resolve Differences of Opinion?
Another aspect of managing your own construction project is one most people never consider: in the event of a difference of opinion (creative or otherwise) how will you resolve it?
Most people struggle to navigate disagreements without getting hurt feelings or having angry outbursts. A professional construction manager has vast experience resolving differences of opinion and can often do so without exhibiting outward anger.
Grasping human psychology and knowing what makes people tick is a skill learned in the daily trenches of dealing with people who are all passionate about what they do.
A novice managing their own construction project is not equipped to successfully resolve the kinds of differences of opinion which routinely come up in the course of building a home.
The Bottom Line: Very Few Have the Skills & the Time to Manage Their Own Construction
The question of whether you should act as your own construction manager or hire a professional is a highly personal one.
Unless you have a wealth of experience at each step of the construction process, have an intimate understanding of human psychology, and are a virtuoso when it comes to managing all of the professionals involved in successfully constructing a quality home in Metro Vancouver, you will be better served by hiring a pro who can efficiently do it for you.
You want – deserve – a quality home that is built to exacting precision, a minefield that most novices simply cannot navigate without blowing something up
A Final Thought
The thoughts above are just a few of the details that go into planning custom Vancouver homes that are built to last. There are many pieces of the custom home building puzzle – budgeting, design, planning, building, and many others – that can help you make your Vancouver custom home a reality for you and your family.
When you’re ready to begin a conversation about how Larch Custom Home Construction can be a valuable resource in building your custom Vancouver home, you can reach out to us to get started.