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Subject: When have you brought in a Project Manager?
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11/03/2019 11:26 PM  
Hi there,

This article...

...says "you should use a construction manager anytime you cannot redo the construction project (if it has issues) for less than the construction manager would have cost you."

It later says that the minimum fee of a PM will be around $5000.

I'm curious to know what the smallest projects yuns boards have done where you brought in a firm to manage it.


11/04/2019 9:17 AM  
We never brought in a separate project manager for any construction/remodeling projects at my HOA. That was always handled by the contractor or our MC.


11/04/2019 9:51 AM  
We had to engage a structural engineer for a condominium client as a two owners in end units observed their floors were not level.

The engineer recommended installation of piers in two garages, placing other piers adjacent to exterior walls, and installation of a flitch beam.

We had no experience with work of this type and recommended to the Board they hire the engineer to manage the project, with which they agreed. His project management bill was about 8% of the actual cost of the work. We would make the same recommendation again without a second thought--work of this type is way beyond our ability to evaluate whether or not it is being done properly.


11/04/2019 10:44 AM  
MikeH24, that's a great article.


11/04/2019 11:11 AM  
I do question one of the assertions in the article.

"As an important aside, the number budgeted for large construction projects in most reserve studies is adequate to provide for a construction manager."

I've looked at a lot of reserve studies over the last couple of years and I don't think I've seen a single one that provides for funding a construction manager.

The article also says that if you can hire a construction manager for less than the cost of the project - which would seem to almost always be the case with a large project - you should hire him. According to that, a construction manager who wanted $1,000,000 to help us manage an upcoming $1.4 million re-roofing project would be a reasonable hire because we couldn't re-do the project for less than what the construction manager would charge us. That seems like some twisted logic.

I still think it's a good article that hits on a lot of good points with regard to planning and spot-checking the work.


11/04/2019 2:10 PM  
We hired a Proj. Mgr. for the very large exterior painting of our urban twin towers 25 stories each. The firm pretty much did as outlined in the article. The job was about $800k and we paid the proj. mgr. $45,000.

Though we don't have a contract with a vendor yet, the Board signed a $100,000 contract for a construction mgr. for a project that'll be about$1.5 million. Base on the article, that is too much. Plus, the CM wants the Board to hire a designer--an architect, building envelope specialist, or structural engineer to design the project, which will add another $100,000.

Our full-time onsite prop. mrg. oversees large projects., but nothing like the two above. Most recently, we had to have several large above-ground planters' innards removed, the waterproofing replaced, and then oil plants etc., replaced and she managed that project, which took a couple of months. She's also overseen new roofs on our two towers.

Do you have a property gr., Mike? Or would board members actually have to oversee any projects?



11/04/2019 3:30 PM  
I basically acted as our "Project Manager" when it came to big projects. However, I can see in other HOA's why they may want to do this. It's time consuming and helps cuts some costs. Plus keeps the project on schedule. Just remember the Project Manager still has to answer to the board before officially approvals or pay outs.

It just so happens I was uniquely qualified to act as "Project Manager". Felt most of my job as President was just that for our HOA. These projects included tree removal, pool retaining wall replacement, and putting in individual retaining walls. It was just easier for me to have acted as one than hire someone outside. FYI: I volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and worked as a "House leader" on a few builds. So know construction. Plus took Project Management in college... LOL. Got college credit for my HOA projects.

Former HOA President


11/04/2019 5:04 PM  
So mine & Melissa's posts raise the questions, Mike, what size projects do you have in mind?? What are they?


11/09/2019 2:52 PM  
Thank you everyone for your perspectives!

Kerry, we do have a community management company. Our manager, in conjunction with a director who can allocate the time for it, has done oversight on some projects in the past, but as I understand it, "project management" is a legally loaded term, and our managers don't do that.

To address Kerry and Melissa's question, I don't currently have a size in mind. What I'm curious to know is how _small_, dollar-wise, the project might be where it would still make sense for a PM. So far no member of our complex has volunteered their PM services, and none of the directors have a background comparable to Melissa's.

I've heard the figure of $50K being thrown around as the threshold, but we did have a project for around $20K 2 years ago that we more recently had to redo as part of a much larger project.

It seems to me that a project manager is essentially "project insurance". Add 5K to a 20K project to ensure its success? That would seem a bit steep, but maybe it is worth it to have fewer headaches. Our members are very...discerning.
(South Carolina)


11/09/2019 4:38 PM  

My initial reaction is if the project involves a lot of different trades, a PM could be a wise investment no matter the project size. If the project is rather straight forward , regardless of size/cost, a PM might not be necessary.


11/10/2019 12:44 PM  
Thank you John!
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