Pardon Our Mess Working With Construction Managers

 Time was, when you had a big construction or renovation job, you hired a general  contractor, and if the job was big enough, that contractor hired  subcontractors.  

 But in recent decades, a new player has entered into the process, helping with  not just individual projects, but building-wide and multi-building jobs: the  construction manager. The “CM” as he or she is often known, takes pressure off owners and managers by  overseeing the job and coordinating between contractors, HOA administrators,  and sometimes even residents. The Construction Management Association of  America (CMAA), a nationwide organization headquartered in McLean, Virginia,  outlines a construction manager’s responsibilities to include project management planning, cost management,  safety management, contract administration, and quality control.  

 What They Do

 These functions of a construction or project manager can be further broken down  to include developing and directing a formal construction management plan,  organizing and leading a project team, developing project budgets and cash  flow, reviewing design documents, keeping abreast of related legislation and  workers’ compensation law, and monitoring workers' compliance with job site protocols.  

 "This is the point person who deals with project and representing the owner,"  says Luis Menendez, CCE, CCM, PMP, president of Trigon Construction Management,  Inc., in Upper Montclair. "The construction manager is an agent of the owner  and is someone who has the background and expertise to manage the construction  process. They can come from any discipline, including architecture, engineering  or something completely outside the two."  

 "There are a lot of different uses of the term project or construction  management," says John Colagrande, vice president of engineering for The  Whitman Companies in East Brunswick. "The terms are often used interchangeably.  A construction or project manager is hired to oversee exterior renovation,  coordinate with contractors, facilitate local permitting, and review change  orders on behalf of a client. A lot of times, a board does not have anyone who  is competent in that area of work or who has the time to do it, so it's in your  best interest to hire someone to represent you with the contractor," he says.  "This is your representative at the construction site. Most construction  managers have spent a lot of time doing construction work and have a background  in it. They are able to share their experience and knowledge with their  clients."  

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