Exterior repairs and regular maintenance are a necessary part of the upkeep of any co-op or HOA. But exterior renovation or construction can be a major undertaking for any community, especially when the board is not comprised of people knowledgeable about construction, architecture or engineering. In order to make sure schedules are met, costs are controlled, and quality work is being done, many communities hire project or construction managers to oversee their exterior maintenance projects.
Project Managers and When to Hire One
It's not uncommon for co-op and condo communities in New Jersey to hire a construction or project manager before even starting a construction project.
"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."
Boards looking to hire someone to manage the process will refer to that person as either a project manager or construction manager.
"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."