7 Tips and Tricks to Successfully Manage Your Own Home Addition

7 Tips and Tricks to Successfully Manage Your Own Home Addition

Looking to manage your own home addition?

Adding an addition or extension to a house can be pricey, so it’s not uncommon for a homeowner to consider project managing their home addition to gain some benefit from doing this. A homeowner may project manage their own home addition rather than hiring a general contractor to manage the work. But homeowners who assume the responsibility of managing their project, are often unaware of the challenges associated with taking on the role as project manager in a do-it-yourself home addition.

A homeowner may ask, “should I project manage my home addition?” when they should be asking, “can I realistically manage the project without any major issues?”.

Why Homeowners Manage Their Own Projects

There are two main reasons a homeowner would want to manage their own project.

holding money
Source: unsplash / @alexandermils

It Saves Money

By eliminating the general contractor’s fees for overseeing the project, the homeowner could see a reduced overall cost in the end. Homeowners budgeting their own home addition also have more control of the project by directing their funds for the job themselves. This gives them the freedom to allocate costs as they go, rather than being tied to a contract and its payment schedule. Instead of paying a contractor, that money could instead be used for additional home improvements, furnishing the addition, or upgrading to higher quality finishes for a more impressive look.

I'm The Captain Now

Overseeing a project also lets the homeowner have more — if not all — control over it. While a general contractor managing the project will meet the homeowner’s standards, there’s no possible way to do everything as the homeowner would. What better way to ensure a project is perfect than by completing it yourself, right? Without hiring a PM, everything is up to the homeowner; sounds great in theory, but it could cause more chaos than expected.

More Is... Less?

Having established the two main reasons why you should manage your own home addition, let’s highlight the reason why you should not manage your own home addition project.

To be blunt, unless you as the homeowner have years of construction experience or the time to dedicate to managing your own project, it is simply not worth it. It may cost more, but this added cost eliminates the responsibilities associated with being in charge that may be beyond a homeowner’s capabilities.

Not having a general contractor means the homeowner is in charge of everything. Materials. Subcontractors. Permits. Scheduling. Every detail of the home addition project, that requires construction experienced to successfully manage, becomes the full responsibility of the homeowner. Don’t assume that running a project solely entails hiring subcontractors, sitting back and relaxing while they work, and then paying them when finished. This scenario couldn’t be further from the truth.

Don't Succumb To Subs

Hiring multiple subcontractors to finish their respective jobs isn’t as easy as it seems. One benefit of hiring a general contractor to manage a project is that they assume the responsibility to see that it gets finished. Eliminating this key figure means the subcontractors now must assume most of that missing responsibility to overcompensate for the homeowner’s lack of construction experience and know-how. A homeowner’s lack of experience could lead to subcontractors quoting them prices higher than they would get with a general contractor.

Whose *Job* Is It Anyway?

spiderman pointing

Another common issue that homeowners face when managing their own projects is hiring the right subs to complete the job.

Imagine a homeowner managing their own project without the slightest bit of construction experience. Their process of hiring subcontractors for the project may look something like this:

  • Go on the computer
  • Open Google
  • Search for “[job type] contractors near me”
  • Hire what they believe to be the best

Don’t get us wrong, that’s absolutely a valid route to take, though not recommended. If that homeowner were to hire a handful of subs that haven’t worked together on past jobs, problems may occur. This may lead to the subcontractors playing the blame game with the homeowner caught in the middle of finger-pointing without any resolve, and no one wants that.

Therefore, hiring a general contractor to manage the project is beneficial. A general contractor has already sorted through the subcontractors that are not reputable and identified those who get the job done without problems. For a homeowner managing their own project, the lack of access to a large contact list can increase the likelihood of a subpar-sub

Tips For Managing Your Own Project

As with all our FAQ posts, our main goal is not to talk a homeowner out of a home renovation project that may be in progress. We don’t want homeowners reading this, who may have already spent a lot of time planning their home project, to think they are completely wrong and should stop what they’re doing. That would be ludicrous.

This piece is meant to shed light on distinct features of projecting managing your own addition, that may not have been thought of in the past. For the readers who are ready to take on the responsibilities of managing their own project, here are some tips to help the process.

Do Your Homework

Like we pointed out earlier, we highly recommend anyone thinking of managing their own home addition to have at least a basic understanding of what the different phases of a construction project are. There are numerous resources available online to help homeowners without any experience learn the basics.

Utilize A Mentor

Homeowners with little to no construction experience should reach out to a trustworthy friend or family member with construction experience to find a mentor that can help. This allows the homeowner to still maintain control over the project but provides the availability of a lifeline for basic advice or in the case that things go wrong. Plus, anything that can’t be learned online can be answered directly from the mentor.

Leave the Shell to the Pros

Homeowners with little to no construction experience should reach out to a trustworthy friend or family member with construction experience to find a mentor that can help. This allows the homeowner to still maintain control over the project but provides the availability of a lifeline for basic advice or in the case that things go wrong. Plus, anything that can’t be learned online can be answered directly from the mentor.

Finishing Touches

Hopefully, by now, any homeowner thinking about managing their own home addition project has a better understanding of what being a project manager fully entails. Make sure to do the proper research and planning so no crucial details are ignored. Home Improvement Resource is all about giving homeowners the proper information to complete any home improvement job. Good luck to all future project managers out there!

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