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Planning Your Project

Planning Your Project

Whether you do it yourself or employ someone else to do it, someone needs to be in charge of your project. The main tasks for a Project Manager on a house-building project or major renovation are:

Prior to Construction

  • Arranging finance
  • Organising design
  • Selecting the builders, subcontractors and other suppliers
  • Arranging tenders/prices from selected builders/sub-contractors
  • Execution of contracts
  • Applying for building consents


  • Managing the builders and subcontractors to ensure they are onsite when required
  • Dealing with suppliers to ensure materials are ordered and onsite on time
  • Ensuring that work is compliant with contracts and consents
  • Managing inspections from your architects/designers and building inspectors at the end of each stage of the construction process
  • Answering queries and clarifying anything in the construction documents with contracts
  • Tracking and monitoring progress
  • Progress payments and checking claims for payment
  • Resolving problems and organising rework
  • Processing any variations and ensuring no major cost overruns
  • Arranging amendments to the building consent when necessary
  • Arranging final inspection and code of compliance

Options for Project Management

The first thing you need to decide is who is going to be in charge of your project. Here are your choices:

  • Manage it yourself – the builder would be engaged on a labour-only contract and you would manage all sub-trades and suppliers
  • Your architect or designer manages it on your behalf. They would engage the builders etc and monitor all work
  • The builder manages construction on your behalf
  • Hire a professional project manager to oversee all parts of the job

You can engage a professional project manager at any stage of your project but the sooner they come on board the better for the project to run smoothly. This way the manager can engage you, the contractors and suppliers early on to ensure the project is keep to schedule and budget.

To learn more about your options, including building professionals available to act as project managers, visit

Don’t underestimate the time involved in managing a building project – you may save money on the project management fees, however consider the time it will take you and all the unknown areas.


Useful Resources:

Follow the links below to download free templates from the Microsoft website which are useful tools in the management of projects. All are excel templates. You may find you prefer to use one or two over the others, so have a play around to see what suits you best:

Gantt Chart – A Gantt Chart is a type of bar chart commonly used in project management. It provides a visual representation of the tasks and resources needed to complete a project. This includes when each tasks needs to start and when it should finish.

Project To Do List – This is a straight-forward tool that will help you keep track of all the tasks you need to complete for your building project and what your deadlines are.

Project Planner – This tool helps plan project hours and billing by skill type (for each person involved), as well as helping them compare actual work performed against original estimates.

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