|Re: Hiring construction manager||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Jennifer Lynn Mccoy (poljlmpanther.Gsu.EDU)|
|Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 13:34:42 -0500|
In response to questions raised by John Major: At Lake Claire in Atlanta (where we're just moving in and so these issues are fresh in our minds), we served as our own developer and hired our architect/burning soul who is also a member of the group as Project Manager (for about $39,000 plus a bonus of $7,500). His role was to liaison between the builder and the group on decisions that had to be made along the way, and oversee the construction. The builder also hired his own construction manager to coordinate the construction subcontractors. These are two different functions. It is a very good idea to have your own person overseeing the construction and representing your interests. If you rely on the builder's construction manager, you won't have that. Hiring someone within the group raises the perennial dilemma of awkwardness if the group feels the person is not performing, but we managed OK. REgarding time spent and the role of the group -- we found very soon into construction that the time estimated for the project manager (20 hours/ week) was not enough and he was spending much more than that. He also did additional design work during the construction as people made structural changes (which I do NOT recommend). We therefore formed a Project Team of group members to handle the following issues: a) Financial - someone had to be the liaison with the bank and be knowledgeable about draws; someone had to monitor our cashflow and pay the bills and oversee the changeorders. Our President and Treasurer did these two functions, reporting to the Project Team and working with the Project Manager. These functions took a lot of (uncompensated) time - the treasurer estimated 20-30 hours/week for all of her work. b) Design/decorating decisions -- the project team met periodically with the builder for walk-throughs (along with the architect) and to communicate questions and decisions between the group and the builder. We found that the Project Manager needed help in this liaison role -- there were so many decisions that emerged, often on a very short turn-around, that we had to have immediate group meetings or do phone calls. We also created committees to deal with various decisions: paint colors, common house appliances and finishings, landscaping, unit appliance and flooring choices. The unit design committee held a "decorating fair" one day where they had collected samples of all the choices people had for their units, and people came to make their selections at one time. c) Contact point for the builder -- we designated one project team member to be the contact for the builder. We realized that the Project Manager had so much to do just overseeing and coordinating all of the change orders that we put in (which greatly complicated the project, but made individuals happy), that he couldn't handle all of the liaison work. I would make one more recommendation that we did not do well enough: Appoint someone or committee to oversee construction of the common house. Individuals will make sure their units are done correctly, but we fell short in monitoring the common house construction and completion. Our Project Manager was also responsible for oversight of common grounds and exterior construction issues (sidewalks, drains, lighting, siding, grading, driveway, etc). Jennifer McCoy Lake Claire Cohousing Atlanta, GA jmccoy [at] gsu.edu
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