Imagine undertaking work to improve your home with a build that was stress-free from start to finish. A pipe dream? A luxury? Not necessarily, says Run Projects. A diligently executed, honestly managed build could be more obtainable than you may think.
“Someone once said, ‘If you don’t think you can afford a project manager, then you can’t afford not to have a project manager’, and we completely agree. Our service isn’t a luxury but one that will control and manage the whole project budget,” says Kenelm Cornwall-Legh, who co-founded Run Projects with Andy McCarthy. Together they offer the services of experienced project managers and building consultants, and their partner Kate Strong offers an interior design service to help turn your dreams into reality.
It’s normal to feel nervous and excited when it comes to a build. From trusting and dealing directly with a builder and concerns about the budget and timeline, to the stress of managing day-to-day life during the build, it can feel like a huge challenge. This is where a project manager comes in and rather than thinking of it as another expense, consider this: they may well pay for themselves through the savings they make along the way. RICS regulated Run Projects charges a fixed fee, not a percentage, as they believe that this gives you best value and complete transparency from the start (a percentage fee conflicts with cost saving at every stage), so the project will be designed and built to your budget.
They proactively control the build, its time and expense. Their role is to keep you informed on decisions and progress, and to offer independent and impartial advice. When it comes to meeting contract and insurance requirements, their knowledge is up-to-the-minute. Your interests are their primary concern. “All designers and contractors are tailor-made to your project,” explains Andy, “You aren’t limited to what a one-stop-shop can supply.” Andy and Kenelm obtain a number of quotes for each element of the project to ensure their clients achieve best value. The client is always in control and can choose from quotes provided or introduce a supplier or builder themselves. “We work with a variety of budgets and we pride ourselves on our flexible, bespoke service,” says Andy.
Transparency and honesty best describe Run Projects’ approach. “When we provide budgeting advice for a build, we always aim to include everything a client will need to consider, not just the build cost,” says Andy. “We will also highlight project-specific risks so that our clients are prepared both emotionally and financially. Weekly client update reports detail the progress of works undertaken and items agreed, including photographs, along with financials and any administration, such as issuing certificates. “Some people want to manage their own build and this is fine. Our advice to anyone considering this is to ensure that the project is set-up professionally, run a formal tender process and understand the full scope, risks involved and time required before committing to this decision. At Run Projects we want all of our clients to be fully prepared, whether we are managing their project or not.
GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR BUILDING BUDGET WITH A PROJECT MANAGER
- Appointing appropriate consultants will mean paying the correct amount for the level of service you require.
- Cost engineering – your PM will advise on options and varying costs at each stage to help you focus your budget on what is most important to you.
- Managing a competitive tender – a structured tender pack will go out to a number of contractors to price on a like-for-like basis, with clarity on what is included and what is not, to set you in good stead for the construction phase.
- Advising on potential risks – an awareness of risks can help you to plan both emotionally and financially. Your PM can advise on appropriate contingencies.
- Managing the whole project budget, not just the build cost – allowing you to maximise your budget and make informed decisions throughout you project.
- Sourcing best deals for client-supplied items, finding competitive quotes and passing on trade discounts.
- Negotiating with contractors to ensure that variation costs are justified and real and you only pay for those for which you are responsible.
- Managing the overall project duration to mitigate costly overruns and avoid stress.
- Managing client supply items to ensure they are in the right place at the right time to avoid delays.
- Consider the VAT status of your project – if there can be VAT saving on your build, a PM can introduce a VAT specialist with huge savings on some projects.
Kate’s interior design contribution has been highly successful and much in demand. “The client has full control of my hours so there are no surprises and there’s flexibility to make it a smooth, comfortable journey,” she explains. “I can be involved as much or as little as required and tailor my services to the client’s needs; it’s not ‘one size fits all’.” With a flat rate and no mark-ups, Kate echoes her colleagues with her honest, bespoke, transparent approach. “With Run Projects you’re getting the best of all worlds. We’ll act as the single point of contact for you, but we’ll bring in the best and most appropriate designers and contractors for your project and budget. We’ll oversee the whole process and costs, so you can make informed decisions to get the most – and the best value – out of your build,” says Andy.
Project costs include much more than just your builder’s price. Run Projects will help you manage ALL your project costs, ensuring you get best value from each. This allows you to focus your budget on the items that matter most, like your stunning new fireplace or fabulous kitchen.