Construction Project Management and Contracting


Project Management in construction oversees the entire renovation or build, often the project manager creates schedules long before any work begins. Regardless if the project is residential, commercial or industrial the project manager’s tasks may overlap with that of the general contractors or construction managers’. Project management includes much of the pre-construction and post-construction demands, it is the project manager who executes the bid for the construction project. The budget for the project is outlined in the project bid, whether it is an open bid or a closed bid. The project manager (or sometimes the client) selects the contractors based on either low-bid selection (price), best value selection (price & qualifications) or qualifications-based selection (bid requires a request for qualifications RFQ).


Scheduling & Planning

Arranging the construction schedules can involve the construction manager if the job requires one. Often project manager arranges the specification of timeline goals and planning all the contractors and sub-trades work time tables. Scheduling & planning includes selecting the most efficient ways to complete the construction project. Construction managers must maintain the construction schedules set by the project manager and govern the construction team. Scheduling includes scope management and the work breakdown structure (WBS) developing a strategic checklist that divides all work into functional goal categories. It is important to note that effective and reliable scheduling reduces delays and risks.



Coordinating is overseen by the project manager but when establishing a construction schedule they task the general contractor to hire the trades and subcontractors required, such as plumbers and electricians. Coordinating the physical work falls onto the responsibility of the general contractor. Coordination is where we manage to schedule in tandem with communication and budgeting.



Project managers are typically in charge of budgeting a project including negotiating cost estimates and leveraging networks to acquire discounts. Project Managers are in charge of determining the resource & material costs, project reserves and cost of quality. When estimating a construction project they can utilize a number of strategies: analogous estimate, parametric estimate, bottom-up estimate, or activity-based estimation. They also draft the contractual agreement for the project. There are 4 types of contractual agreements for project budgeting:

  • Lump-Sum: the owner and contractor agree on an amount and the price remains the same regardless of the total project costs exceed the original agreed amount.
  • Unit Price: The project owner offers materials at specific pricing to reduce spending, this agreement has no fixed final price.
  • Costs Plus Fees: this agreement is ideal for contractors as the owner covers unpredicted expenses at the end of the project in addition to the project’s total cost and the fixed contractor fee.
  • Guaranteed Maximum: this type of contract works similarly to that of the ‘costs plus fees’ format with the exception that there is a maximum that will not be exceeded regardless of unpredictable costs.

Accounting, estimating and monitoring all expenses and costs of a construction project also fall within the project manager’s jurisdiction. Having a drafted contractual agreement for the construction project minimizes disputes, defines obligations and improves the return of investment.



Supervising the project and being on-site is important. Project managers and general contractors alike are hired so that the client doesn’t have to supervise the technical details of the project. A large part of supervising includes ensuring all personnel on-site have their required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and that all Occupation Health & Safety (OHS) standards are being complied with. Ensuring quality control and management is incredibly difficult when the project manager is not on-site. Being an active supervisor also ensures that the general contractor and construction manager are staying within the schedule and budget.



Communication with the client, contractors and all involved stakeholders for work and budget-related concerns and information is the project manager’s responsibility. The ultimate goal of a construction project manager is to ensure the client’s satisfaction is achieved and the expectations are exceeded by communicating the client’s expectations to the team. Ensuring that the finished product meets the client’s aesthetic tastes and functionality but most importantly that the project remains within budget are integral to a successful project and cannot be achieved without effective communication.


Scheduling, coordinating, budgeting, supervising and communicating are only the key areas of what efficient project management entails. The value of efficient project management is reflected in the project’s completion on-time, in-budget, and finished with superior quality. It can be very challenging for a client to juggle all the areas of a project along with everyday life demands. If you’re someone with a big project on the horizon we challenge you to save yourself time and money and hire a project manager. Can you think of a time where you wish you had someone oversee a project so that you could focus on more important things or a time when you just wanted a project done? If you can relate think of North Canadian Construction for your next project and we’ll manage the details for you. If you’re looking for a job as a Construction Project Manager please click on “Apply Now” and follow the instructions.


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