Four reasons a consultant’s real-life construction experience can make your life easier

If you’re a building manager in the 21st century, you know you must be a jack of all trades – literally. You need to be familiar with all the trades – plumbing, electrical, HVAC and carpentry just to name a few. It’s the only way you can manage your staff and prioritize projects. But, when you need to identify issues and complete maintenance and upgrade projects, there’s no substitute for in-depth, real-life construction experience.

Shouldn’t I hire consultants with college degrees?

It may not surprise you that the answer is “It depends.” Some say degrees don’t make a difference. They cite famous success stories like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs as examples. Those who believe a formal education is essential say school teaches you HOW to think in addition to the required facts.

The bottom line? Education credentials and certifications are the price of entry in our business. Engineers and project managers need them just to walk in the door. But hands-on experience can be a real difference maker when it comes to identifying and solving building-related problems. And what building doesn’t have problems?

How can a consultant’s or contractor’s real-life construction experience make my life easier?

When you hire a project manager or building engineering firm whose staff has considerable experience in the construction field, expect the following.

Accurate plans and proposals

Experience teaches us that the key to accurate estimates is knowing what can go wrong. If your building consultant or construction project manager doesn’t have experience, they can’t anticipate issues. Those with experience take time to understand the project or issue clearly up front. This means they are able to avoid the problems that lead to cost overruns and deadline misses.

Real solutions

Experienced engineers develop solutions that can actually be implemented. They know the difference between what works and what just looks like it will work. It’s the difference between theory and practice.

Fewer problems and delays

First, experienced engineers and project managers have seen what can go wrong and know how to prevent it up front. Second, when something unforeseen actually happens, they are better equipped to solve the problem because they have probably seen it already.

Clear, jargon-free reports

As a building manager, you have a good understanding of the terms used in building design and implementation. That doesn’t mean you want to spend your time reading an over-long, jargon-filled report. You want the facts, clear and simple. Professionals with real-life construction experience are aware of what you need to know and deliver it without frills and fancy explanations.

Busy building managers must rely on the expertise of their staff and consultants to make sure their building can support tenants’ needs. Balancing that with ownership’s budget and headcount restrictions can be challenging. You can minimize project delays and overruns – and your stress level – by hiring consultants and project managers with hands-on construction experience. You’ll save in cost and time because their experience enables them to anticipate and prevent overruns, problems and work stoppage.