Project manager and owner: who does what?


Dessance project: Rehabilitation of a Paris gastronomic bar, realized in 2014 and winner of the Paris Design Shop and ArchiDesignClub prize

Joseph Grappin

Do you want to start renovating your apartment or house? This project involves, in particular, a project manager and a client. But what is the difference between these two professions? What are the missions of each one on a project? Côté Maison offers you to see more clearly.

It is often thought that the project manager and the client are trades reserved for construction services. And they are often confused in the minds. These trades actually apply to all missions including both renovation and construction services for individuals or professionals.

House with stairs opening and rolling

Director: Frédéric Tabary

What is a building owner?

The owner or the person in need of a development service is called the client. You express your needs without necessarily having the technical skills of their realization.

Ex: You want to turn an old kitchen into a bathroom. And call on a plumber and tiler to advise you on the technical aspect, an interior designer or a decorator for aesthetic aspects. You will always remain the owner.

The project management may be delegated to an architect or interior designer. You will put in his hands the choices that will fall on the project. This is only recommended if you trust him blindly and do not want to get too involved in the work. (It's a rental investment, you're a property manager)

Delegated project master : When the project involves several phases and the intervention of different trades especially on tender, you can call on a delegated project owner depending on the complexity of the project. An interior design agency, a design office or a general contractor can fulfill this mission. You finance the project but you leave almost completely of its organization.

What is a master builder?

The project manager is the company (architect, interior designer, company all state bodies or craftsmen) selected for the realization of the mission. It bears the responsibility of the technical choices essential to the realization of the work in accordance with your specifications. This implies the commitment of its responsibility on the conformity of the works. Since the project management mission can be provided by a company, the latter will designate a natural person (the project manager or site manager) responsible for the smooth running of the work.

His responsibilities :

- The design of the specifications according to your desires or the recommendations of the architect or the interior designer.

- The drafting of contracts.

- The supervision of the works.

- The reception of the works.

In a project for individuals, these missions are smaller and more flexible.

In short, what is the difference between the client and the project manager:

You are the client or you delegate to an agent. The master builder is the company or the craftsman.

Dessance project: Rehabilitation of a Paris gastronomic bar, realized in 2014 and winner of the Paris Design Shop and ArchiDesignClub prize

Joseph Grappin

What are the roles of the architect, the interior designer (individual or agency) and the decorator?

Architects and interior architects can assume the mission of delegated contracting authority and master of work if they subcontract the works. The decorator is your advisor. As he can not subcontract the works, he is excluded from the contractual relationship: the client - prime contractor.

Read also :

What is the job of interior designer?

What is the job of interior decorator?

How is the communication between the mastery lumber and project management?

It is important for everyone to know what their role is and who the preferred interlocutor is. For example, you use an agency and get in touch with the interior designer to design your project and with the sales manager for the administrative and financial aspect (quotes, invoices ...). In small structures, the architect or interior designer usually performs both tasks. Before the start of the work it is essential to know the representative of the main contractor, if only to know who to call in case of technical problem on the site.

How is the site monitoring and site meetings organized?

Client or Project Manager can schedule meetings as soon as necessary to coordinate the different steps of the trades, to resolve a conflict related to your requirements ... As an individual it can be done informally, it is important to consider it in a regular and formal way for large-scale projects multiplying stakeholders.

What are the relationships between master lumber, owner and decorator?

If you use a decorator, he will advise you mainly on the aesthetic aspects and leave the technical part to the master of work, he will ensure that it performs what has been agreed and will reassure you in return. He can not make a change of technical choice without your approval.

In order for each project to unfold at best it is important that everyone's assignments are clearly defined and that you call on the professional who will best meet your project.