Project Managing an Extension or Renovation Project: A Comprehensive Guide 

Site managers checking work

In this post:

Renovating or expanding a home can be both an exciting and daunting experience. To ensure the project runs smoothly, a plan, budget, and team must be in place.

Taking on the role of a project manager is something a lot of people like to do. But it’s not for everyone.

In this article, we will explore how to project manage a self-build renovation or extension project.

We will offer some top tips, discuss the significance of project management, the role of the house renovation project manager, and whether or not you should hire one. If you’re looking for more of an overview of the entire home construction process, then our house extension guide might be a better place to start.

Importance Of Project Management in Home Extension/Renovation Projects

Any extension or renovation project requires project management. It ensures that the project is completed on time and within budget. A house renovation project manager is in charge of overseeing all aspects of a project, from planning and preparation to execution and evaluation.

They oversee the project’s budget, schedule tradespeople, collaborate with the site team, contractor, builder and suppliers, and ensure quality assurance and inspection throughout. Without project management, the project may be delayed, go over budget, or fail to meet the objectives and expectations.

As well as project management, you may have heard of the term contract administration. Contract administration is a party responsible for overseeing the contractual obligations between parties. Sometimes, this is carried out by the project manager, but it can also be an independent third party.

Can I Project Manage My Own Extension or Renovation Project?

renovation planning

Yes, you can manage your own self-build home renovation project, but it can be difficult and time-consuming.

You may be able to handle the task if you have prior experience building projects, managing budgets, and coordinating teams. BONUS: Learning to deal with builders is a great and hard-to-obtain skill!

If you lack experience in these areas, you should consider hiring an independent project manager who can provide expert advice and guidance. Unless the job is straightforward, we recommend hiring a project manager or builders who employ project managers, to save you the stress.

The Role Of The Project Manager

What does a project manager in construction do?

The project manager is responsible for a lot of things. Think of them like a wedding planner. Sure, you can plan your own wedding, but it will take time, you won’t have the contacts, and you will have to be super organised to ensure your big day doesn’t end in tears!

Sometimes, the architect can take on this role. But this could lead to problems, given that not all architects are skilled project management professionals. In construction, a project manager is usually responsible for the following:


Feasibility is an important aspect of construction project management. During this phase, a house renovation project manager will assess the project’s viability and whether the proposed design and budget align with the project’s goals and timelines. This includes a thorough examination of the project’s potential risks, as well as any environmental or legal concerns that may need to be addressed. A feasibility study can help project managers ensure that the project is achievable and realistic, as well as identify any potential roadblocks that must be addressed before moving forward on site.


The pre-construction phase of a project is crucial because it lays the groundwork for a successful renovation or extension. This is where the expertise of a house renovation project manager comes into play, as they are in charge of coordinating the design phase and managing the entire planning process.

Commissioning surveys to assess the property’s condition is one of the first tasks a project manager will undertake during the pre-construction phase. This may include an asbestos survey, a structural survey, and a drainage survey, all of which will aid in identifying any issues that must be addressed during the extension or renovation project

After completing these surveys, the project manager will work to identify and appoint a design team to carry out the design. This may include an architect and structural engineer but may also include some other consultants such as interior designers, cost consultants or even landscape and lighting designers. Obtaining all necessary permits and legal notices is another critical aspect of the pre-construction phase. This may include obtaining planning permission, serving party wall notices, and ensuring health and safety regulations are followed. Before construction begins, the project managers will ensure that all legal requirements are met.

During Construction

During the construction phase, the project managers will monitor the work on site on a regular basis, report on progress, and compare actual progress to planned progress. They will also manage and mitigate any risks that may arise during the construction phase, as well as review any unforeseen or extra costs.

Ultimately, a project manager’s role during the pre-construction and construction phases is critical to successfully completing an extension or renovation project. By providing expert advice, managing the process, and overseeing the work involved on site, a project manager can help clients achieve their dream home while ensuring that the project stays within budget and is delivered on time.

Why Hire a Project Manager?

Hiring a project manager can provide many benefits, as an impartial third party can help manage the entire project, much like a wedding planner helps manage a wedding. Here are some reasons why you should hire an independent project manager:

Save costs: A house renovation project manager can help you save build costs by finding the best materials and labour at the best prices. They can also help you avoid costly mistakes and unnecessary expenses.

Ensure the project runs smoothly: A project manager is responsible for coordinating all aspects of your project, from feasibility to design to construction. They can ensure that the project is completed on time, within budget, and to your satisfaction.

Impartial third party: An independent project manager can act as an impartial third party between you and your main contractor or builder. They can help resolve disputes and ensure that the project is completed to the highest standards.

Do I need a Project Manager?

While you may be able to project manage your self build renovation or extension project, it can be difficult and time-consuming. You may also get taken advantage of. It is recommended that you hire the right person or a professional project manager to ensure that your project is managed effectively.

How Much Does a Project Manager Cost?

The cost of hiring a project manager varies depending on the size and complexity of the project, but it typically ranges from 10-15% of the total project costs. While this may seem like a lot of money, hiring a project manager can actually save money in the long run by helping you avoid costly mistakes and delays. A good project manager will always provide good value.

What are The Benefits Of Project Managing Your Own Extension Project?

As a homeowner, there are several benefits to project managing your own home renovation or extension project. One of the primary advantages is the possibility of cost savings. You may be able to avoid the fees associated with hiring a project manager if you manage the whole project yourself. Furthermore, by managing the project as a self-builder, you may be able to save on VAT (see reference LINK here) (subject to eligibility).

Another benefit is the opportunity to gain valuable experience in construction. You can learn about the various stages of the building process and gain a better understanding of how your house works by supervising the project

It is important to note, however, that project managing your own house renovation or extension project can be challenging and time-consuming. You must be highly organised, detail-oriented, and capable of handling multiple tasks simultaneously.

Further to that, if you are inexperienced in the industry, you may be taken advantage of by main contractor or suppliers.

Before deciding to project manage your own house renovation or extension project, you should consider whether you have the necessary skills, time, and resources. If you are unsure, you may want to consider hiring a good project manager or an independent project manager to assist you in managing the whole project.

Project Manage A House Renovation – Step 1: Planning and Preparation

planning and preparation

Planning and preparation are crucial to the success of any renovation project. As a project manager for a house renovation, the first step is to define the project goals. What are the desired outcomes of the project? This includes understanding the client’s expectations and the scope of work involved.

Next, a timeline needs to be created. The RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Stages can be used to guide the planning process. The stages include:

  • Stage 0: Strategic definition
  • Stage 1: Preparation and briefing
  • Stage 2: Concept design
  • Stage 3: Developed design
  • Stage 4: Technical design
  • Stage 5: Construction
  • Stage 6: Handover and closeout

Each stage has specific tasks that need to be completed, such as commissioning surveys and finding and appointing a design team.

Once the timeline is established, a realistic budget needs to be set. The cost of a renovation project can vary greatly depending on the scope of work, location, and quality of finishes. It is important to factor in unforeseen costs, such as delays or unexpected issues that may arise during construction.

Obtaining the necessary permits and approvals is also an important step in the planning process. This includes planning permission, building control approval, and party wall agreements.

Assembling a project team is a crucial step in project managing a house renovation. Finding good team members is important to ensure that the project runs smoothly and is completed on time and within budget. The following are some key team members that you may need for your project:

  1. Architect: An architect is essential for designing and planning a renovation project. They can help create drawings and a design that meets your goals and budget and obtain the necessary permits and approvals.
  2. Structural Engineer: A structural engineer is responsible for ensuring that the building work is structurally sound and meets building regulations.
  3. Services Consultant (Optional): If you are undertaking significant work that involves services such as plumbing, heating or electrical work, you may need a services consultant.
  4. Sustainability Consultant (Optional): A sustainability consultant can advise on how to make your project more environmentally friendly and energy-efficient.
  5. Interior Designer (Optional): An interior designer can help with creating a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing design for the interior of your renovated space.
  6. Lighting Designer (Optional): A lighting designer can help with creating a lighting plan that enhances the functionality and ambience of your space.
  7. Landscape Designer (Optional): If you are renovating an outdoor space, you may need a landscape designer to help create an outdoor space that meets your goals and budget.
  8. Quantity Surveyor (Optional): A quantity surveyor can help with cost estimating and budget management throughout the project.

When researching and selecting builders or contractors and suppliers, it’s essential to obtain multiple quotations to compare and negotiate. You may need various contractors for different aspects of the project, such as building works, groundworks/foundations, scaffolding, brickwork, carpentry, glazing, roofing, plastering, electrician, plumbing and heating, joinery, decoration, tiling, floor fitting, carpets, security, audio-visual, and landscaping.

Remember, quotations are only as good as the design you give. So, it’s essential to have a well-designed plan to ensure that the quotations you receive are accurate and comparable.

Need help negotiating with your builder? Check out our article on what questions to ask builders.

Step 2: Project Execution


Project execution is the stage at which all of the planning and preparation come to fruition. This stage entails actual construction work and the coordination of various tradespeople and the builder. It is critical for a project manager to supervise and ensure that everything is carried out according to the original plan.

Scheduling and coordinating tradespeople is the phase where the planning and preparation come to life. This phase involves the actual construction work and the coordination of various tradespeople. As a project manager, it is crucial to oversee and ensure that everything is carried out in accordance with the plan.

Overseeing construction is another important aspect of project execution. The project manager must ensure that the work on site is managed effectively. Visiting the site on at least a monthly basis (we recommend more) is an example of how to manage work on-site.

In addition. Budget work, including all money and expenses, should be carried out regularly, and payment terms should be agreed upon upfront. Credit agreements should also be obtained where possible to manage cash flow.

Handling unexpected issues is also part of project execution. It is important to have a contingency plan in place to address any unforeseen issues that may arise during construction. Making decisions in a timely manner is essential to avoid delays and any hidden costs.

Effective communication and collaboration with the project team, builders, contractors, and suppliers are also crucial. Using Bilt’s platform can help lead to and help facilitate communication and collaboration throughout the project.

Quality Control and Inspection

To ensure that the renovation or extension project meets the required standards and quality, it is important to conduct regular quality checks and inspections throughout the project. This involves inspecting the workmanship and materials used to ensure they meet the required standards and specifications.

Compliance with building codes and regulations is an important aspect of quality control. This is essential to ensuring that the project complies with all safety and legal requirements. Building control inspector is usually in charge of ensuring that these regulations are followed.

It is also important to address any deficiencies or issues promptly to avoid any delays or additional costs. Regular inspections can help identify any issues early on, allowing them to be addressed before they become more serious.

Project Completion and Evaluation

In the project completion and evaluation phase, it is important to conduct final inspections and obtain approvals to ensure that the projects has been completed in accordance with the agreed-upon plans and specifications. This includes checking for any remaining deficiencies or issues that need to be addressed promptly.

Completing final touches and finishes is also an important part of this phase, as it ensures that the project looks and functions as intended. This includes any remaining painting, carpentry, flooring, or landscaping work that needs to be done.

Once the project is completed, it is important to evaluate its overall success. This can be done by looking at whether the project was completed on time, within budget, and to the satisfaction of the client. Assessing the performance of the project team is also important because it helps to identify potential development sites and ensures that similar mistakes are not made in future building projects.

Leaving reviews for the project team can also be helpful, as it provides feedback and helps future clients to make informed decisions about which project manager and team to choose for their own renovation work or extension projects.

Project Management Checklist

Here is a checklist for project managing a renovation/extension projects:

Planning and Preparation:

  • Define project goals
  • Create a timeline
  • Set a realistic budgets
  • Obtain necessary permits and approvals
  • Assemble a project team
  • Research and select contractors/suppliers

Project Execution:

  • Schedule and coordinate tradespeople
  • Obtain costs
  • Oversee construction
  • Manage the budget
  • Handle unexpected issues
  • Make decisions in a timely manner
  • Ensure effective communication and collaboration with the team, the builder or contractors, and the suppliers.

Quality Control and Inspection:

  • Ensure compliance with building codes and regulations
  • Inspect workmanship and materials
  • Address any deficiencies or issues promptly
  • Conduct regular quality control and inspections throughout the project

Project Completion and Evaluation:

  • Conduct final inspections and approvals
  • Deliver final touches and finishes
  • Evaluate the success of the project
  • Assess the performance of the project team and leave reviews

Remember, project managing a renovation/extension project requires careful planning, execution, and evaluation. Don’t risk your dream home with DIY project management. Trust the professionals at Bilt Renovation to handle your renovation or extension project from start to finish.

Think you’ve got the skills to project manage a house renovation? If not, Choose Bilt Renovation!!!

Bilt Renovation: Building Your Dream Home

Home renovation projects always seem to go wrong, and they’re always so expensive.

It’s no secret that home renovation projects can be a huge hassle. Between the cost, the mess, and the stress, it’s easy to see why so many people avoid them altogether.

With Bilt Renovation, you don’t have to worry about any of that. We’re a local company with years of experience in construction and customer service. Plus, we offer our own in-house app that makes the entire process easier for you. From start to finish, we’ll take care of everything for you. Contact us today!

Project Managing an Extension or Renovation Project: A Comprehensive Guide