As a professional engineer, a significant amount of my work is as the Owner's Representative (or OR for short) on new home construction or on major building renovations. So let's discuss what an OR does for a client.
- The OR knows the local designers, contractors, sub-contractors, engineers and technicians. That knowledge is most useful to get the appropriate talent and services for the project.
- The OR deals with the service providers on the day-to-day questions where the owner's input is required, when budget-quality-schedule are pre-defined. This makes for a quick response time. Otherwise, work can be delayed for a relatively minor issue if the owner is not available to give direction.
- The OR makes weekly site inspections for safety and progress. Concerns are identified to the contractor and followed-up.
- The OR reviews monthly billing by the contractor and makes recommendation for their payment (or not) to the owner.
- The OR deals with and resolves change orders to maintain progress and fair terms with the contractor.
In summary, if the owner is wants an advocate on their side, is not comfortable dealing with construction issues, is not always available to reply to contractor inquiries or is not confident in paying monthly progress payments, then hiring an Owner's Representative to manage the contractor may an option worth considering.