Why I enjoy working as an Owner's Representative
From 1970 until 1994 I experienced and succeeded at building from the ground up. I enjoyed learning every trade in the industry and putting that knowledge and experience to use. I designed and built homes for speculation in the early seventies. I have designed and built custom homes for select people but the most fun and satisfaction I had was custom home remodeling. I got the enjoyment of getting to know one family at a time and transforming their home into their "castle of dreams come true." I had few sub contractors and usually only one employee. After drawing the plans and getting the permits, we did all the work ourselves. I'm sure you have seen the shows on TV where semi clueless people have their homes transformed by professionals that come up with something amazing that the homeowners never thought possible. The difference between that and what I did was helping homeowners find out what they wanted and making that happen. A home is a personal thing. Everyone has their own style and comfort level in living. I liked finding that and transforming what they had into what they loved and felt "at home" in. During the remodeling process I got a chance to see what building assembly methods worked and what didn't. Especially with bath rooms, windows and roofs: areas involved with water it was apparent immediately what failed when it is taken apart.
That knowledge gained in remodeling helped me in these last 18 years with my involvement in construction defect investigation. Because of my knowledge of how building components go together and more importantly how they do not go together, I have been able to build my consulting business into a success with having been the named expert witness in over 300 cases since 2005. Those cases involved some single home cases but most were multiple home cases with any where from 8 to 30 homes with a total number of homes investigated at over 3500. That experience coupled with my earlier experiences gives me an ability to represent people having new homes built or major remodeling done on their existing homes. The service I provide includes overseeing the contractors involved, tracking where the money goes and watching the component assemblies to see things are done right. In the projects I have worked on to date, I have always ended up saving the homeowner at least the value of my fee and sometimes catching what would have caused a future construction defect that would have cost thousands of dollars to fix.
More importantly I understand the personal nature of why people have custom homes built or their existing homes remodeled. I also understand that to the construction workers that are working on their homes it is just another job. They are only interested in getting the job done in a matter that suits them and the contractors they are working for. If it doesn't come out exactly the way the homeowner wanted, as long as it meets the terms of how they perceive their contract they are not motivated to do anything different. Without someone representing the homeowner it becomes a "take it or pay extra" environment.
The same thing holds true for commercial projects. When an owner of a commercial property has work done it is a similar thing. They are having work done on something that is part of their family's legacy. They need someone that watches where the money is going especially as unforeseen circumstances come up. Change orders are serious business as they not only affect the cost of the project, they affect the completion time of the project which in turn affects when that commercial property will actually start producing income.
There is a lot of satisfaction in being in the middle between the property owners and the contractors, workmen, suppliers and government entities. Because I understand the "nuts and bolts" side as well as the "Owners Passion" side it gives me an ability to work with everyone for a sucessful outcome.