By Mike Young
Well, I don't know how to put this any other way but "it isn't the
consultant's job to manage the contractor" so he or she shouldn't be
expected to do that.
1) The consultant is a consultant when first hired. They will consult
with you and help you develop a plan to renovate the property. A "scope
of work" or "scope of renovation" so that every contractor you might
have bid this job does so with the same list of items to complete.
2) Secondly the consultant can assist you in finding a lender or a
contractor if you haven't found one. We typically know who can close
these loans fast and who only talks a good talk. We can give you our "do
not use" list of contractors but only in the event you have chosen one
of them. Some contractors, a very short list, don't have a clue about
contracting but have had the ability to pass the test and get their
3) The consultant can assist you in choosing a contractor from the
bids that have come in on the project. The lowest bid may not be the
best bid. We had one not too long ago where we bid the job at $82,000
and the first contractor bid over $100,000 and the second bid at
$67,000. Of course the owner felt they wanted the $67,000 bid. That is
fine but we asked the lender to fund the $82,000 as it was pretty clear
to me that they forgot something or made an error and we are not here to
bankrupt a contractor.
4) Once the loan closes we are "no longer the consultant" however we
then work for the lender as the "draw inspector" on our projects.
No where in our job description does it say we have to, or are
expected to, manage the contractor. On the contrary we "consulted" and
told you right up front that "YOU are the boss, YOU are responsible to
choose the contractor, YOU are responsible to call the contractor and
communicate your pleasure or displeasure with the contractor.
As an inspector to monitor the progress we are typically out to see
the property about once every 30 days so "the borrower", being there
nearly every day, must call the contractor and insure they are on the
job when it appears they aren't.
The Homeowner/Contractor agreement says very clearly that once the
project begins the contractor should have someone on the project working
each day until it is completed so feel free to call them and let them
know when their employee(s) don't show up on the job.