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There are so many moving parts when it comes to a construction project, no matter the size! The construction or project manager has the responsibility of spinning several plates at once while staying on track with expected deadlines, budgets, and workmanship quality. Project managers have to have the hands-on-skill set for the job, but they also must be good managers and stewards of resources. They should also be excellent communicators and problem solvers as they are the main line of communication between the progress and the stakeholders involved. Construction managers have to wear many hats, and here is a simplified list outlining some of the responsibilities that come along with having what it takes to do the job!

Permits and Planning

In many cases, the project manager will be in direct communication with the architects and engineering staff in charge of all designs. This involvement helps the project manager to give an adequate quote and timeline on the overall project, so a wide knowledge base of the industry is needed from the start.

When designs are completed, before any work can begin, permits must be obtained from the city. Every city is different in terms of what kinds of permits are necessary for different scopes of work, so a project manager should have a working relationship with the folks down at the city inspections office. In most city limits, a different permit is needed for every aspect of the job including paving, plumbing, electrical, structural, mechanical, and more. Typically, getting one of these permits will take anywhere from 1-2 weeks, so getting all of the permits necessary for a new build or building remodel, whether it’s commercial or residential, will take about 8-10 weeks. This is before any work can begin on the job site.

Materials and Manpower

Construction managers are responsible for knowing and obtaining what is needed to complete a job from start to finish. This includes all building materials, equipment, vehicles, and yes, the people who will operate and work with these items. A good construction manager has a team he or she works with consistently, including a shortlist of subcontractors as well. These subcontractors will likely specialize in a specific area like concrete, framing, or plumbing, and the project manager is responsible for planning and allocating funds to bring in the right subcontractors to complete a specific aspect of the job. The project manager is also responsible for risk management on the job, aka the safety of the crew members. There are several regulations set forth by OSHA (Occupations Safety and Health Administration) and it is the construction manager’s job to make sure everyone is abiding by those safety standards in terms of proper attire, provided breaks, and proper equipment training and handling.


One of the biggest concerns that a property owner, investor, or stakeholder is going to have (besides the overall quality of the finished product) is staying in the agreed upon budget. The construction manager is responsible for pitching an appropriate quote for the overall job, and then allocating funds along the way by paying for materials, permits, wages, equipment rentals, insurances, and more. A good project manager needs to not only have the skill set for the job and the innate ability to multitask, but they should also be business minded as well!

More Insight from Your Austin Construction Company

If you’re interested in more information on the responsibilities of construction managers, start with our previous article that explains the Construction Management at Risk (CMAR) method. Or if you’re already working as a project manager and are interested in ways you can improve your craft, check out our tips for effective construction project management. Don’t hesitate to contact us at T.F. Harper & Associates LP if you have any questions or are interested in working with us.

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