Spend time planning
Give yourself the time and opportunity to plan your project out properly. Getting the right design team, such as an architect and engineer, is the first step. Make sure you do your due diligence upfront and find the right people. Good advice from day one can make the world of difference once your project gets under way in construction.
As a practitioner, we believe that any project is 70% preparation and 30% execution. Proper planning helps to avoid the pitfalls mentioned earlier by addressing potential issues in advance, which will lead to a better result. In our case, if you can afford an owner's representative this will help you with all unknowns and protect your interests. This step will save you the most time and money.
Be picky about the contractor
One might think this is a no‑brainer, and yet for many it is neglected, at the project manager's peril. When choosing the right person to fill that position, don't just rely on one person's recommendation. Their experience, positive or otherwise, may have involved a smaller, simpler job, or occurred when the contractor wasn't so busy.
Be sure to check with at least a few clients who worked with the contractor on similar jobs. Ask about the quality of their work as well as the responsiveness to texts or calls, time management skills and approach to addressing issues. Better still, visit a previous project they did and see the results with your own eyes.