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The Project Manager

Do you require the services of a Project Manager?

Are you having a house built or refurbishing a property in Portugal?

There are some very good reasons why you should use a project manager. Ability to ensure you get exactly what you want during the building process. Translation of documents, meetings with architects, suppliers and on site meetings. You can also save money by using their contacts and supplier relationships.

The title Project Manager is bandied about a lot here. But what does it mean?

Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, securing, and managing resources to achieve specific goals. A project is a temporary endeavor with a defined beginning and end (usually time-constrained, and often constrained by funding or deliverables). It is undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives. In practice, the management of construction projects is often very different from the types of Project Management done in companies or government.

It is a much more broad based discipline and as such requires distinct technical skills and management strategies. Not all technical people are cut out to be project managers.

People who happen to speak some Portuguese may not be qualified to manage your project.

Experienced project managers may not be interested in working on the very broad scope of activities involved in construction in Portugal with remotely based clients.

What does the ideal Project Manager look like?

Someone who is construction qualified. Has previous experience of working on large and small projects. Preferably, in more than just his home country. Computer literate. Understands the need for concise and clear written and verbal communication. Can manage and motivate the construction team, 3rd party suppliers and Architects. Has good relationship in the local council and planning departments.

Speaks Portuguese and your native language. Most importantly has the ability to talk through options with you either in design or materials to be used so that you can make informed decisions.

The project manager should also be able to save you his fee in negotiating discounts from suppliers.

What is the role of the client?

Having any building or refurbishment work carried out remotely can be stressful. Trusting your project manager to deliver to prearrange milestones and not contacting them “just to make sure” will enable a more smooth running and open communication.

It is important to set out the milestones and period of time between reports before any work starts. If you then want to change the way things are communicated. You must do this with open discussion. Most project managers will be happy to oblige.

Money is always an emotive subject and the miss management of client funds can spell disaster for a project. Transparent management of payments must be a goal. The client should always pay promptly and the project manager controls the payments to the constructors.

Plan your visits so that the project manager has some notice. Jointly prepare a list of meeting objectives and visits to get the most of your trip. If you are at the stage where you are choosing fixture like bathroom goods or kitchens. Do some home work before you come out. This will save time and make your trip less stressful.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.

Clearly by email so that you can keep a record of, prices, what was said and agreed. For experienced project management in Portugal with glowing references contact  or email

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