An Overview of Our Approach to Project Monitoring
December 10, 2019
Newbanks takes pride in its dedicated approach to project monitoring. That dedication made Newbanks a leading name in construction project monitoring since its founding in the 1960s.
The construction industry has significantly changed since then, but one thing remains constant: Newbanks’ reputation for high-quality monthly monitoring services.
What does our team monitor during these periodic monitoring visits?
During construction, a member of our team performs ongoing monthly site observations. These observations help us to determine both progress and compliance with the required plans and specs. It also provides us with an objective and subjective lens so that we can be the “communications hub” between the contractor and the lender.
Our clients need to know that the project is tracking well against three basic components:
- workmanship (quality)
In addition to these components, we also monitor against any other priority issues for lenders.
We take time to work with lenders and verify that any requests for periodic disbursement of construction funds are accurate.
Any issues or problems that arise are included in our monthly monitoring report.
Why is scheduling critical to project monitoring in construction?
Scheduling is important within the construction industry and project monitoring because of the adage, “time is money.” Scheduling relates to interest carry, lease dates, and occupancy: all things which impact the overall costs and cash flow.
When a project runs behind schedule, we monitor what the contractor is doing to adjust or expedite the work progress. If delays are out of the contractor’s control, we also make a note of that. In many cases, there may be legitimate causes for extensions. If extensions are granted, we have to take into account how that may increase costs down the road.
- For instance, if a student housing project falls behind schedule and won’t make completion before the start of school, we have to monitor how time is being made up and that the contractor isn’t cramming in work at the last minute. This rush could potentially impact the next two components of project monitoring: budget and quality.
How is budget factored into the overall monitoring and reporting?
The budget is typically the most critical component in the construction lending world. The value of completed work, plus available loan proceeds, plus available contingency funds, should always be in balance. It should also be equal to the cost of the work.
We review all backup documents that are submitted from the contractor – change order information, schedule, stored material invoices, deposit payments – to monitor added costs due to delays or other hiccups.
If quality is subjective, how can Newbanks ensure reports are accurate?
The “quality” aspect of a construction project is indeed open to subjectivity. Besides, our team is typically at the property once per month. In between visits, many components of the project may have been altered, adjusted, fixed, and so forth.
This subjectivity is where our team of experienced project monitors comes into play. Our consultants learn to look at work-in-progress on-site and evaluate the level of craftsmanship. We also watch the sequence of work performed and observe how the contractor manages their team.
For example, in apartment construction, we make notes on when a team installs carpet – if it is before or after the room has been painted. Poor coordination on something as simple as this can help our consultants gauge the quality of a construction project. Our team of veteran project monitors, though not on-site daily, can draw from their first-hand knowledge and experience to create reports.
Why Newbanks is the right choice for project monitoring
In addition to the above, we also look closely at how clean and well organized a construction site is. For us, the cleanliness of a site indicates the level of dedication to project completion.
An essential element to all project monitoring boils down to this: communication. Communication is paramount to the success of any project or endeavor within the construction industry.
We have conversations with contractor representatives to get their take on how construction is going. We include that feedback in our report, along with our overall recommendations. For us, accuracy is everything, so communication helps us get multiple viewpoints so we can provide a balanced assessment.
We also encourage communication between our project monitoring teams and our clients. In many cases, a simple 10-minute phone call helps us gauge expectations and overall happiness with each project better than email ever could.
Indeed, involving Newbanks before and during the construction process ensures that the right hand knows what the left hand is doing.
Have any further questions about our project monitoring services? Click here to find out more.