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The Essential Role of an Owner’s Representative During the Construction Phase

About Owner
Cara Wilson

I started this business to lend a hand to owners who are embarking on new commercial construction projects, additions, or renovations. Our goal is to free them up to focus on running their businesses without getting tangled up in the nitty-gritty of the construction project and all the associated details throughout every phase of the process.

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Embarking on a construction project is an exciting journey, but it’s also a complex and multifaceted endeavor that demands meticulous coordination, financial oversight, and adherence to various regulations. The construction phase, in particular, presents numerous challenges that require active involvement from the project owner. However, with the assistance of a skilled Owner’s Representative (OR), these responsibilities can be streamlined and managed efficiently, ensuring not only the project’s success but also safeguarding the owner’s interests.

Managing Payment Requests and Lien Releases

During the construction phase, the owner’s participation remains crucial even in partnership with a capable General Contractor (GC). The owner’s involvement extends to approving payment requests and ensuring that proper lien releases are in place. Lien releases, also known as lien waivers, play a pivotal role in preventing potential legal disputes. They act as a shield against future claims that subcontractors or suppliers might assert against the property. Here’s where the OR steps in, verifying and approving GC payment requests while meticulously tracking lien releases.

Without the proper lien releases between the GC and vendors, or if the GC fails to include a waiver with their payment request, the owner may face liability if a lien is filed against the property. The OR acts as a safeguard, preventing such scenarios and providing the owner with peace of mind.

Coordinating Third-Party Testing and Monitoring

The owner also shoulders responsibilities in terms of third-party testing and monitoring, which are vital for ensuring compliance with industry standards and regulations. From concrete and steel testing (ASTM – American Society for Testing and Materials) to stormwater monitoring (NPDES – National Pollution Discharge Elimination Systems on certain size projects), the OR plays a pivotal role in coordinating these testing endeavors.

The OR’s network and expertise allow them to solicit competitive rates from reliable testing companies, optimizing costs without compromising on quality. This coordination not only helps in meeting regulatory requirements but also ensures the project stays on track to meet its deadlines.

Equipment Procurement and Coordination

Procuring specialized equipment and furnishings tailored to the owner’s industry is yet another crucial responsibility during the construction phase. From dental chairs to IT equipment, these items are essential for the functionality and success of the business. An OR steps in to streamline this process, taking charge of procuring and coordinating the installation of owner-furnished equipment (OFE).

While some equipment might be explicitly outlined in the GC’s contract documents, the OR assists in sourcing and integrating all necessary items into the construction schedule. This orchestration ensures a seamless incorporation of OFE, minimizing disruptions and maximizing efficiency.

Conclusion

The construction phase of a project demands unwavering attention to detail, constant coordination, and adherence to various legal and regulatory aspects. With an Owner’s Representative by your side, these responsibilities are managed efficiently, allowing you to focus on your vision while safeguarding your interests. From overseeing payment requests and lien releases to coordinating third-party testing and equipment procurement, the OR plays an indispensable role in ensuring a successful, on-time, and hassle-free construction phase. Gage Construction Consulting is your partner in navigating these complexities, guiding you towards a construction journey that’s smooth, productive, and rewarding.

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