Managing a project remotely


First of all…. if you can avoid this…do so! Trying to oversee the build without actually going to site can let smaller issues go unresolved. You do not develop the rapport with the build team. You don’t get a ‘feel’ for the house as it takes shape. Being on hand is always better if possible, but sometimes, it is not possible.

In my case, the remote project management was unavoidable, because I was in the Middle East, and PJ was in Bangkok, over 100 Km from the site. If you add in that we did not have a car, and in any case she was nervous of driving such a distance on her own (she was right to be, even though she has a full driving licence, because you cannot foresee what other, less capable drivers might do in your vicinity!)

As a result of this, the house project needed remote management, so if you are in this situation, you need to have a few things in place.

  • That contract

Signed agreed and a copy with both parties. This becomes your (and the builder’s) reference and depending on how you write it, and what you include, it should steer the project along. This is why I stress that it is important to take your time creating the contract, and make sure everything is covered. It is important too, that the builder is clear about what the contract controls – he needs to understand it. He need to understand that he has to follow it. He will sign to confirm this.

A combination of a well-translated contract and discussion in Thai and English, until everyone is satisfied, all questions have been answered etc. is vital. Don’t rush this. For anyone who may be interested, a copy of the TD Towers contract is available to purchase if required. This will guide you how to create your own contract, and possibly help you to avoid leaving out anything vital! Click here to contact me for more information.

  • Site representation

This is very important.

So…you can’t be there. That’s understood. So… are you going to just let the builder and his team ‘get on with it’ and several months later, they hand you the keys?(and of course, you have made all the payments). If you are wise, the answer is…of course not!

Nominate someone to ‘check’ on the progress, someone with some build knowledge, and not just a spectator. Provide them a copy of the plans and the contract, so they have the project documents to refer to if there is a doubt.

Your nominee must be empowered to make a judgement on site, as in effect they are… your official representative. It is up to you how much power you give them under that title. Finally, they must communicate with you along the way.

In our case, we employed the Engineer from the OrBorTor’s office! He was perfect for the role as he had approved the plan so he knew exactly what should be done and how it was to be completed, based on best building practise. He has not let us down.

Additionally, PJ made unannounced visits to the site, to see for herself, and to be available face to face if the builder needed any clarifications.

  • Progress reports / photos

In the same way your site representative updates you, the builder needs to show he is progressing the build as per the contract and plans. This will need communication and more specifically, visual confirmation of the work. As part of his role, the builder should produce daily progress photos / videos and send them to you. This confirms work is completed, which is in the builder’s interest as he gets paid on completed sections

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *