I am planning to self-manage a construction project (single-story extension), with the work being done by independent tradespeople who I will contract individually on a job-by-job basis, completing different parts of the project as funds become available, while keeping overall costs low and under control. I have got full plans and permissions already in place. I am far from an expert in construction, but I have some experience, and I am mostly confident in my ability to do this self-management (although I'm sure I'll learn a lot along the way.)

Occasionally, during this process, I would like to pay a professional to come on site and survey overall progress, answer any general questions I may have, and warn me about any important features of the build that I may be overlooking. I would of course be prepared to pay by the hour for this service. I have asked some local architects if they would be able to do this for me, and they are not interested (perhaps unsurprisingly, since they want to be managing the whole project.)

What sort of professional can I engage to provide me this service? Perhaps some sort of independent chartered surveyor? The problem is I'm not really sure who else to ask, apart from an architect. There must be someone qualified who's prepared to take my money.

I am in the UK.

  • If you are permitted then ostensibly you would need to have a city inspector signed off on each of the various trades when they were finished. Did you want something that went above and beyond code required by the inspectors?
    – Alaska Man
    Aug 24, 2018 at 16:16
  • Thanks for your comment @Alaskaman! Yes I definitely will need to get the different stages signed off, but I want more than this. I want someone who I can ask questions about all aspects of the build, and also questions about future parts of the build, not only about the parts already completed. Of course I might get lucky and get a super helpful inspector from the city, but that's maybe not very likely. Aug 24, 2018 at 16:19
  • Basically, I want someone to give me advice who's working for me, not for the city or whatever. Aug 24, 2018 at 16:25
  • In the US, that'd be a general contractor, although I suspect most will give you the same answer you got from the architects you talked to - they want to do the whole job themselves. That's what they do, after all.
    – mmathis
    Aug 24, 2018 at 16:35

2 Answers 2


You are acting as your own general contractor, which is not unusual at all.

The role you are describing sounds like a project manager. I know of just one person that provides project management services as a third party for owners on small projects. Project managers are generally employed by a general contractor working on larger projects.

You basically need someone to provide part time, short term project management services. If you can't find someone providing this service, you might find a project manager that is seeking full time employment that is willing to work part time short term; you might find a working contractor, maybe a one man shop, that's temporarily unable to work due to injury. You may find a retired contractor that's willing to provide this service.


There are companies that provide this type of service in the UK - though they would probably want to take over the whole "project management" task, including writing a specification of the work, putting the tasks out to tender, etc.

One such is https://www.metropolitan.org.uk/about-us/ - don't be put off by the "affordable housing and care …" in the first sentence, the bit you are interested in is "We also deliver a wide range of shorter term services which provide customers with intensive support," further down the page.

Full disclosure - I'm a satisfied customer, after they project managed a major "upgrade" to my own house (new kitchen, new bathroom, new heating system, full electrical rewire, and more...) At the planning stage, they stopped me making a few mistakes through not being familiar with current building regulations, and came up with some good ideas that I hadn't thought of.

Sometimes it seemed that things were moving slower than they might have done, but to be fair they never gave a promise date for something and then failed to deliver on time - which is a lot better than what one might expect from most builders!

I also know someone who was dealing with the same company in rather different circumstances - the company was project-managing redevelopment of the centre of a small town, which involved some compulsory purchase of privately owned properties. Aside from the general upheaval of being forced to move house, the person I know was actually very happy with the way Metropolitan organized the deal and negotiated what he considered to be a fair price for himself, and also for his neighbours who were in the same situation.

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