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What it Takes to be a Construction Manager

Tremco Not Just Another Day
December 23, 2021 at 6:00 a.m.

By Cass Jacoby, RCS Reporter.

We interviewed construction managers to show how life never gets boring in a job with so much day-to-day variety. 

If you’ve been following along over the past year or so, you know that RoofersCoffeeShop® (RCS) has been writing about a day in the life of employees who work at Weatherproofing Technologies, Inc., a Tremco company. This month, we are looking more generally at the perennially interesting job of the construction manager.  

Construction managers plan, coordinate, budget and supervise construction projects from start to finish. It is a broad definition, because in this role you do a little bit of everything. 

Garry Edwards told us that he functions as the project manager and supervisor for all the project superintendents. He says that in this role, his team’s job is to be there for the customer and to make sure that the job is running smoothly. 

Brad Metz says that a construction manager is “the hub, spoke and rim of the project communication wheel.”  

One thing we have learned across the board is that there is no typical day as a construction manager, nearly every day offers something new and a new set of challenges to solve. 

Kevin Horchy chuckled at this question of what a typical day looks like in his job, explaining, “It depends on which day. Depending on the day, I may be wearing one hat or many hats.”  

Brad tells us, “One day, you can spend 12 hours in the office working on administrative tasks. The next, you could be traveling and meeting with customers, Tremco sales reps and subcontractors for any number of reasons.” 

There really isn’t a typical day for Garry either. He starts around 5 a.m. and spends the day fielding phone calls, catching up on computer work, reviewing specifications and providing support and training to his team. He appreciates working from his home office but says he still travels a lot for work. 

Yaroslav Gorban agrees, telling us, “Construction managers are problem solvers, we promote new business, we are students yet teachers and must know minimally a little bit of everything. We could be running meeting, collecting information on a roof/building a new system, working behind a desk, working with owners, contractors, reps and much more. Life never gets boring.” 

Kevin Horchy replied that on a day in the office he might “start out my day as an estimator working with numbers and get a call concerning additional material needed right away,” or, “be reviewing a project specification for a project pre-bid, at the same time answering phone calls/text/emails from colleagues, owners and project superintendents to name a few.”  

He lists that office days could be filled with any of the following tasks:  

  • Site specific safety plans 

  • Sub-contractor’s proposal forms  

  • Confirming material lists 

  • Bid tabulation review 

  • Sub-contractor interviews 

  • Reviewing subcontractors’ invoices 

  • Submittals 

  • Shop drawings 

  • SDS information 

  • Request for change orders 

  • Schedules 

  • Owners’ invoices 

  • Weekly project percentage complete updates 

  • Writing meeting minutes and distributing them to the meeting participants 

  • Pulling permits 

  • Checking local codes 

  • Scheduling project site visits 

  • Conference call 

Kevin also detailed that he goes out into the field often, he could be the chair on pre-bid, pre-construction or in-progress project meetings. He also might be stopping out to review on-going projects and completing safety audits on these projects. “Besides handling the roofing projects and to keep things interesting, I also may be involved with Canam audits, façade, parking garage or heliport surveys,” said Kevin. 

We also learned that there is no set pathway to becoming a construction manager.  

Garry says he started from the bottom, “I was a roof runner, a kettle man and then I started running hot tar commercial crews. Roofing is hard on your body, so I took the opportunity about 13 years ago to take on the challenge of being a project superintendent for WTI.” 

Kevin tells us, “My brother got me the opportunity to work at this alumni’s roofing company. Nepotism may have gotten me the opportunity, but my work ethic guaranteed I kept the job.”

Brad started working construction jobs in the summer when he was a teenage laborer in residential roofing. He stayed in the industry because he says, “Results are still the primary measure of professional success and career advancement.” 

Yaroslav Gorban was a small business owner and was approached several times about joining the industry. He said no each time, until one of those times he was convinced to take the plunge. His first year, he kept the business and took a role as operations manager over national production. After spending some time in that role, he knew he wanted to make it his full-time career. 

One thing that is clear about these jobs is that all of these construction managers love the new challenges brought to them every day and the family they have created within the industry. 

Kevin loves solving problems, his ability to share his experience and interact with his fellow associates, and his ability to grow within this industry. Most of all, he loves the day-to-day variety of what he does. 

Similarly, Brad loves the flexibility in his work schedule and the freedom he has to arrange his time and tasks to achieve a better work/life balance. 

Yaro said what he loves the most is “the freedom to run a territory and the countless opportunities to learn something new every day.”  

Garry tells us, “It’s a liberating profession, you’re working outdoors, and you have a certain amount of freedom. If you like challenges roofing is a good profession for you.” 

Does this sound like a company you’d like to work for? Check out their open positions.

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