You Want it in Time for the Holidays!?
Shoe Boxes Full: It was at least once a year; I would make my way into my dad’s study, open the closet door and reach up for the two shoeboxes overflowing with papers. They were filled with maps, brochures, and written notes about vacation spots. Many of them weren’t very exotic or faraway places. Our family liked camping, sightseeing, and family friendly places within driving distance. One box was full of places we might like to visit someday. The other box of places we had been to, along with notes from the previous trip. Even before we finished a vacation, Dad would makes notes on the brochure about what was good and bad, ideas for the next visit and, if there was a campground map, he’d mark which spots were the good ones to reserve if we came back.
We often went with Mom, Dad, all five kids and even took an occasional friend with us. Yes, eight people packed into an old station wagon, along with all the gear. It was quite an accomplishment to pull off. Sometimes we had the camper in tow, and Dad made his own roof-top storage container before such things were easily bought on the market.
What does any of this have to do with remodeling or construction?
Planning. You see, Dad would spend more time planning and coordinating the trip than actually going on the trip. Because of his careful planning, our trips were always a success and I have many fond memories. While it’s true that I learned the importance of planning a long time ago, I continue to see it every day in the work we do.
If you have a particular date or event that you want your project completed by; call a qualified contractor and discuss the time frame needed as far in advance as possible. One of the biggest mistakes we see in the remodeling industry is underestimating the time it takes to plan a project or rushing the process because a particular (often self-imposed) deadline is looming.
A project that may take 6-8 weeks to construct can easily take a similar amount of time for planning and pre-construction activities. So an extensive kitchen remodel may take 12-16 weeks total for planning and construction. There is a myriad of reasons why it takes time to properly plan a project so I’ll just touch on a few of them here.
Preliminary Design and Budgeting: A quality contractor will help align your wants and needs with a realistic budget. If your project involves removing walls or an addition, there will be time needed to explore design possibilities along with engineering and mechanical requirements. There may be more than one design option and differing price ranges for those designs to consider. Once you get some direction on the design, set a realistic budget, and hire your contractor, you may need to allow for time to get your funding in place. At this point, your contractor will work to formalize the design.
Selections: You contractor can provide you with a list of items you will need to select for your project such as cabinets, tops, appliances, flooring, lighting and plumbing fixtures to name a few. He will guide you through the proper timing, sequence and which vendors to select these from. You may enjoy doing this yourself or work with a professional decorator to pull all the selections together in a cohesive manner to compliment your home and lifestyle.
Trade Walk-Through and Final Design: On more complex designs, your contractor may schedule a walk-through with his trade partners. This step ensures that all details of the project are uncovered and minimizes any surprises to pave the way for a smooth project. At this point the final drawings can be completed for permitting along with confirmation of final pricing.
Permits: Many projects will require submitting construction drawings for the proper permits required in your area. For a typical project this could take a couple weeks. But for an addition that may need a variance for zoning setbacks, this could take up to 6-8 weeks for the variance process and the permitting to follow.
A quality contractor will be able to explain and walk you through all the steps needed in order to properly plan your project, work within a budget and provide a realistic schedule for completion. The important thing is to allow enough time to so that you don’t feel rushed to compromise during the decision making processes. For more information on the design process and how to get started, feel free to give us a call, or download a copy of our e-book “6-Secrets of Hiring a Great Contractor (and avoiding bad ones)”.