Part 2: The Importance of Schedules
Time and timing is crucial in the construction industry. Every homeowner wants to know “how long will this take and when can we get started?” – with good reason. Length of a project can determine whether or not they will be living in their home while the construction takes place, if they will need to rearrange their own personal or professional schedules, and even when they will choose to begin the renovation process.
So, how do you know if your contractor is giving you a good answer to the questions I mentioned above? Lesson two: if a contractor tells you he can start tomorrow, proceed with caution. Since time and timing is so crucial, the answer to these questions will take a lot of planning to generate an accurate answer. Subcontractors and trades need advance notice that a new job is starting. Some items with a lead time may need to be ordered before construction begins, to prevent unnecessary down-time in the middle of the project. All of this combined creates a lead time that is (usually) at least a week or two.
After project lead time is established, it’s important to have a written schedule. Personally, we utilize a project management software that lets you keep track of the schedule in real-time through out the project. It displays any work overlap (for example, if an electrician and plumber will be working on the same day), length of each phase, and (what everyone wants to know) the projected project end date.
While we believe that our project management software is the best way to show a potential customer the schedule they should expect, a well-organized calendar can work as well. The only thing you should avoid is a schedule based on words alone. While a promise and a handshake can seem trustworthy initially, 8 months later, when your kitchen is still in the demolition phase, you may rethink that trust.
Our next topic is Vetting Your Contractor