What factors can affect the schedule of a project?
Most clients who work with a remodeler often have and idea of the length of time it will take to complete the project. Unfortunately, many people underestimate the required time while others expect the project to extend for a much longer period than it actually will.
Every remodeler has a goal of finishing within the budget and ahead of schedule, but it is important that the clients understand the variables that will affect the schedule of a project and how long it will realistically take to complete that project.
Design is Important
The two most important variables that will impact the duration of a project are design and size. Unsurprisingly, a large and more complex remodeling project will take longer to complete than a simpler upgrade.
When the clients already possess a complete set of plans and specifications from a designer or architect that, of course, will decrease the time the remodeler needs for the design phase. However, it is usually the case that most homeowners do not have plans or specs so it is important to include the time that will be needed for design and planning.
If the remodeler has completed a project that is similar in size and specifications, then creating an accurate timeline for the new project is relatively straightforward. On the other hand, if the project is unique or there are challenging pre-existing conditions (like lead paint) then the remodeler and the homeowners will need to work closely together to come up with a realistic timeline.
Another important factor to consider is when the clients need the project to be completed. Homeowners can have many reasons why they need a project finished. They may be planning on hosting friends and family for an event, or maybe their kids need to be settled in time for when school is in session again. The remodeler will backwards plan from the deadline and it is always ideal to begin the project as soon as possible. The remodeler will also allow extra time in the schedule for any unexpected delays.
Working with the Authorities
Another variable that must be factored in is the permitting process. Obtaining the required permits and approvals will affect the timeline. The more that are required, the longer the project will take. In many locations, a large-scale remodeling project that includes exterior and interior work may necessitate signoffs from the health department, the building department, the zoning board, the fire department and possibly the homeowners association as well.
Normally, the process is frustratingly slow but fairly predictable and straightforward. Sometimes, though, unexpected developments can slow everything down. For example, a municipality may usually have a lead time of two weeks for plan review and final approval, but if the building inspector has concerns or unplanned for questions, that lead time may be extended.
Of course, a remodeler cannot eliminate delays in the permitting process, but it is crucial for the client to remember that human beings staff these bureaucracies. A good remodeler will make the effort to understand the process and priorities of the various departments and they will make an effort to get to know the people who work there. It is likely that the remodeler’s efforts will result in better service. It is easy to overlook the advantage that is gained when you work with a well-established professional remodeling company. The good working relationships that the remodeler has established with the local authorities will benefit you.
How Homeowners Can Assist
When the project gets rolling, the most vital thing that homeowners can do to diminish the possibility of delays is to make product and/or design decisions in accordance with the deadlines set by the remodeling company. Such decisions may range from selecting custom cabinets early enough in order to have them built and delivered on time to ensuring that the electrical outlets are placed in accordance with the future furniture layout so that they will not have to be re-placed later.
Homeowners who desire that the project stays smoothly on schedule should make minimal changes to their selections. Changing your selections after the project has commenced can definitely delay the finish date. The client who understands this concept will take the necessary time and effort to make firm decisions at the beginning.
For an especially smooth project, it is best to take the attitude of partnership. When clients realize how even small decisions can have an exponential impact on the project schedule, they will collaborate with their remodeler from the very beginning with the initial design concept all the way through to the final punch list.
Unsurprisingly, the best partnerships occur when you choose to work with a trusted professional remodeler.