Friday, April 10, 2015

Keeping Projects on Track When Renovating

Keeping Projects on Track

Failure to make timely decisions is the number one culprit behind schedule and cost overruns.

Homeowners play a key role in preventing these problems.

Some homeowners find it a challenge to make their final selection of products and materials. It’s easy to see why—with practically limitless choices in countertops, fixtures, tiles, windows, and other products, it can be difficult to settle on one model, style, or color.

But decisions must be made at some point, and making those decisions in a timely manner is crucial
to keeping a project on schedule and on budget. Indecision and delay can cause costs to rise dramatically.

Professional remodelers always include enough time in the schedule for homeowners to sort through these choices, but they also set firm deadlines for when each choice must be made. Those deadlines are based on how long it takes to obtain each item, and whether other work depends on the decision.

Take the example of an interior remodel that includes replacing the existing windows, and where the new windows will be sized to fit the existing opening. After the new drywall has been installed, the homeowners decide they really want larger windows. This would require cutting back the drywall and reframing the openings, a job that will slow down the schedule and increase costs. The same goes for decisions about plumbing fixture locations that would require the moving of pipes after the drywall is in.

What about items that don’t affect framing or plumbing? Late selections anywhere can cause problems. Custom-made products like shower surrounds, cabinets, and countertops can have long lead times, so late selections can easily push the job past its original finish date. The same goes for decisions on flooring and paint colors.

The problem with extending the schedule is that time is money—every day the remodeler's crew is on the job, expenses are adding up for labor and overhead (for example, items like the dumpster, a perimeter fence and, on large projects, a jobsite office).

During that extra time the homeowners may have the continuing inconvenience of, for example, not having a kitchen. If it's a home they just bought and are having remodeled before moving in, the delay will extend the time they have to pay for both the new home and the one they're living in.

Savvy homeowners reduce this risk by working closely with the design team, whether it's the remodeler's design staff or an independent architect and interior designer. This helps minimize selection problems: the design team helps the homeowners to narrow the choices in models, styles, and color, and guides them to selections they will be happy with.

The most effective thing homeowners can do to ensure a smooth project is to work with the remodeler and design team to make as many decisions as possible before work starts. Early selections eliminate a lot of stress and expense. Every remodeling project requires a lot of decisions, and savvy homeowners help keep the project on track by meeting decision deadlines.

Warm Regards,

Doug Abbott
Village Builders

This is an excerpt from a newsletter that is distributed to all former, current and future clients of Village Builders Inc.  If you would like to receive this newsletter feel free to email me at

Rob Abbott

Village Builders Inc

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