The Planning Process for Your Home Renovation

The time it takes to properly plan and implement your renovation project can be much longer than you think.Gary Rumbaugh Construction, General Contractor, Advice on home improvement project planning

I have a friend that comments that his wife sees an idea on a home improvement cable show and expects the project to be completed in nearly the same time; 30 or 60 minutes. Well we both know that is not realistic.

There are a lot of elements that can impact the timeline for your project:

  1. Weather. This is always a factor especially if your project has any outdoor component.
  2. Plan Creation. Drawing up the plans based on your vision and what the contractor can bring to help you create that vision within your budget can take time. If you don’t already have a set of drawings for your home as it stands, that may be the first step that needs to be taken. All contractors you invite to bid on your project should be working off the same set of plans so you can better compare what they are providing as part of the bid.
  3. Permits. The permitting process can be complicated due to zoning laws now in effect that can add weeks to the project as requests for waivers have to go before planning boards for approval. It is not as simple as going down and filling out a form and paying a fee.
  4. Subcontracting.  Practically all General Contractors use various subcontractors they trust to help them bring a specialized skill to your project. While every effort is taken to plan out the project, unanticipated delays by one subcontractor can and will have a ripple effect in your project’s timeline.
  5. Change Orders. Accommodating requests by homeowners in the middle of a project is commonplace.  After all, sometimes during the construction process the homeowner sees something different they may have visualized during the planning stage.  This is not uncommon, but homeowners need to understand change orders will have a ripple effect throughout the project. If you change a sink style and it is a special order that may ripple to the plumber who may need to reschedule, the inspector to come and approve the final make up and the dry wall sub to close in the wall to the painter or tiler to finish the wall.  One seemingly simple thing can have a huge impact on the timeline for the project.  It is always best to work with your General Contractor at the onset of your project to have everything properly incorporated into your plan.

So if your project seems to be taking longer than what you envisioned, if your contractor has not already communicated with you about things that have impacted the project timeline, talk with your contractor and ask why.