Scheduling a construction project may seem obvious to those experienced in construction, but for the homeowner don’t take it for granted that the company you are about to hire takes any pro-active steps to scheduling. When considering a remodeling firm a very important deciding factor is to understand what a company does to schedule a project and how much of this information is shared before and during construction.
At Remodel West we create a schedule about mid-way through the design in preparation for commencement of construction. Why, you might ask, would you prepare a schedule so early. This is primarily for one reason, to establish a realistic construction start date which is dependant on permit attainment, material arrivals and subcontractor and company resource availability. This approach addresses one of the largest concerns for homeowners, keeping to the schedule as construction progresses. Many of the causes for delays are preventable even before construction begins. Homeowners, anxious to get going are often blind to the consequences to starting too early. As a professional remodeling firm it’s our job to maintain control of this or we’re set up for failure. Building a schedule is paramount for managing a project and I am amazed at how much this is not done AT ALL and for those that say they do don’t depend on it enough.
Taking proactive steps to get materials on time is often overlooked by contractors and homeowners. In scheduling a project establishing a preferred start date sets the first benchmark to work towards. Once all the tasks are inserted into a scheduling software its crucial to also assign tasks to ordering items such as cabinets, tile, hardware, windows, doors and any items that are identified as special order materials taking multiple weeks to get. Once it’s determined when you need these items and what their respective lead times are the information cab be inserted into the schedule. This effectively determines the start date not when you want to start. See the image to the right which is a real project we have under construction now.
Managing the multitude of decisions that a homeowner has to make can free the mind to prioritize and focus on what’s important at a particular time. A common concern for just about every customer is the perceived overwhelming and daunting task of making decisions. A design and construction firm can only go so far to assist in making decisions because ultimately it’s the homeowners personal choice that they must live with. What we can do is help our customers focus on what is time critical as it pertains to their preferred start date. This combined with design, cost, and quality completes the decision making process. A much ignored element until it’s too late.
Sharing a project schedule with a customer before AND during construction build in accountability for all parties involved, including the customer. I have been criticized by my peers when I explain that I update my schedule weekly and provide a copy to my customers. They believe I am cutting my own throat. Instead I believe that starting with a solid plan, improvising as we go, informing the customer of the realities of scheduling ultimately builds in “self-inflicted” accountability ultimately providing the best customer service.
Questions to ask your potential remodeling company before selecting them.
Material Ordering On Time
You might think, If I have to micro manage my contractor then what am I paying him for? Better to understand whom you are hiring and their level of expertise before you crawl into bed otherwise you might be the dummy and pay the consequences. If you’re not comfortable with the answers to your questions then LISTEN to your common sense and keep searching.
- If we want to start construction on XX/XX/XX date when should we order cabinets, windows, etc.
- Do you schedule your projects and if so how or what tools do you use?
- Can I see a project schedule that is currently under construction or recently completed?
- May I call the customer that this project is for?
- How often do you update it?
- Will you provide a copy to me on a regular basis? Have this put into your agrement.
- Do you always finish a project on schedule? If they say yes run because this is nearly impossible to commit to.
Founder and Owner of Remodel West, a residential design and construction firm, originally established as Cupertino Kitchen Design in 1992. I have created a very progressive company with a high level of quality standards. Over the years, the company has built revenues to 8.5 Million and scaled operations as we rolled with the times. By re-branding the business in 2007 to Remodel West, we aimed to better align our name with the scope of work performed.
I am a Certified Graduate Remodeler through NAHB and Certified Green Building Professional through Build It Green and most recently Certified Renovator through the EPA which is now a federal requirement.
My primary goals are to design and build more eco-friendly projects, to do projects for those clients seeking high quality. My professional background stems from twenty-six years of hands on experience beginning in 1985 in cabinetry design and sales, and progressed to my involvement with a startup company from 1987-1991. In 1992, at age 26, I started Cupertino Kitchen Design/RemodelWest. My strengths are creating a vision for our company, planning, and empowering our employees to accomplish our goals. Sue and I have been married 26 years with three wonderful children, Jessica, Michael and Adam and of course our dog Ellbee. We live in Los Gatos and enjoy visiting our home in Lake Almanor, fishing, brewing beer, reading and relaxing.