Can You Get Your Renovations Done Before the Big Day?

You’ve decided to renovate all or part of your house.  Now you need to find a contractor who can get the job done well and in a timely manner. As you are discussing plans, you should get a sense of what types of problems could slow down the timeline. It’s always good to get out ahead of problems.

This may be very important if you are trying to get the renovations done by a certain date. For instance, you want it finished before a new baby arrives, in time for a big event such as a family reunion, or in time for a holiday, such as Christmas, Ramadan, Hanukkah, or the Fourth of July.

Prevent Slow Downs

There are several reasons that work may get slowed down.  This may be due to the lack of materials, something on back order that slows down the whole process.  It may be due to poor project management by your contractor or work team boss who doesn’t schedule enough workers on the days they are needed.  To prevent these types of slow-downs, you need to discuss the management of people and materials with your contractor in advance.  Often your interest in these matters will cause the contractor to double down and do their best to keep everything on track.  

Be Realistic

First, don’t start the project during the dead of winter when weather is sure to delay it again and again.  Second, you shouldn’t expect a short timeline for a big project. There are simply too many moving pieces. So, don’t start the project if there isn’t room for error.  If the contractor is promising to do it in six weeks, ask if that is realistic.  It may be that the contractor is just telling you what you want to hear, knowing full well that one delay could sink the schedule.

If your contractor is honest, they may tell you it cannot be done by your requested date.  This is when you may want to scale back your plans and ask what could be done by your main event.  A good contractor will be able to recommend what can reasonably be accomplished in the window of time you have.  

Don’t Tear Up the Yard

You could get your renovations done on time and still be unhappy. This occurs when renovation crews tear up the yard while making exterior changes.  It’s actually quite unnecessary.  Good crane mats can prevent ruts and stop erosion caused by work trucks. 

These manmade access systems can be much lighter than the traditional wooden systems.  That allows contractors to move them in a pickup truck.  Furthermore, this lighter material can last for generations, unlike the wood which wears out or rots in less than two years. This means that one investment by the contractor can be used in numerous projects for decades. So there is little excuse for even the smallest businesses not to have them.  

Get it in Writing

When you get an estimate, you should get in writing how long the project will take. Then, when you accept the estimate and sign a contract, you should get a more refined estimate about the project.  A realistic estimate about time is just as important as a budget-friendly estimate about costs.  

Do Your Part

Finally, do your part to get things done faster. This may mean storing extra cars at a neighbors so that your renovators can access the worksite easily. It may mean relocating to a hotel for the most difficult and smelly part of the process.  If you do your small part to get the project finished and stay in touch with the boss of your renovation project, you should have good results.  

Most of all, leave yourself a month’s margin of error between the estimated time of completion and your special event. If they are finished on time, that’s more time for you to get the house ready for the big day.  If they are late, that’s less stress for you.