Large scale renovations, such as home additions, finished basements and kitchen remodels, require a well organized schedule that incorporates material delivery, subcontractor work and all of the relevant inspections. Your general contractor handles the schedule and needs to deal with delays when they pop up. Consider these common methods of dealing with delays, and give your general contractor the space and trust they need to get the job done.
Experienced Contractors Expect Delays
A long list of factors, both controllable and uncontrollable, create delays in a construction project. An experienced general contractor will expect delays, and work those into their overall schedule. Weather is one of the most obvious factors. No matter what time of year your renovation begins, weather plays a role in the scheduling. Other common delays include:
- back ordered materials
- equipment breakdown
- labor shortage
Smart contractors leave room for delays in the original schedule, avoiding the temptation to over-promise. That often leads to disappointed customers when the inevitable delays appear. A schedule with space for delays is much more reasonable and results in a positive experience for all. Before the process begins, understand that a renovation schedule requires a little flexibility and trust your contractor to handle the waves.
Contractors Make Quick Decisions Based on the Information at Hand
Because schedule changes happen frequently, and many cannot be foreseen or predicted, contractors learn to make quick decisions. When the weather shifts, your general contractor must be prepared to adapt. Having all of the information at their fingertips is vital, and helps your contractor make wise decisions that result in smoother shifts and transitions.
Keep your contractor up to date on all relevant information about your project. Whether you changed your mind about the cabinetry or have encountered a snag in the financing, your contractor needs to be informed of any alteration to the original plans. Stay in touch to confirm the status and scheduling of your project to ensure that all parties are well informed.
Be prepared for quick decisions and changes to the balance of your living space. Delays may require the renovation schedule to shift into high gear, and depending on the project's location, this shift could alter your daily lifestyle. Major home renovations can be stressful and disruptive. But with a well managed general contractor and the right expectations, your family will make it through the process smoothly.
Contractors Gather and Manage Information, So You Don't Have To
You pay a general contractor to run the job, and an established contractor will do just that. Homeowners should be involved in the process at every stage, but the contractor handles all forms of scheduling, hiring sub contractors, sourcing building materials and arranging for delivery and installation. When they are given the authority to do their job well, general contractors perform as master coordinators.
Remember to allow your contractor the freedom to make scheduling changes as required. The best working relationship relies on honest communication from both sides of the equationâ€”your contractor should inform you when any changes will be made to the schedule, and homeowners are responsible to provide the contractor with all relevant information about accessibility, design alterations, etc. It is a two-way street.
Supply Delays Force Your Contractor to Shop Around for Materials
In some cases, a delay in the supply chain forces your contractor to find another source. Special order items frequently cause supply delays, and limited availability may result in a design change. If your preferred cabinetry, flooring or exterior finish cannot be delivered in a timely manner, the contractor will need to look elsewhere or substitute the material. Be prepared to either wait, or opt for your second choice.
In some cases, schedule delays caused by back ordered supplies will increase your bill. If the secondary supplier tacks on a premium, or your second choice comes in with a significantly higher price tag, the contractor will need to cover that difference. Depending on the situation and your relationship with the contractor, this situation could have an effect on the final bill.
Subcontractors Play a Key Role
An established general contractor has connections across the construction industry, allowing him to draw from a pool of experienced, reliable subcontractors for every stage of your renovation. When delays involve labor, your contractor may call on another sub to complete the work.
Before hiring any general contractor, be sure to have a look at their past work. Pay special attention to the finish on each component of the project, such as electrical, flooring, paint, drywall finish and trim work. Talk to the contractor about the standard of work expected from all subcontractors, and go over any special concerns or details you would like covered on your job. Having a specified standard provides your contractor with the freedom to hire the subs available, as long as they will perform to the standard.
Subcontractor schedules often overlap. Delays on one end of the project affect the balance, at times stretching the completion date far beyond original expectations. General contractors can encourage subcontractors to pick up the pace, hire additional contractors to help out and, in some cases, complete extra work themselves. Depending on the duration of the delay and how it affects the balance of the project, your general contractor will handle subcontractors with efficiency and quality in mind.
Delays are an inevitable part of any home improvement project. On a large scale renovation, your general contractor handles all delays. Your general contractor should expect blips in the schedule and account for them ahead of time. The homeowner needs to communicate any information that could affect the schedule and trust the contractor to do their job efficiently. Hiring alternate subcontractors and sourcing building materials from another suppliers are two common options when faced with delays. Any way they choose to handle it, an established general contractor will work through delays with skills and professional attention.Posted by: TrustedPros