What Should I Expect During Construction?

It’s finally here! Months of planning, 100’s of decisions, and we are about to be underway!

We are as excited as you are to get started, but its also important that we all have realistic expectations before your job begins. Below you will find a few observations and things to consider. The good, the bad and the ugly.

1. Expect to be surprised by something. Buildings are complex: It is impossible for anyone to foresee all of the obstacles that may present themselves while building. As unexpected challenges arise, know that it is a normal part of the building process. Typically over 100 human hands will have a part in building your home. Unlike a new car built by robots, human beings can, and will, make mistakes from time to time. It is our job, as your building partner, to make sure everything is 100% before moving forward.

2. When should I call you if a problem/issue arises?: Your project manager is available to you 24/7 if one of the following occurs: – someone is in danger – something is on fire – something is flooding, ie: an emergency. If you notice something out of place, want to make a change, or wake up in a cold sweat after dreaming about your backsplash tile :), these items can be handled during normal working hours – typically 8am to 5pm Monday-Friday. Your assistance in this matter is greatly appreciated and will assure long, happy, healthy marriages for our hard working site project managers!

3. Building is, in part, an exercise in communication: Concentrating on clear communication is the best way to ensure that the project is a positive experience for everyone. We will provide a viewable link to your construction calendar (more notes on this below!) and will provide an email update of progress, items to be on your radar, etc, every week or two throughout construction.

4. Your construction calendar is a guideline and goal: It is designed to give you an idea of “what comes next” in the building process. The schedule will change. Weather, waiting on county inspections, trade delays, etc all contribute to a moving calendar.

5. Learn the Lingo: Don’t feel bad if you don’t know a p-trap from a DWV or GWB from a LVL. Ask your Project Manager to explain terms that you don’t understand. We love building and are happy to share as much knowledge as you care to take in.

6. “Why aren’t guys here working every day? Like on HGTV?”: Oh HGTV how we love it so!!. While DIY shows are great for inspiration, no mere mortal can build a home in 2 days. We have several processes in place to keep your project moving as efficiently as possible. Our systems notify trades 1 and 2 weeks out from their scheduled start date as well as our consistent monitoring by your site project manager. It is important to remember that the men and women who are helping to build your home, may have 10 or 15 other projects in their pipeline. This is how they make their living and feed their family. Anyone who is sitting at home waiting for your job to start, isn’t the expert you want working in your home. Often delays on other jobs (or ours) cause them to be a day or two behind. You wouldn’t want them walking off of your job to start another because it was “time” to start the next job right? We give them this same courtesy when scheduling for your job.

7. All projects require decisions to be made during construction: Making decisions in a timely manner helps keep your project on schedule. If most decisions have been made in advance of their deadline, we have more flexibility to modify the schedule to accommodate changes, long lead time items, or unforeseen complications. If you know that you need additional time to consider decisions, let us know so that we can accommodate that time in the scheduling process.

8. Many decisions will need to be made in a sequence that responds to the inherent logic of construction: For example, it might cost less to spray a first coat of paint immediately after the drywall is installed. The closer the first coat color is to the final color, the fewer coats will be needed during finish, thereby reducing the cost.

9. “While we’re at it” can be the four most expensive words in construction: It is called scope creep. While it may be a good idea to add x, y, z while your home is under construction, these costs can add up quickly.

10. Your perception of the size of the project and the speed of work will change: Following are common perceptions of the speed and size, as well as how owners typically feel during different phases of construction. This is completely normal! From a kitchen remodel to a full custom home, the sequence of the project is exactly the same.

11. Good – Fast – Cheap…. Pick Two: It is a phrase we recite often. Recognize that you can’t cut costs or time without a corresponding change in quality, scope, risk, or stress-level. If a subcontractor’s bid comes in at half his or her nearest competitor, it’s likely that they are going to have to cut corners somewhere.

12. Finally – The ups and downs of building – in a handy visual! It is important to remember that we are in this together! This will be a dusty, messy, costly and sometimes trying experience. It will also be fun and exciting to watch your dream take shape. Remember that we all have the same goal: The happy day when the project is complete and you can enjoy your new home or addition.

Note: All projects are different and the timeline of construction is for reference only.