Five ways to de­liver a re­furb on time

The Irish Times - Thursday - Property - - Property The Market -

No­body likes dead­lines, but they’re vi­tal for keep­ing projects on track. By putting a time limit on your home im­prove­ment, you’ll en­sure your pro­ject moves along swiftly and you’ll find it eas­ier to make de­ci­sions. Here are five fool­proof tips for set­ting – and stick­ing to – a dead­line so your home im­prove­ment com­pletes on time.

Be re­al­is­tic

It’s im­por­tant to set a dead­line but crit­i­cal that you’re re­al­is­tic in the length of time you al­lo­cate for the pro­ject. Seek ad­vice from those you’re work­ing with. Your ar­chi­tect or de­signer, for ex­am­ple, will help you to es­tab­lish a def­i­nite time­frame for each stage of the pro­ject.

Be­fore work starts on site make sure you’ve checked the time­line with the con­trac­tor to en­sure it’s re­al­is­tic. By all means, ex­plain what your pre­ferred end date is, but take on board how much time the con­trac­tor is sug­gest­ing the pro­ject will take. You might be tempted to put every­one un­der pres­sure to keep them fo­cused but if the dead­line is un­re­al­is­tic you will only set every­one up to fail.

Never make com­mit­ments – such as or­gan­is­ing rental ac­com­mo­da­tion or de­liv­er­ies – be­fore you’ve agreed a com­ple­tion date that every­one is happy with. The worst thing you can do is cre­ate un­nec­es­sary pres­sure. A home ren­o­va­tion’s suc­cess de­pends on good re­la­tion­ships.

Un­der­stand where de­lays might oc­cur

It is vi­tal to un­der­stand any­thing that could po­ten­tially dis­rupt the com­ple­tion date. This means hav­ing a clear pic­ture of what the lead times (how long it takes from the day you or­der to de­liv­ery day) are for key items that the builder de­pends on.

Win­dows, kitchens and any cus­tom-built or be­spoke items can have lead times of any­thing from six to 12 weeks, so it’s vi­tal you un­der­stand these time­lines as early on in the process as pos­si­ble.

Find out the stages in the ren­o­va­tion when you are likely to en­counter de­lays and plan for this. Plan­ning per­mis­sion, for ex­am­ple, is not guar­an­teed and may be sub­ject to de­lays. You need to al­lo­cate some buf­fer time if this process is dragged out.

Once you know what all of the lead times are and have iden­ti­fied all of the stages where a de­lay might oc­cur, plot these into your time­line and work back­wards to en­sure the pro­gramme is go­ing to work.

Share the date

Once you have a def­i­nite date for com­ple­tion make sure every­one is aware of it. It’s es­sen­tial you share the end date with every­one in­volved. Ide­ally, this is set in stone be­fore the pro­ject starts so every­one is clear.

Make all of the sup­pli­ers aware of the date too and en­sure ev­ery­thing is or­dered well in ad­vance so it is ready for de­liv­ery when the builder needs it. Keep an eye on the end date as you move through the pro­ject. If de­lays do arise find out if there are ways to put the pro­ject back on track.

Fac­tor in hol­i­days

It might seem like a good idea to go away while the works are in full swing and to stay out of every­one’s way. If you can plan hol­i­days around the messi­est time of the works, es­pe­cially if you’re liv­ing in the house while the works are hap­pen­ing, it’s a good idea.

But make sure you’re avail­able when crit­i­cal de­ci­sions need to be made. If you’re away right at the point when the con­trac­tor needs you it could cause a de­lay and af­fect other ar­eas of the pro­ject. Dou­ble check with your con­trac­tor whether or not he will be tak­ing any time off

‘‘ It is vi­tal to un­der­stand any­thing that could po­ten­tially dis­rupt the com­ple­tion date

dur­ing the pro­ject. If your pro­ject is run­ning over Christ­mas or builders’ hol­i­days you’ll need to take this into ac­count.

If you need to travel a lot for work, be very clear about your avail­abil­ity with every­one in­volved. Find out when crit­i­cal de­ci­sions need to be made and en­sure you are avail­able to make them.

Al­low some buf­fer time

Just like set­ting aside a fi­nan­cial con­tin­gency, you need to plan for a time con­tin­gency too. If at all pos­si­ble try to avoid set­ting dead­lines that co­in­cide with im­por­tant events such as Christ­mas and wed­dings. If these events are prompt­ing you to do the work, then you need to plan well in ad­vance and al­low your­self at least two months prior to the event to set­tle back in to your home and al­low for any un­fore­seen set­backs.

Your ar­chi­tect or de­signer, for ex­am­ple, will help you to es­tab­lish a def­i­nite time­frame for each stage of the pro­ject.

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