How long will construction take?
Do you remember a time when people used to wait? In a culture tending toward, and increasingly getting, instant gratification, I don't think anyone has patience anymore, but you're going to need it in construction!
Construction is not a reality tv show whereby your dream home is revealed to you after you wait for a few hours in a nearby coffee shop! There are a ton of decisions to be made, weekly site meetings, unforeseen field conditions and unforeseen costs and delays. It's no picnic- it's construction!
And it will take longer than you think it will take. Don't go on a 6 month vacation to avoid the inconvenience of construction either. You need to be present on site at least once a week to answer questions that the contractor may have. If you hire an architect for full design services, we can answer many of these questions on your behalf. We are creative thinkers with problem-solving skill sets.
Most trades need to be finished before others start. This coordination, among other skills, is why Contractors get paid the big bucks! If you are meeting with the contractor once a week and answering all of his or her questions, they will be able to move the project along at a steady speed. Your availability is just as important to your project as the people performing the actual work.
At the time of completion, architects will walk through the project and create a punch list. A punch list is a list compiled by the architect, owner or contractor that indicates remaining items that need to be done for the project to be considered complete. This part of the project may progress slower than the first month of the project with little movement on site, lots of waiting for one trade to come back and finish something. Remember: patience!
So whatever your construction schedule states, tack on about 2-3 months to be safe! If you have a hard deadline for which you need to be back in your home or the property, be available to the contractor and be quick with your design decisions so that you are not the cause of delays. Demand a schedule from the contractor at the start of construction and bring it to your weekly site meetings. If trades are not finishing on time, ask the contractor why tasks are not being performed on time and how he plans to make up the time?
Don't forget design takes time too. Allot about 2-3 months prior to construction for a design phase so that the architect can have the time needed to create a design and revise the drawings based on your feedback. We generally like to meet with our clients 3 times during the design process before drawings are finalized.
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