Home improvement tips: The importance of setting and sticking to a deadline

By February 28, 2019Home, Home Improvement
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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. You’ll also find it easier to make decisions. Without setting a realistic deadline you risk falling into the trap of procrastination. Meaning you’ll find everything takes far too long. Here are five foolproof tips for setting and sticking to a deadline so your home improvement completes on time.

home improvement tips

Be realistic

It certainly is important to set a deadline. But it’s critical that you’re realistic in the length of time your allocating for your home improvement project. Seek advice from those you’re working with. Your architect or designer, for example, will be able to help you to establish a definite time frame for each stage of your improvement project.

Before the 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. However, if the deadlines are unrealistic your only setting everyone to fail.

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

 

home renovation

Understand where delays might occur

When planning a deadline for your home improvement project, it is vital you understand anything that could potentially disrupt the completion date. This means having a clear picture of what the lead times are for key items the builder depends on. Things like windows, kitchens and any custom built or bespoke items can be on lead times. These can be anything from six to twelve weeks, so it’s vital you understand these timelines as early on in the process as possible.

Find out at the stages when you are likely to encounter delays in your home renovation project and plan for this. Planning permission, for example, is not guaranteed and may be subject to delays. So you need to be aware of this and 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. Then work backwards to ensure the program is going to work.

Share the date

Once you have a definite date for completion of your home improvement project 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. This way It will be 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 pull your home improvement project back on track.

 

Factor in holidays

It might seem like a good idea to go away whilst the works are in full swing and stay out of everyone’s way. If you can plan holidays around the messy 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 your away right at the point when the contractor needs you it could cause a delay and affect other areas of your home improvement project. Double check with your contractor whether or not he will be taking any time off 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, weddings and communions, for example. If these events are prompting you to do the work, plan well in advance and give yourself at least two months prior to the event to settle back in and allow for any unforeseen setbacks.

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Denise O'Connor

Author Denise O'Connor

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