By Renée Biery

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Add-on’s, renovations, and new construction homes can seem intimidating to take on. How do you even get started? How do you find and manage contractors? What surprises should you anticipate coming up? How long do these things take?

In this podcast, you will learn all that and so much more!

How to Control Budget, Surprises & Deadlines

What you will learn from this episode: 

  • The importance in budgeting your home project

  • What kind of surprises typically come up in home renovation projects and how to handle them

  • How deadlines work on a construction site

This week, I hosted a live 3 Day series on renovation projects, focusing on the planning and executing of them. And in case you missed the live session, I wanted to go over those details with you today!

These series are so much fun, and a great way for me to share incredible detail about important topics that everyone comes across in renovation projects. 

In this series, the first thing I focused on was budgeting, how to create one, and more importantly, how to maintain one. It’s a hot topic, and people had lots of questions! Anytime you talk about money it’s going to be a hot topic.

The second day we talked about surprises. Unfortunately, surprises happen on every project, and that is another topic I covered in this series. I’m going to break down what kind of surprises I’m talking about because I think people only assume really significant surprises and honestly there’s a lot of other surprises that can derail a project if you’re not prepared for them. 

Structural surprises are in truth, really hard to avoid and can impact your budget. They are often not discovered until a wall is torn down, or until some part of your construction has begun. So what do you do in those situations? You need to call in an expert to give you the full scope of work that will be required to fix it. That might derail your entire project and you’re going to have to use money that is set aside for the project to fix it. Sadly I don’t know of a way to avoid them. 

Then there’s a design surprise. What does that mean? For example, when people only measure “close enough.” “Close enough” doesn’t cut it in the construction world. When your toilet and sink are a few inches off, and you end up not being able to install what you had intended, that is what I consider a  design surprise. Could this derail a project forever? No, but it could derail it for a week or two while you re-design and double-check things. And no, that might not seem like a lot of time, but it’s completely unnecessary. 

The other part of design surprises is when contractors make mistakes. We are all human and we all make mistakes, things can get mis-measured or the wrong item ordered. While they won’t necessarily add money to your project, because the contractor has to cover these mistakes, they could add time to your project. These things do happen and my best advice is to try to get through it as quickly as possible. Coming at it with anger and accusations tends to prolong situations. Because trust me, the contractor will also be embarrassed and try desperately to try and rectify the situation as quickly as possible.

And lastly, I wanted to go through deadlines. Deadlines are something that are really critical to hit and that obviously impact the length of your project. And of course you want your project to end as quickly as humanly possible! 

People tend to associate deadlines with how they approached them in school or a corporate job. When a deadline is given there are no exceptions. It has to be done by that deadline. In construction, it’s a little different. The critical piece to keep in mind is that deadlines are estimates. And an estimate can ebb and flow depending on the project. Sometimes they’re improved upon. But more often than not, the project gets pushed back. So if you don’t have a project schedule handed to you from a contractor, it is really critical to make one up with the contractor so that you can follow along. 

In these series I break these topics up into days. The first day will be about budgets, the second day surprises, and then the third day all about deadlines. 

If you haven’t joined one of these series, I highly recommend them. They are chalk full of information that we don’t offer throughout the year. So join the email list HERE and you won’t miss a thing going forward.

I hope you found this helpful!

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