Q&A / 

Eliminate Delays with Job Schedules

DEAR TIM: We are getting ready to do a major remodeling of our kitchen. We want to eliminate delays so that we can use our kitchen again as soon as possible. What steps can we take to achieve this goal? Q. T.

DEAR Q. T.: In a nutshell, you must do extensive 'preplanning' and scheduling of materials shipments and workers to eliminate delays. It is possible to eliminate delays, however, your planning must be flawless.

The first step is to make sure that you have an excellent set of drawings for your project. Your contractor and his sub-contractors will rely on these documents heavily. If there is an error on the plans you will have a delay. I guarantee it.

Before any work begins, you must request from your contractor a very detailed schedule of how long each aspect of the job will take. There are many aspects to the job, so make sure that they are all listed. Make a separate list of all the materials you intend to use for your job. You must pre-select every item. Remember, some items will have to be ordered.

Ask each supplier how long it will take to obtain each item. Add a minimum of 3 days to whatever you are told. Request order confirmations from all suppliers, because , believe me, people forget to order things. Make repeated follow-up phone calls to insure that things are on schedule.


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After you have all of this information, you must create a simple time line chart showing when each aspect of the job will occur. You must prepare this chart, because each sub-contractor and material supplier will need to see when his services or goods are required. Distribute a copy of this chart to all parties and ask them if it is reasonable. If they agree, cross your fingers and hope for the best. Remember, once the project is underway, make frequent reminder calls to all suppliers and workers to keep your project fresh in their minds.

No builder or designer's library should be without Adding to a House written by Philip Wenz. Here is the ideal book for designers and builders who understand basic construction but have not had access to a single source of information that covers the entire process of planning, designing and building an addition. Adding to a House is also perfect for home owners who intend to contract the work out and want to understand the process so they can make intelligent decisions and work effectively with people they hire. This book will help you avoid costly mistakes, make sure no potential problems are overlooked and handle tricky construction details. By following the advice in this book designers, builders and home owners will be able to create an addition that solves space problems and increase the value of a house. This book is published by Taunton Press, one of my favorite book publishers, and has wonderful color photographs and easily understood illustrations.

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