On Time And On Budget

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It doesn’t matter how big or how small the project is, “on time and on budget” are the words our clients most want to be able to say at the end of a project.  However many homeowners may love their new space at the end of a project, in the end, their satisfaction will always depend on whether the project was completed within the timeframe agreed on, and whether the final cost was what they were expecting to pay.

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Plan ahead – and stick to it!

By preparing a detailed scope of work and committing to a design plan ahead of the start of the project, you are able to obtain firm quotes, efficiently schedule trades and order fixtures and materials ahead of time so that costly delays are not incurred while waiting for items to be delivered.  Some materials can have lead times of several months and that can significantly delay a project and also risks not having trades available when you need them.

While small adjustments can be made as the project progresses, big changes incur delays and additional cost.  Spending time up front to plan and explore options before work begins is essential.

Run a well laid out budget spreadsheet

Prepare a budget spreadsheet that clearly lays out the categories of costs, eg plumbing, electrical, cabinetry, and the budget for each.  Don’t forget to include services that you need to are not technically part of the project but are necessary after a renovation (eg vent/duct cleaning; carpet cleaning; new furniture items.)  Add a “change order” column and a “revised budget” column that shows the change to the budget when additional items are added. Show clearly what costs have been paid against each line item and what is left to pay.  Update and check the spreadsheet regularly so that you can see whether your cost to complete the project is staying on budget.

Build in a contingency

There are always unexpected costs – eg. discovering structural damage behind a wall or some outdated plumbing that needs to be upgraded – and very often there is a few additional add on items that clients will decide to include in the scope of work.  We recommend adding 10% of the project budget for contingency costs.

A more few tips that can help keep project costs down:

  • Splurge on custom finishes in select places (eg. kitchen cabinetry) and choose stock items in less visible areas (eg. utility room and secondary bathroom cabinetry.)  Custom finishes are generally more expensive and take longer to order.
  • Check out better-priced items in overstock areas at tile and fixture showrooms.  Be sure to make a materials list at the outset of a project and have quantities and dimensions to hand when shopping.
  • Plan larger purchases (eg. appliances) around sale times and consider purchasing discounted floor models.
  • Renovations move faster and more efficiently when homeowners are not living in the home.  Consider renting close by or staying at a friend or family’s home during the renovation.
  • If you need permits for your project, check in at the District office to find out how long permits are taking to be issued.  Timelines can vary significantly depending on construction activity in your area.