Increasingly homeowners are choosing to stay and improve rather than move – taking on the task of project managing home modifications to save money. Yet project management is an art in itself – and failing to successfully organise a build can result in more significant expenditure in the long run as lead times run over and mistakes are made.
Planning an extension or large modification for your home can be stressful and daunting. When you choose to take on project management independently there are so many elements to arrange – and trades need to be briefed appropriately to ensure optimal results and accurate timescales. In this blog we share a few simple ways you can communicate with the professionals taking care of your installation or build for optimum success and satisfaction all round.
Be clear on your expectations and desired timescales
It’s important to be clear with yourself about how you expect things to happen before you speak to anyone else. Make a note of how long you want the project to take, your proposed budget and processes – in an ideal situation. Then work out how far you can push those from ‘ideal’ to ‘realistic’. Once you have these noted down, you can share them with the construction and installation teams working on your project. They’ll be able to add their own input – but having something concrete to work from helps you to negotiate confidently and easily without going over budget or becoming unreasonable if reality doesn’t match your initial expectation.
Lay down ground rules and processes
Everyone works better when they have processes to follow should the unexpected arise – as it so often can during a build. Make sure that everyone involved in your project knows how to proceed and who to contact in every instance, including a delay in materials, an accident or absence. Make yourself one of the primary sources of contact for key aspects, but remember to delegate in other instances to avoid being constantly disturbed when you are at work yourself. The best projects are managed internally with all parties working together to find solutions without causing you stress in the first instance.
Ask for advice and input
This can’t be stressed enough. One massive mistake many homeowners make in the beginning is failing to ask each trade in turn for their input before work starts. Imposing your own expectations regarding timeframes and execution on the professionals taking care of your installation is likely to result in stress for all parties. Instead, sit down with each contractor and ask for their professional opinion on how to proceed and how they can work cohesively with others on the job. This will help you to put together a chronological timeline and ensures that all parties can work together more easily for a better end result.
Schedule regular updates
It’s really important to plan check-ins with your team – to ensure that they are informed and updated at all times, and you have complete peace of mind. This also minimises the incidence of sporadic spot checks, which often lead to flustered disappointment as you struggle to get the attention and time of busy workmen. Instead, schedule regular updates – perhaps that’s a text at the end of each day, or a weekly phone call or physical check-in. This gives you and contractors allotted time to talk through the latest developments and answer or ask questions.
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