Your plans for remodeling your walk-in closet or your pantry are coming closer and closer to reality. You’ve set your budget and settled on a contractor. You may be tempted to think the closet will be done when it’s done, but establishing a schedule, and monitoring it, is paramount for the homeowner. A timely project will help to keep you focused and ensure the project is completed when you want it to be, rather than subject to project creep and extended deadlines.
Whether you are installing the closet yourself, or hiring a professional, having a timeline is a smart way to complete home improvement projects. Just be sure to be forgiving and leave a little wiggle room in your schedule when unexpected things do come up, such as illness, delayed shipping times, or weather-related issues.
Drawing up a timeline
While it may sound contradictory, starting at the end is a great strategy in building your timeline. This work back schedule should detail every aspect of the job. From ordering materials, tracking shipments, subcontractor work or holidays, the work back schedule is a detailed dairy of the project and will help keep everyone organized. Understandably, your timeline will look different if you plan on doing the work yourself or hiring a professional.
Your closet may require several different types of professionals, like a door installer or lighting contractor. You may need certain parts of this project to be completed before the closet installer can actually perform the work. The work back schedule should include the various pieces of this project and what should be done first, second, third, etc.
If you are doing the work yourself, be honest about your time, ability and availability for completing the work. Is this a week-end only project? Can you work on this every night? A good DIYer will have some semblance of a schedule in order to keep completion on target. If you are hiring a professional closet installer, discuss the expected length of time and find out typical delays that may incur during the course of the project. Knowing the factors that are within or beyond your control will help you manage the timeline.
If your project involves constructing, enlarging, repairing, moving, converting, or demolishing a part of your home, then a permit may be required. An inspection will also likely be required as part of the process for granting the permit. Turnaround times for residential remodeling permits vary depending the area in which you live, some taking only a few days, others requiring a few or even several weeks to issue the proper permit. Your closet remodeler will likely handle the application process at town hall.
Incorporating specialty materials and decor items, such as cabinetry and shelving, will have an impact on the duration of the project. Depending on availability, you may have to rush your delivery if you want to meet your timeline, requiring additional expenditures. If certain pieces require a specialist for installation, be sure to budget extra time and money based on when he or she is available.
Certain items brought in for your remodeling project may require additional time to assemble or install, depending on the complexity of the setup. Your closet may require individually constructed elements to fit your specific dimensions and that can also impact the timing of your project’s completion. Be sure your contractor maintains communication with the vendor, so everyone’s schedules stay aligned.
Seasonal delays and holidays
The closet remodeling industry operates year-round however there may be busier times of the year. The start of the new year is a popular time for homeowners to reorganize their home and seek out closet installers. The start of the busy fall season is another popular time for this type of project. Holidays may not only disrupt the professional’s schedule, it may delay the arrival of materials. In discussions with your contractor, try to find out whether there are particularly busy stretches that should be incorporated into your schedule.
If you are working with a contractor, one way of shortening the time spent on remodeling your closet is to find out where you can assist. Taking on smaller tasks, such as painting or staining, or installing the closet doors yourself, leaves professionals time to perform heavy lifting, design, and installation. In the initial discussions, try and find out if there is anything you can do in the lead-up to the remodel that will streamline the process like taking the time to completely clear out the space.
Top image credit: Walker Woodworking