In construction, it’s easy to blame failures and unexpected problems on a variety of factors: mismanagement of time, shortsighted budgeting, use of the wrong materials, not getting what’s expected, and even the difference in vision when it comes to design and actual output.
However, there is one main issue that overrides most of these matters, because this one simple factor can spell the difference between success and endless headaches leading to a poor result.
Why Construction Projects Can Fail
Believe it or not, the planning phase is absolutely one of the most crucial stages in undertaking home renovations or home construction of any kind. This is not just confined to homeowners tossing around ideas for their home renovations, such as how many bedrooms to add and their general placement, for example, but the kind of precise planning that involves detailed discussion between homeowners, contractors and designers, who also play a key role. It also hinges upon firm advance decision making, so that plans and designs aren’t being switched and altered partway through the actual building process.
Pre-construction design and planning allows you to see the big picture of the project in conjunction with the finer points. When you undergo the planning phase, you are able to eliminate or, at the very least, lessen potential disputes about design, finalize budget costs, manage expectations, and pin down the construction schedule.
Liken the process of home building to the creation of a car or bridge, for example: no one would even think of embarking on either without a thorough plan, with every exact detail, measurement, type of material and more determined well ahead of time. For any major undertaking, a comprehensive plan must be in order before the project begins, and carrying out home renovations is certainly no exception.
Planning, in essence, gives you the direction you need, a road map for the design, construction and all related procedures that lay ahead. If pre-planning is carefully and thoroughly carried out, then changes should not need to become a consideration at any stage.
Why Do Homeowners Skip the Proper Planning Stage?
There are two usually main reasons why homeowners do not want to go through a planning stage with their contractors.
- The first is that they think this is just an unnecessary waste of time and money. Homeowners have a mistaken notion that they are experts in designing their future house or notions for home renovations. After all, they have free rein about what can be done because it is their house, after all, and they have a say in what happens to their living space. Of course they do, but at the same time, skimping on the pre-construction processes, such as design, budgeting, specifications and other planning is a huge mistake and in the end, will simply prove to be false economy.
- The second reason is that not everyone is good at visualizing projects. Good designers and contractors may be able to see the home renovations project taking shape ahead of time, but that isn’t always the case for others involved. To help with conceptualizing, thorough pre-construction is still absolutely crucial.
Sticking with Project Plans for Home Renovations
After drafting and finalizing the plans, of course the ideal would be to stick with it to the letter. In this way, you are assured that the agreements reached between the homeowner and renovations contractor are maintained and problems are kept to a minimum or even eliminated altogether. Remember, if a project doesn’t start right, it certainly isn’t going to end right!
Doug Kerr is the owner of Kerr Construction in Vancouver. With over 25 years of experience in the renovation and new home construction business, he has developed the Kerr System for designing and building. With this Design/Build system he has helped hundreds of clients achieve their dream homes while also winning multiple national and provincial building and renovations awards. Being a former world-class athlete on the Canadian National Ski Team, he has the determination and work-ethic to achieve any goals set. He subscribes to core values which include helping people, honesty, growth and excellence. Using these values throughout Kerr Construction, he is able to deliver top-quality completed projects for the clients.
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