8 July 2015

Our renovation story Part 3 - Project management

OK, pre-warning, a slightly moany post coming up. If anyone has ever undertaken a large-scale renovation project where you need to bring in tradesmen to do the (very many) bits you can't do you know there will be hassle ahead. If you are about to do a big project, well, be pre-warned. You know how they always end up over schedule and over the budget on those Grand Designs and other building and renovating programmes... Well, it is because project management is a (you know what b-word)!



It can be tricky to get people in. Especially in the summer. Everyone wants to do their buildings and renovating in the summer as it is just less hassle with rain. Hence, tradesmen are incredibly busy. There are more jobs to do than doers. 

However, as we all know, sometimes jobs get cancelled or shifted for whatever reason. So, very logically many tradesmen seek to say yes to as many projects as the can and then juggle them as they best can. Tricky situation is of course when you are trying to get tradesmen coming to your build in a logical manner, one after another, so you finish one job and then begin a new one. 

What has happened to us in a few different occasion is that one set of tradesmen have been meant to finish something by a certain date, when the next set is coming in. For various reasons they haven't so we have had to shell out for a second show for the next tradesmen as they have been able to do only part of the job. 

For example we had a delay with electrics, meaning plastering had to be postponed and done only in one room, which of course affects us later on as well as plaster needs to dry before painting... Another example we faced was a tradesman delaying a quote to us for weeks, and then (unfortunately) getting so ill he wasn't able to start the job at all.  

It can also be slightly tricky to decide what to do and when. There are some specific things that need to be done in order. For example first electrics and plumbing, then plasterboarding, then plastering, then you need to wait for the plaster to dry properly. After that you can do second fitting of electrics (the plugs and switches etc.). Then paint, then flooring, then extra flourishes like skirting boards and dado rails and so on. When you start to talk about structural things it can get a bit more complicated as well. Every little delay at one stage adds to delays in the second stages, and when you have unexpected surprises, well, that adds even more delays. 




It has been mostly my husband dealing with the trials and tribulations of project management, and the inevitable frustrations. There are a couple of tips I can give though. 

Firstly, if you are staggering different tradesmen and need one set of them to finish something before the others, so make sure you remind the first set a few days earlier, and if needed give them another reminder two days before the deadline. Secondly, do try to build in buffers of a day or two between tradesmen - inevitably someone always gets ill or gets delayed or is stuck in traffic (you name it) so work gets delayed. Thirdly, structure what needs to be done and in what order on paper - much easier to keep that plan in mind and refer to it as you go along. You can always do changes to it later if needed.  

Next week something less moany and a bit about our inspirations!

Do you have any experience with project managing a big renovation/building project?

Check my renovation series here:
Part 1 - Our new home
Part 2 - Surprises







12 comments:

  1. good luck there! The room will be fabulous once your done! I had my kitchen done only to move areas not long after due to medical needs. It is not an easy task living through it but well worth it in the end and such a sense of satisfaction afterwards! Angela xx

    Angela recently posted Finishing touches to the Bedroom http://wp.me/p5XRN6-1N5

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    1. So sorry to hear that, that must have been really frustrating :( it is a massive upheaval but I guess you just hope te end results will be worth it and make your life better and easier. I am pretty confident ours will look much better than before :)

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  2. Sanna it looks like it is going to be great. Look at all that light flooding into the front room.
    Tradesmen can be such a pain, but if you can't do it all yourself, all you can do is manage and remind, as you say above.
    Good luck with the rest. I am really enjoying your series.
    #HomeEtc
    Fionnuala from www.threesonslater.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you, I thought the series would be quite nice as I have so much to say about this whole project and talk about it all the time to anyone who will just listen (running out of willing listeners now in real life :D ).

      There is still much to do but I am looking forward to the final results :)

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  3. What a sod trying to get everything done and get the order right is. I'm so impressed with your progress though and just think how worth it it will all be in the end! it takes us ages to do anything so I think you're going great guns. Loving seeing the updates x #HomeEtc

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    1. Yeah we are trying to get it finished as soon as possible as we need to move in sooner rather than later. Need to vacate our current place in a few weeks... Hubby is practically on sure everyday doing something!

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  4. It looks like you're making lots of progress! I really hate having tradesmen in and find the whole thing really stressful... #HomeEtc

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    1. I know, it is such a hassle. I don't think anyone likes having tradesmen in, as it an be so disruptive. But needs must!

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  5. Gosh my home looked like this for months! And it was stressful! You're making good progress though. It is going to be so amazing. Once this bit is all done. Thanks for linking up lovely. Much appreciated. Jess x

    #HomeEtc

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    1. It really is stressful, our saving grace of course is that we aren't living in so it is manageable. I have lived through another set of renovation when I was pregnant and it was pretty dire. With kids it would e really difficult. Thanks for hosting :)

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  6. Aaah bless you pet! As I've said before, we've been there. Just keep your eyes on the prize and remember how GORGEOUS your home will be when it's done. All this hassle and grief will be 100% worth it — I promise xx Thanks so much for linking up with #HomeEtc — hope to see you again next week! x

    Caro | www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk

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    1. I'll try to remember that :) not that much more to go I suppose as the worst is now done. Now it is just a lot of plaster boarding and plastering, and installing kitchen, painting, flooring... Heh maybe I spoke too soon :) but it is getting there! Thanks for hosting and see you next week :)

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