How to Manage Custom Home Builds

Custom home builds are usually coupled with delays, confused clients and slightly disorganized scheduling. It makes sense that these problems arise, as every custom build is different, making every timeline and series of challenges different from project to project as well. 

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the average home building timeline is eight months from authorization to finish, which can alleviate the stress from clients constantly asking when their project will be completed. Challenges such as delays, supply shortages, and unpredictable subcontractors will change this estimated timeline. 

So how can we keep projects as close to the eight month timeline as possible? Here are three easy ways to effectively manage custom home builds.

Set Up A Custom Timeline

The obvious first step; setting up a timeline for the entire project. This will cost you more time in the short term, but save you an incredible amount of time in the long run. Setting up a timeline is incredibly easy through the project management applications offered by Pillar, which can also be shared directly with your clients.

The timeline offers rough estimates of when work should be completed, giving you a good idea of when selections and orders need to be placed, and when to hire another subcontractor. The timeline is incredibly malleable as well- changing deadlines is as simple as highlighting the scheduled task and changing the date, much cleaner than scratching out dates with a pen on your physical calendar. 

Hold Your Clients Accountable

As mentioned above, our timeline is meant to be used alongside your clients; in reality, our entire product was designed with the intent of being used alongside your clients. We understand that client based issues occur frequently, especially with custom homes. This is why we heavily emphasize the involvement of clients in overall project management, as we’ve found that increasing client communication significantly improves the quality of work done by contractors, while also increasing client satisfaction.

Our timeline allows you to communicate what needs to be done by your clients in order for their project to be completed on time: this includes finalizing selections and custom orders, making payments or ordering services related to the project’s scope. Improving communication between you and your clients is incredibly important for the success of the project, which is the main pain point that Pillar is trying to address.

Break Up Work Into Manageable Sprints

You’ve created your timeline and have communicated it with your client, great, but how are you supposed to organize the work? Starting on day zero and looking ahead to the end of the project, there’s tons of work to be done which can be seemingly unmanageable, how should you break this up?

We highly suggest the use of “sprints”. Sprints usually denote a two week period, but can be customized to encompass any standardized chunk of time you find fit for the pace at which you work. Put simply; break up work into uniform chunks that are easy to follow. Instead of presenting yourself (and your clients) a headache of an amount of work, you can just have them focus on two weeks of work at a time.

What if something needs to be done this sprint, but is more relevant to work that needs to be done months from now? For example, a countertop that needs to be custom ordered now so it can be installed in the kitchen two months later? 

Through Pillar, you can link items to show when that work will become relevant, which is better explained through the preceding link. This just shows your clients why they’re making selections now rather than later, and decreases the amount of time you have to spend explaining to them that the item will take months to ship and must be decided on now. By decreasing time spent talking to your clients, you can spend more time focusing on your work.

Come request a free demo with us to see just how much time Pillar can save you on your next project.

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