Top 3 Things Every Homeowner Should Know

Things Every Homeowner Should Know

Congratulations! You’re about to embark on the home-building project of your dreams! How do you make sure you get what you want, when you want it, and at the price you expected? Learning Things Every Homeowner Should Know to improve the experience towards this journey:

  1. Make Decisions Early

  2. Cushion your Budget

  3. Prepare for Delays

Make Decisions Early

In our experience interviewing hundreds of contractors across the San Francisco Bay Area, the largest derailer of even the most well-planned projects are decisions being made too late. 

Going into a new project, it is important to have a strong understanding of the materials and products required to achieve your vision. Without this, long lead times and supply chain hiccups can cause a chain reaction of scheduling conflicts which can balloon into large delays. For example, if you’re renovating your bathroom and achieving your vision requires custom tile to be imported from Italy, the decision will need to be made months in advance due to long lead times. If the decision is made 2 weeks in advance, this will cause massive delays, and in turn, will lead to scheduling conflicts and further delays.

Due to this risk, it is important to understand the gravity and consequence of your decisions as early as possible.

Cushion Your Budget

Construction projects invariably have unexpected changes, so setting aside a cushion of 10-20% is recommended to ensure that when inspiration strikes, you have the flexibility in your budget to modify the plans. However, keep in mind that the further into the project you make changes, the higher the costs can get. For example, making changes to the layout of a bathroom after tile has been installed will require labor to remove the tile, the cost to replace the single-use materials, as well as the labor and materials to make the change.

Failing to set aside a cushion, and subsequently risking having to cut corners and compromise to keep costs down, can lead to projects that fall short of your vision. It is important to leave yourself the financial room to be flexible.

Prepare for Delays

When planning your project, you need to be aware of the risks of your timeline slipping due to anything from material availability to unplanned disasters. For example, the COVID pandemic forced permitting departments to migrate to virtual solutions everyone in the chain was unfamiliar with, leading to permit reviews taking up to 1000% longer than expected. While it is impossible to plan for things like this ahead of time, it is prudent to be prepared for a later project completion date than you were initially expecting. The more delay you prepare for, the smoother your project will go.

About Pillar

With so many decisions and unexpected changes, keeping on top of your project can and will make the difference between a smooth-running project where your vision is achieved and a painful experience. Pillar makes it easy for decisions to be made at the right time, providing templates for every type of project, as well as gentle reminders and updates on the risks of deciding too late.

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