Staying on task and on schedule should be at the forefront of your mind when remodeling your building as a business owner. Not only can delays cause your remodel to run over budget, but they can also keep your business closed longer than you projected, meaning no cash flow.
Here are four specific ways to help keep your commercial remodel on schedule.
1. Perform Research Before Hiring Each Subcontractor
We all do our due diligence when buying a product or service for ourselves. It’s no different when hiring a subcontractor.
It’s best to hire single-faceted subcontractors as opposed to “jack of all trades”. Subcontractors who have one sole area to focus on are less likely to be late in their work or have delays pop up.
A good subcontractor will also have lots of work experience and be professional in their work. Some easy ways to research a contractor are:
- Read through their Google Reviews
- Check their license and the permits they’ve pulled on BuildZoom
- Ask for previous customer references to speak with
- Visit a current job they are working on to see them at work
Lastly, pay attention to their brand and their communication. Do they have a modern website? Do they post to social media? Do they have followers and likes? Are they responsive to messages, emails, and phone calls?
Contractors that value their image and reputation tend to be good at their work and easier to work with than contractors who don’t.
Your research process should weed out the “bad apples” of the subcontracting world. The last thing you need is a subcontractor that will constantly be unresponsive, late, or coming up with excuses why something didn’t get done on time or correctly.
2. Solidify A Regular Work Schedule for Each Subcontractor
If a project starts without a timeline & a thorough schedule, how can you expect to open your remodeled space on time?
Always start your project timeline by establishing the date the renovated space must be ready. Then work backward. Be sure to allocate sufficient time for each phase of the remodel.
Once you’ve determined your project timeline, you should be intentional about getting your subcontractors to commit to a specific timeline for their phase of the project.
Determining a detailed schedule of work helps you keep subcontractors accountable for their work and gives them a clear goal for when to be finished.
Subcontractors should not have any qualms with establishing a time commitment. And if they do? Well… that’s probably not a subcontractor with whom you should be working in the first place.
3. Set Expectations Beforehand
In addition to your project schedule, take time to speak with each contractor before their work begins about what their expectations are and to share your expectations with them.
Everything from the best method of communication and payment terms to project clean-up and material costs. This will help you address any issues that arise and keep everyone on the same page.
If you don’t establish your expectations early on, managing your project can become more of a burden than you or your subcontractors are ready to deal with.
4. Figure Out Ways to Make Up for Lost Time Due to Delays
It’s inevitable that delays will come up over the course of a commercial remodel. Material shortages, shipping delays, and inclement weather are all common issues that cause projects to lag behind.
That’s why it’s important to build delays into your timeline and be conservative with scheduling your project. Just like it’s better to underpromise and overdeliver, it’s best to complete a project ahead of schedule rather than behind.
Another good practice to ensure your project stays ahead of schedule is to give subcontractors the opportunity to work outside of business hours or on weekends should a delay occur. The idea of doing this is to make up for some of the lost time from inevitable delays. This approach should not be forced upon subcontractors, but at least asking never hurt anybody.
If you and a contractor have agreed to make up for delays by working weekends or after hours, be sure to discuss any payment increase ahead of time to account for any overtime billing. Failing to set this expectation can lead to inflated project labor costs.
Prepare So You Can Succeed
It’s exciting to move into a newly renovated space for any business. Don’t let delays and unmet expectations take away from your company’s milestone.
With dedicated preparation before your project begins, you can eliminate many of the worries and headaches that arise for unprepared project owners.