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Monday, December 8, 2008

Understanding the Flow of your Remodeling Project

When we enter into a relationship with our clients as a professional remodeling firm in Charleston, SC, it is important to be reminded that the pulse of each home remodeling or home renovation project beats at it own individual pace. With all the excitement, demands and temporary lifestyle changes that accompany a project, efforts must be made to stay focused on the goal. It is important that while witnessing bursts of activity and seemingly apparent lolls that you understand progress is under way and is advancing in an orderly fashion.

We move from dramatic, obvious progress in the early stages of demolition and structural work, to less obvious necessities such as wiring and finish preparation. Appreciating the pace of construction helps to manage expectations and ensure your overall satisfaction.

Early in the project, the remodeling process shows daily or even hourly developments. As your project craftsman removes old fixtures and cabinets, tears down walls and rebuilds them, and roughs-in new plumbing and electrical services, the remodeled space quickly begins to take shape. There are also times when your project is put temporality on hold while we wait for sign offs by the building inspector. While every effort is made to assure this process occurs without delay, their schedules are outside of our control.

These early phases of home remodeling happen faster than the finishing stages because they usually involve large-dimension components such as the wall studs and roof rafters. When these large elements are removed or reconfigured you see a sudden change from what was there before. In addition, there are often several workers on the job site at the same time to manage big pieces of material and to shape other "rough" stages of the job. The electrician, plumber, and heating contractors, for instance, may all be present to install their respective in-wall systems before the newly framed areas are filled with insulation and covered over with drywall.

Similarly, the installation of windows and doors, and roofing and siding materials occur nearly as quickly as the remodeled areas demolition and structural reconstruction, resulting in a tangible finished exterior shell. It is an encouraging and exciting time for everyone involved because the new space has become a three-dimensional reality.

From that point, however, the pace appears to slow as the project moves from the "rough" to the “finished” stage. Progress continues but gives way to more subtle improvements. For instance while the placement of drywall occurs relatively quickly, the process of taping and texturing these surfaces to prepare them for paint, wallpaper, or other textures is necessarily slow. Because of the nature of this work, few other elements of the project can be addressed during this phase of the finishing process, so the "buzz" of activity of the earlier phases of the job is now much quieter.

Typically, from this point to the project's completion, our various trade partners must operate in a defined sequence. For instance, the cabinets and countertops must be installed before the appliances and plumbing fixtures can be connected and finished. When hardwood floors are finished, they will need time to cure and during the installation and finishing, no other trade partners will be able to be present. Meanwhile, interior painting is coordinated after the drywall and trim is in place. The small yet intricate details such as installing faceplates, switch plates, light fixtures, detail finishes and floor finishes to only mention a few, are all facilitated and managed by our team.

The necessity for such an ordered rate at which this stage of construction occurs can test the patience of any homeowner. To help ease the anxiety or mystery, we will work to keep you abreast of all progress, as well as map out expectations – both yours and ours. Please remember to refer to your job site notebook. It is a great tool for keeping you informed of what is going on with your project. We also want you to feel comfortable communicating with your project craftsmen, project manager and of course me (Bob Fleming). Our goal is to meet and exceed your expectations and this can only be done if you feel supported and in-the-know.

Whether your new space involves a one room remodeling project, bathroom or kitchen remodeling, or a complete house remodeling in Charleston, SC, each project will be unique and will involve its own challenges and rewards.

Far from grinding to a halt, your remodeling project is always on a steady course towards completion. Understanding the pace of remodeling, from dynamic beginnings to the precision of completion, helps you establish realistic expectations as you look forward to the transformed home of your dreams!

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