Sunday, August 26, 2012

Kitchen part III

       Well it's been awhile but I'm slowly getting there. One of the drawbacks of doing it slow is that the project takes so long. But as far as I'm concerned having absolute control is a huge plus. Doing it yourself means you are not dependent on a contractors busy scheduling conflicts. If a contractor is running more than one job at once and only has the personnel to staff one at a time then you are caught in the middle of a juggling act that will only get worse if he picks up another job while yours is still incomplete. Also a full scale kitchen renovation requires the use of several different skilled trades and the contractor rarely has all of them on payroll so you get their busy schedules thrown into the mix. Now if you aren't up to all phases you can save time and have more control by being the contractor and having your own sub-contractors handle the work that way you have a hand in the scheduling and aren't leaving it up to one guy who may be great but is overwhelmed by all the demands on his time. But if you have all your players in on the project before it begins then they can tell you how much lead time they need to get you on their schedule. For instance if the framer tells you he's starting in the morning and will be done that day then you can call the plumber and electricians and give them a heads-up that you'll be ready for them the day after. Etc, etc,etc. Meanwhile the cabinet guys have had the prints for a couple weeks and have the cabinets ready and need to be informed when the drywall is finished so they can be building the countertops while the painter is busy cause you called him when the carpenter told you the drywall would be done and he can make sure he has all the paint and materials ready to go because you already picked out colors and other specs before the job began. You can see how complicated it all gets and scheduling around inspections, adding other trades if necessary (A/C, alarm, tile)and rain /snow delays all can slow it down. Now if a contractor is handling all of this for several jobs imagine how easily he can be overwhelmed and have all his jobs suffer for it. Bigger outfits solve this by having office people with specific jobs like scheduling, payroll, sales, message taking and forwarding as well as specialists to manage separate projects from start to finish. These 'project managers' act as mini-me reps for the contractor who has ultimate authority and responsibility. If you can afford this outfit that is great but remember you are paying for office staff, supplies, accounting, etc that have nothing to do with your job but all contribute to getting your job the attention it deserves. This long winded essay got a little off track but to get back to my summation. I managed to do it all myself. It took along time (I'm still handling details) but by biting off a piece at at time I am managing to get it done while maintaining a functional kitchen for the duration of the project which is a huge plus vs having it completely out of order for a week or more. Think about it. That kitchen sink along with all the appliances are getting pulled out of there on the first day and they aren't going back in till the end. Stay tuned for part IV