We have potential clients come to us all the time stating that they are ready to move on their project. This is generally quickly followed by the questions of “When can you start?” and “When can we move in?” While it is possible to just get going, as stated above, your results are dependent on your planning.
The main reasons why demolition won’t start the day after you choose your contractor include jurisdictional regulations, availability of materials and the requirement of a process.
Sometimes a project requires a permit. Not all projects, but many. If this is the case, the permitting process can be a long one. Not only will you need the drawings and paperwork to provide a complete permit application, but the jurisdiction requires time to complete its review. Locally, we’ve experienced a custom home having permit approval in the City of Clyde Hill in three weeks whereas in King County, the process for a renovation permit has exceeded six months. Scope, workload, completeness of the permit application, workload of the jurisdiction and other factors all contribute to the required duration, but the main takeaway is that you should plan on it taking time to obtain your permit.
Even if you are ready to get started, that doesn’t mean your vision is complete much less the materials are available. The biggest lead time item that comes to mind is cabinets. We tend to work with cabinet distributors that carry semi-custom cabinet lines. That means that the units are modular. Even with that, because there are so many door styles, finishes and features they are specifically fabricated for our projects…and that takes time.
After the design has been finalized and the pricing nailed down (this can take weeks on its own), we are ready to order. From the time the order is placed, we are finding that delivery times are anywhere between five and twelve weeks out. There is really no point in us demolishing your kitchen until we have the parts and pieces to put it back together.
Lastly is the process. An individual contractor may have their own way of doing things, but as a customer, I personally wouldn’t want to sign a contract that gives me not only a price, but also tells me what that price includes.
I often use the example of the red car. You know you want a red car, but there are a lot of different red cars out there. A 1990 Toyota Celica with 175,000 miles is going to have different features and come with a price tag vs a 2016 Ferrari California. With your renovation, you’ll want to know what is “under the hood” of your renovation, and that takes time.
Making finish and specification selections doesn’t mean just finding a photograph, although that’s a great place to start. For us, it means meeting with our suppliers and going through a process to choose items for each space and to talk about how they’ll go together. Vision. Selection. Pricing. Presentation. Revision. That’s our process that takes place with us prior to being able to start a project.
We understand excitement and we understand urgency, but the success of a project is largely dependent on its planning. So be in a hurry to get your project done right, not just to get it done! Do you have a project that you are considering? I’d love to chat with you about your ideas and your plans. Visit our website and get an idea of the work we have done http://lakevillehomes.com/ or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Seattle-area native, Jamie Hsu is President of award-winning residential construction company Lakeville Homes. For 30 years, Lakeville Homes has been building and renovating homes on the Eastside. As a former National Association of Home Builders Remodeler of the Month, Director for the nation’s largest and oldest home builders association as well as past Chair for the local Remodelers Council, Jamie brings industry knowledge from both the customer and professional perspective.