One of our friends asks about a remodeling job they are having done in the next few weeks. It seems that their older home still has what they call wire and knob electrical in their upstairs walls. Before they move into the home they would like to upgrade the electrical and also finish the floors. The floors will be done by a professional and so will the electrical but they expect to do the plaster wall repairs themselves.
The problem they are having is to decide if they can complete the plaster repair themselves and if they will be able to get it done before the floor guys come.
This is a common problem that general contractor home builders have every day. They need to have their contractors arrive and complete their work in a tight schedule. In addition they have work that relies on other contractors getting done before them.
You can’t refinish a floor while plaster repairs are going on however the family wants this work done before they move in. They actually want all of it done and they want to perform some of the work themselves and that work is something they are not experts at doing.
Timing Your Contractors in a Tight Schedule
If you are a general contractor then you have crews that you can depend on. Yes that is pretty much a lie. Every crew that you hire to work on your job will have work that they are currently doing and jobs scheduled after yours. They may give you a window of a day or a week but whatever they tell you there is a high probability that unless you are checking with them again and again they will either be late or they will be splitting the day between you and someone else.
Contractors that split work are still better than ones that don’t show up at all because often they can come out and complete work that will need time to wait such as curing of stains and top coats, installing tile that needs a day before grout.
You don’t want them sitting on your job site getting paid for watching paint dried however you do want them showing up and working so the next contractors you have lined up can start their work.
If you are a general contractor and work with sub-contractors over many years you build up a list of your best guys and a list of backup guys.
If you are a home owner and you are completing a job that requires many contractors to be on time and complete work before the next can start the only thing you can do is space the time between jobs so that you have buffers.
In the project described there are two contractors that must have full access to the area. An electrician who should do their work first and then a flooring contractor that can’t be dealing with dust and problems that an electrician will cause or the contractor or home owner completing drywall or plaster repair.
The best thing to do in this case is for the home owner to place all of their stuff in the lower floor rooms while the work is done. If they have to sleep in the living room then they have to do that for a couple days.
This way they can space out their contractors to make sure everything is done correctly and they can take the time and save money by repairing the plaster walls themselves and make sure everything is painted and done before the flooring contractor gets there.
Do it yourself projects should always be given extra time even if you know the work very well and have done it in the past. But if you are learning on the job you need to double or triple what a contractor would take in time if you expect to not have headaches or other contractors getting ticked off at you because they have another job after yours that needs to start on time.
So the answer here is Add More Time to the project.