ready, set, plan
You've seen the house now (or if you haven't, you can here). Even a renovation novice would guess we had a lengthy list of "to do" items. The list started long. Then we did a home inspection, and the list got longer in some places and shorter in others. Then we started doing work, discovered new issues, and the list got even longer. And finally, as we finished work, things that were "good enough" before now looked out of place, and the list seemed never-ending. Which I guess is good news if you're enjoying this blog, because that means a never-ending list of things to write about!
So all said and done, here is our high-level project list:
With a list like this, there are a couple ways to proceed:
- Hire a general contractor.
- Be your own project manager and hire individual contractors.
- Some combination of the two.
Option 1 is great when you don't have the time or know-how to be heavily involved, and when you aren't overzealous with timeframes.
Option 2 is great when you can commit time to the project, when you want to save some money, and when you're on a (real or self-imposed) tight timeframe.
Option 3 is the most realistic option, and can veer more to option 1 or option 2 depending on your circumstances. In this scenario, you pull out pieces you want to manage, you bundle together pieces and hire contractor(s) to manage them, and you parallel process various tasks.
We went with Option 3, heavily weighted to the Option 2 side of the spectrum. We had the time and know-how to serve as project managers, we wanted the ability to negotiate prices on nearly every independent project, and we wanted to work on lots of projects simultaneously to be able to move into our new house as soon as possible. Most people would assume a project of this scale would take close to 6 months to complete...
We wanted to move into our dream home, and we did, in just 6 weeks!
How did we do it? Planning, research, organization, and spreadsheets :)
In order for this to work, you need to know what projects you're doing, who's completing them, when they're starting, when they'll be completed, and how much they will cost. It's also helpful to track expected and actual dates and costs, because it helps you evaluate vendors for future projects, manage your budget real-time, and adjust future scheduled work when current work gets delayed.