Coming to the end of a home renovation is a time of mixed emotions, excitement, frustration, worry and most of all impatience to move back in. But if the end date seems to be slipping try to resist the temptation to dig your heels in and insist on the original date.
Setting a finish date that everyone can work to is important as it’s the best way to get everybody focused on finishing the job on schedule. But you do need to be a little bit flexible. There are a lot of moving parts and many people involved in getting your home ready. So things don’t always go according to plan. If delays do occur it’s much better to adjust your move date. Sticking to a date that’s unrealistic won’t speed things up but will actually prolong the process and risk ruining your relationship with all involved. Regardless of what work has to be done, it’s far faster for the builder to work with nobody living in the house.
You should allow 2 weeks for the contractor to do any touch-ups after all of the other trades have finished their work. People like joiners and flooring contractors will cause disruption to the main contractors work. These trades create a lot of dust when installing their items meaning that the contractor can’t finish any painting until this messy work is complete.
Make sure all of the electrical work is completely finished. There may be different trades involved, like electricians, audio and video specialists, and alarm suppliers – all of whom will need to drill and cut into ceilings and walls which is a dusty job. There is normally some touching up required by the contractor after these trades are finished.
Hold off on any furniture installation until the painting is totally finished. This might seem like an obvious one but you might have your furniture in storage and be keen to save costs by moving it back into your home early. Similarly, your newly purchased furniture items may have arrived but it’s much easier for the contractor to work in an empty house. Most furniture suppliers will be more than happy to hold onto your purchases until you are ready for them.
Make sure all of your storage is ready before you move in. Things like wardrobes, shelves or storage cupboards not being ready will mean that you won’t be able to put anything away so you’ll be living out of boxes. Not ideal when you’re trying to settle back in. The same goes for your kitchen, Make sure everything is complete and working properly.
Know what items are on long lead times. Speak to your contractor and find out when they need to be on site to make sure there is no hold up to the project. Things like special appliances, stoves, or anything bespoke like shower screens may have to be ordered in. Not only will this delay the project but it will also mean that you will be under pressure to choose things and have to make hasty decisions that you may regret later.
If you’re having your garden re-landscaped at the same time (which if you can budget for is really worth doing), you should leave the front garden until all of the messy stuff at the back is finished. It can be tempting to try to get the front done first so you can get your cars off the road but you risk your brand new driveway getting damaged.
Budgets can be running low at this stage of the project so the furnishings and accessories may need to be put on the long finger. Don’t worry too much about curtains and window dressing but do try to get your roller blinds fitted in the bedrooms. This will ensure you have privacy at night time and mean you’re able to sleep better too.
The need to “snag” final items is completely normal and some troubleshooting will only become apparent as you use your home. Spend a bit of time living in your home and before calling your contractor back to fix anything. It’s a good idea to save up any odd jobs like hanging pictures or mirrors etc. for the contractor and arrange for them to come back to do everything in one day.