This summer is shaping up to be my busiest summer ever and for the most part, I am managing the renovations to go along with the design. This past weekend I shared a scenario I ran into with a great group of designers. I love having a design group to bounce ideas off of and learn from each other. It because evident from the discussion that for some designers, they cringe at the prospect of running a renovation. For me, I actually love to run the projects! I find creating the budget and the timeline puts me in the driver’s seat to ensure the design that is slated for the home will go from a paper dream to a reality.
Managing Your Renovation
Being an anally organized person (and I don’t mind calling myself that), I love taking charge and knowing when a renovation is going to start and when it’s going to be completed. I wish to make it clear that I am not a General Contractor. Period. I am always upfront with my clients about the language that I use. So what does that exactly mean to manage a renovation?
As Project Manager, I oversee all the trades and will ensure their scope of the work is completed properly. This includes:
- Booking in trade(s) to view the site prior to construction to obtain quotes for the work.
- Presenting the quotes to you (the client).
- Creating the construction calendar to allow the project to run on time.
- If required, I will oversee the budget and manage the budget. If this is the case, a progress payment schedule will be created andpresented.
- Provide a weekly update on progress and check in with each trade prior to their work and after their work.
I had a another designer ask me what I thought the advantage was of me managing the renovation. Here is what I told her:
- The design plan stays in tact. What does that mean? It means that there should be no (to minimal) changes when construction starts. IF there are any changes, I get to make that call (of course always ensuring the client is on board) to ensure the design stays in tact.
- I create the timeline to create the overall Renovation Calendar. I love showing clients the calendar and walking them through who will be accessing their home, when a certain trade will be done their scope of work, etc.
- Communication – and this should probably be number one on the list. I love communicating progress and love letting my clients know what has been done and what is going on. I am a firm believer that there is not such a thing as over communicating!
- Controlling the budget. When I get full control of the budget, I ensure that it stays in tact. If there are any curveballs throughout the renovation, the client and I discuss the situation(s) and make a plan to move forward without impacting the budget. There are times where compromises have to be made, but I ensure that it does not change the design (the look and feel that we are going for).
- Stress free for the client. Now, is it stress free for me? For the most part, it is stress free. Why? I believe it’s due to the processes and systems that I have in place and have created that are proven to be successful. For the client, I really wish to make their experience as stress-free as I can possibly make it. For some clients there needs to be a lot of hand-holding (which I’m totally fine doing) while others let me drive the ship until the project is complete.
One of the many projects I have managed.
A Bonus For You
What it really comes down to it is that I’m a total control freak. I have high expectations and I have very high standards. While some of the trades that I use are certainly not the cheapest, they are the best. This takes away any discussion about deficiencies and ensures the next trade is not delayed due to deficiencies. To me, it’s a no-brainer. Surround yourself with good and the results you get will be amazing! Wouldn’t you want that for your renovation? As I’ve said before, I treat all my clients like they are family. I would only want the best for my family and as such, I only want the best for you.
While I can see that for some, Project Managing would be horrible for them, I love it. I get all jacked-up when the calendar gets made, when the dumpster gets delivered, and my sign goes up on the property! Nothing gets me more excited than starting a new project and seeing it transform right before my eyes!