Seven Ways to Keep Your Custom Renovation on Track

My husband is a Cabinet Maker by trade.  Over the last 15 years he has worked hard to help homeowners understand the building process and the details they miss when looking at the progress of their own renovation.  When cabinet boxes go in, it looks like a lot of work has been done, and in homeowners’ minds this is where the project slows down.

So if you are new to renovating, here are some helpful tips that will help you see the progress of your project even when it looks like nothing is being done.

  1. Most importantly, ASK! As a general rule contractors are more than willing to answer any questions you may have.  Good communication is great for both sides.
  2. If this is a custom job, keep in mind that products used in your project are not found at your local Home Depot. Birch wood, for example, needs to be custom ordered and processed in a shop.  That simply takes time.
  3. Speaking of processing wood in a shop, a lot of custom projects are pushed forward away from the work site. There is a lot of shop work involved in building custom anything!
  4. Every project is different, with different dimensions and problems. They are not building the same thing over and over, allowing for speed in the project.  No, they are building a kitchen just for you and that oftentimes presents its own challenges.  Half of cabinet making is solving problems.
  5. Trades do not work in synchronicity. One regular problem in building kitchens is plumbing.  It is often not where it should be.  So in order for the kitchen sink cabinet box to fit, plumbing will have to be moved.   Each trade has its own schedule and that alone can add days to a project.
  6. Remember the hardware! Each handle for your cabinet is ordered and needs to be installed by your cabinet maker.  But handles are obvious.  Time is spent by your contractor, ordering and installing every drawer slide, hinge, and shelf peg.  Small but vital parts of your project.
  7. Changes can be made in Custom built projects. Keep this in mind as a homeowner.  How many changes and tweaks did you add?  Every change is doable, but it does cost time and money.

Communication is key in any relationship and contractors rely on your input.  Talk with them and let them know what you are thinking.  If you are interested in starting your own custom project contact Phil@phydrake.com or phone: 403-680-8109.

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