Managing Lead Time’s in a Renovation

Photo: You will want to make sure all plumbing rough-ins are onsite right after demolition.

Lead times are one of the most important things to manage in your renovation. It’s one of the things that can affect your timeline the most that you also have the most control over. If the materials are not onsite on time to be installed it can create a delay. That delay can create delays in the installation of other items as well. Over the course of a months long renovation repeatedly losing time on things like this can drastically affect your timeline.

Fortunately, with a little planning you can avoid costly and frustrating delays. You can also avoid having to choose your finishes based on what you can get in time and not what you might really want. If you are starting your bathroom renovation in 2 weeks and you expect it to take 3 weeks, the custom tile that takes 6 weeks to arrive isn’t going to work! In a major renovation this can be compounded many times over. With every material choice you make the lead time is just as important as the price and other specifications you’ll be looking for.

Give yourself enough time before your renovation starts to choose the majority of your finish items, noting the lead time of each. Create a schedule for your project so that you have a general idea of when different kinds of work will happen. That way you can order items to arrive ahead of when that work will start. Give yourself enough time to receive the materials and ensure they arrived accurately and undamaged.

Custom tiles and appliances are items that we are seeing have the longest lead times during the pandemic

The opposite problem of having some items arrive too soon can also affect the speed of your project. You don’t want big bulky appliances sitting around on your job site before hardwood floors are installed. The construction crew will speed valuable time moving them around from room to room to get them out of the way.

Finally, for anything that has a long lead time get extra! If you run out of the custom tile that took 6 weeks to arrive because you ordered 10 square feet less than you were supposed to, guess how long your tile job will sit unfinished while you wait for more, 6 more weeks!

A note about Covid…

Covid has been having a severe effect on lead times and availability of materials. Manufacturing has been affected, supply has been affected, and it has been changing rapidly. Even if you thought you knew the lead time for some materials it’s worth checking back in. We have seen things go from days to weeks, and weeks to months long waits. We have had to pivot to alternative materials or pay more for items that were less only weeks ago. Things like plumbing fixtures, hardwood floors, and appliances have been severely affected. Double check and keep and eye on how things are evolving to avoid delays.

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