How to master time management for your home renovation

Belinda Punshon 6 October 2015 NEWS

How to master time management

More often than not, the focal point of a major home renovation project is the budget, yet many forget that time is also of the essence.

The old maxim that time is money can be very true when you're in the midst of a renovation. While it's easy to remember to budget your money, it's harder to remember to budget your time. If you don't budget your time, however, you may find your money slipping away as well. Here’s how you can plan for your home renovation and create a timeline to save both your money and your sanity.

Renovation project management

Plan in advance

When planning for the renovation, the estimated time taken for core pre-construction activities are as follows;

ActivityEstimated timeframe
Measuring area2 weeks
Concept agreement2-3 weeks
Budget(e.g. sourcing and finalising quotes from suppliers)2 weeks
Construction documents(e.g. submitting plans to council)3 weeks Note: If zoning is involved, this may take longer.
Finalising the design/aesthetics5 weeks

* Please note the above time estimates should be used as a guide only and will vary from project to project.

Budget and timeline go hand-in-hand

As your budget is integral to your home improvement, your project timeline should include detailed costings that encompass labour, materials and council fees.

Savvy home renovators know that major projects can end up taking much longer than anticipated, so as long as you allow for both time and budget contingencies, you won’t be forced to put the renovation on hold half way through completion.

ALSO READ: Read our tips for sticking to a shoestring renovation budget here.

Get your finance sorted

Once you know your budget, the best thing you can do to ensure you can stick to your timeline is to get your financing in order. You'll need to apply for a construction home loan, but to be approved you'll need your builder's plans and council approvals. However, you can get a head start by getting pre-approval so you have a better idea of the budget you'll have to work with.

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Create a realistic timeline

With unexpected changes likely to occur at many stages of the construction process, it’s important that you set your objectives and time estimates from the outset.

While the timeframe will largely depend on the scope of the project as well as the budget, you should set a clear timeline for your renovation works and allow additional time for contingencies to ensure that you stay on track.

Try to set a rough deadline for when you’d like the project to be completed as the ability to see the finish line will keep you motivated throughout.

Stay on track

A major part of renovation project management is ensuring that the work is completed on schedule and within the parameters of your timeline.

You can ensure that work is carried out on time by contacting your local council or authority to see what kind of red tape is required for your project —not having the paperwork lodged on time can be a real setback in terms of holding up construction.

Another way to ensure that the work is completed on time is to check the availability of materials during your initial planning stage and develop a timeline based on quoted delivery dates. You should also create a contingency plan with your tradesmen for work that can be conducted in other areas if you are left waiting for major materials or appliances to be delivered. The contingency plan should also outline the process involved if there are any delays, as well as which tradesmen will be on site and how often.

Be decisive

Timemanagement2

While changing your mind about aspects of the renovation, such as your choice of fittings or artwork may be inevitable, try to avoid making fundamental changes to your renovation plan as this will not only push back the completion date, but it will also add to the final cost.

Consider a project manager

Whether you’re a homeowner or investor, one of the biggest decisions you’ll need to make is whether you’ll leverage the services of an independent project manager.

By using a project manager, you can benefit from their network of reliable and reasonably priced tradespeople that could save you both time and money. You can also ensure that they will honestly assess the quality of the work. A project manager, rather than a builder, is more likely to act in your best interests and point out if there are any structural issues that require attention.

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