Homestead Timber Frames

Make Your Own Construction Schedule

Posted by Larry Johnson on May 15, 2017 12:00:00 PM

DSC_0587.jpgThe process of building a timber frame home is an incredibly rewarding one, but it can be very stressful as well.  You’ll have a great deal placed before you to learn and consider, which can create a web of worries that may easily entangle you if you aren’t careful.  Preparing yourself for what’s to come can take a lot of weight off of your shoulders, and you can do this easily by creating your own construction schedule.  Read on to learn how a construction schedule can benefit your project – as well as how you can make your own.

You might start out by asking your contractor to give you his construction schedule for your project.  If they can’t produce one, then let them know you’ll be working on one to share for their input.  Creating a construction schedule builds an open path to harmony between you and your contractor.  By sharing your construction schedule with your contractor, they can let you know if you’re expecting too much within a certain time frame.  You can then gain knowledge of the timeline scheduled and what is required from you by a certain date.  On the other hand, it also shows you if your timber frame home is falling behind schedule.  Your construction schedule gives you a little bit of recourse if your contractor isn’t meeting deadlines, providing all delays are within your contractor’s control

If you’re concerned about sticking to your construction budget, a construction schedule gives you a great way to stay on track.  When you can see which portions of your project are slated to be completed, you’ll have a better idea of when each payment will come due and plan for that.  Being able to pay on time will keep your project moving forward in the smoothest possible manner.  It also helps keep relations between you and your contractor nice and warm!

When you’re in the middle of building a timber frame home, it can feel as if life is slowly grinding to a halt.  Your frame may be up, but there’s still a lot left to do.2016-01-27 15.30.10_enh.jpg  Having a construction schedule in hand gives you the peace of mind of having an idea when the construction of your home may be finished.  It’s possible that you’ve sold your previous home and you’re having to stay in a rental with a six month or one year lease or with relatives which, while a nice gesture on their part, can be an inconvenience for all involved.  Being able to have an idea of when your home will be move-in ready should be number one on your Construction Schedule. 

Excel_1.jpgWe’ve spoken at length about how a construction schedule can be helpful to you and your contractor in the process of building your timber frame home.  Now we’re going to fill you in on how to make one for yourself.  Your construction schedule can be created using Microsoft Excel, and will be a cinch if you’re familiar with the creation of Gantt charts.  If not, we’ve found a handy tutorial for you here.

Before you dive into creating your schedule, you might want to sit down with yourExcel_2.jpg contractor to ensure that all of your details are exactly as they should be.  Have your contractor round up and list each element they’ll be taking care of, such as subcontractors and permits, and call the proper authorities to get an idea of timing.  Once you’ve conferred with your contractor, get all of the information that they have gathered and prepare it for your schedule.  On your end, you’ll be sitting down with someone at your bank to discuss your project and find out about fund disbursement schedules.

As you sit down to make your construction schedule, factor in some leeway for potential delays regarding the timing that your contractor has given you on the completion of each stage.  Inclement weather and unforeseen emergencies can prevent your contractor and their subcontractors from working for several days, turning a regular five-day work week into a two or three-day work week.  This can be upsetting if you’re not prepared for it, so allow a few time cushions to make sure your project stays on track.  Holidays will impact your schedule as well.  Outside of the primary construction phase, there are other factors such as failed inspections that can impede the progress of your home.  Bottom line: be prepared and schedule for everything!

Much of your construction schedule will pertain to the work of your contractor and to the purchases of things such as big appliances, windows, lighting, and siding.  Your contractor should have a schedule of his own, but your construction schedule will help you feel “in the know”, so to speak, and keep you on your toes in regards to having deadlines for your own big purchases as they come up.  For instance, you may want to schedule yourself some time to find:

  • Flooring and any custom tile work
  • Kitchen cabinetry and appliances
  • Bathroom fixtures and cabinetry
  • Interior and Exterior Lighting
  • Exterior stone – Roofing – Exterior siding
  • Interior and Exterior doors

Note:  special orders for custom items will usually take extra time – please allow that in order to not hold up installation.

budget.jpgYour construction schedule will also help you stick to a budget on these purchases, but also give yourself some leeway for increases as needed.  For instance, you may not like a walk-in shower today that you liked a few months ago and the option you like now is much more costly.  Or maybe a certain set of lights you’ve had your eye on has jumped in price since you last saw them.  Using your construction schedule to give yourself a little cushioning in your budget for such matters will do wonders to ease your mind!

You may think that your schedule is complete, but it’s never truly finished.  You’ll be constantly checking and updating your construction schedule as your timber frame home progresses through the building phase.  The construction schedule will change constantly as a result of different scenarios that will pop up through the journey.  Don’t sweat them – just be ready!

Nothing in life is ever truly perfect, and construction schedules are a testament to that.  Things may come along that could possibly threaten to derail your project, but the trick is to roll with the punches by planning ahead with your contractor to avoid unexpected delays.  Making a construction schedule will involve a lot of time and effort on your end, but you’ll be rewarded by saving a great deal of money on your project and having the ability to stay ahead of anything that comes your way.