We're wrapping up our latest rehab currently and I've stumbled upon many things we can do next time to improve the process. The biggest thing I've taken away is that we need to have a thoroughly detailed design and plan for our contractors. We've had a lot of ideas in our heads and it just doesn't transfer. We've had a tough time with contractors and I'm looking for ways to make the process more effecient.
I'd love some ideas and material to study so I know what to employ in my design package that I can give to my contractors. I figure if they have the final design of everything then we won't run into problems with outlets being placed 2" in the wrong direction, or lights blocking a cabinet door swing, etc. If any developers out there have sample packages they can upload I'd be very gratious. I look forward to ideas!
You couldn't have learned a more valuable lesson. I don't care what kind of project it is whether it's a small deck or a whole home remodel, a detailed, written plan make's everything go "to plan". How can your project possibly go as planed if it isn't planed. I'm having the same discussion with my business partner right now. On the contractor side of this, if it isn't in a written plan in the beginning, it's a change order and change orders cost money and time.
Completely agree! If things change mid job they should be compensated somehow.
For many houses, it's obvious what needs to be done and where things go. For example, when it's purely a cosmetic rehab and you are just replacing things, not relocating them or redesigning them. In those cases, you should have a list of materials and SKUs so that you can place a materials order quickly and easily and have the materials delivered to the house. Then you can just put the fixers next to where they are supposed to get installed so the contractor knows which fixture goes in which location.
For houses where there are design changes, you should have a professional cabinet layout, an electrical plan, a trim plan, etc. These things should include locations, measurements and any other details your contractor will require to do the job without you having to be on-site to supervise and answer questions.
definitely put together a parts list with numbers. You can also do a design of your project using a design software. I have been using Google sketchup for years now. It easy to learn , 3d and 2d modeling. Its free to download. I would say anyone that is doing any rehabbing with design work to get this.
When I had my personal residence built recently one thing that helped with stuff like that was to mark on the wall or floor where stuff should go.
Looks like you've keyed in on some important lessons from your flip. Having a plan/idea on paper really helps convey what you want the finished product to look like. I'm a very visual person, so I can walk into a room and "see" the finished product. My wife on the other hand, is not. She needs to see it before she can "see" it if you know what I mean.
I've really gotten into the 2d and 3d design work for home interiors, and am looking to build a portfolio as I put together a business. If you need help on your next project let me know. I've done it for a few BP members pro-bono so long as I can use the designs and before/after photos in my portfolio. I can do different designs all day, but it is something else entirely to see someone take a design and make it real. Unfortunately I can't afford to do that multiple times over :).
I definitely recommend Google Sketchup. A nice 3D rendering of your ideas is invaluable. When you show that to the contractors, there is no confusion on what you want.
If you are not into learning another program...like google sketch up you can outsource this through freelancer etc. You submit photos with measurements and instructions. I used this when I helped design a franchise based business for a client. Way more cost effective if you don't need architect drawings & my city seems to approve any permits much faster with their usage.
Thanks for all the input everyone. I've actually learned the basics of Sketchup years ago before I was introduced to Autocad. I actually use autocad for my real job as a technical director for a theatre - Think of it as a GC for designing and building a show for the stage. I've been overwhelmingly pleased to learn how much of my training carries over to rehab work.
Once I'm on my own rehab I'll approach it just as I would approach the design for a show. Start with a design package after doing research on what best fits the play (in this case research what is fashionable now). Draw out EVERYTHING (still always working on improving my drafting skills) and plan it all out as well.
With Autocad I only do 2d drafting and my 3d drafting in sketch up is quite limited. I simply don't do enough detail in those to make it accurate enough but perhaps I'll pick that up again. I start my technical director job tomorrow actually at my college so perhaps I'll improve my 3d drafting with sketch up once again.
Thank all for the input!
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