Renovation Myth Number 1: Winter Months Are A Bad Time For Home Renovations!

PPR Myth Buster Number 1: 

In Fact, Starting a Renovation from December through February Promotes Construction and Financial Quality Advantages!

home owners dreams, renovations, remodeling,

Are You Considering a Home Renovation? Whether you are buying a house — or have been living in your home for years — you and your family may be imagining renovations that would transform the ho-hum into the Home of Your Dreams!

Winter Time is a Perfect Time to Plan so You Can Begin Inspection and Construction as Early as Late Winter! Use your Holiday time to celebrate AND to collect your ideas and pictures about what it will take to make your renovation a dream-come-true!

Here’s Why: Renovation projects begin with an Architect, an Engineer, and your Project Manager who has your back from the inception to the completion of the Project, including onsite oversight for the Inspection and the Construction phases—with a Project Manager, most often you will not need a General Contractor.

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Start planning in December & January and, most likely, it will be late Winter before even a demolition of your renovation-to-be or a shovel has taken its first turn on the earth. And you will be able to take advantage of “Slow Season” prices! Also, keep in mind that any projects of size can take a year or more from inception to completion, so getting started earlier than later means you get to enjoy your new lifestyle space(s) sooner than later!

Examples of the Most Popular Renovation Projects…

                                    Can You Find the One You are Looking for or

                                         Do You have Another Project in Mind?

Kitchens & Dining Areas (Indoor & Outdoor)

2nd Floor Add-On to Traditional Ranch House

1st Floor Master Bedroom with a Spa-like EnSuite Bathroom

Carriage/Gate House for Family, Friends or as a Rental

In-Law Suite with Separate Entrance and a Full Set of Amenities

Media Room, Recreation and/or Fitness Center

Live-In Caretaker Suite

Porches & Patios

Exterior Face Lift with New Entries

Out-of-Town Vacation Property or Condo

Combinations of the above

Here are the 8 Advantages to Beginning Your Renovation Planning, Design, Property Inspection, and the Initial Stages of Construction in the Late Winter…

1) Winter is the Slow Season for Renovations – More quality trades are available and you or your Project Manager (PM) will experience more convenient and expedited project scheduling.

2) Better Prices  The “Slower Season” opens the opportunity for better negotiating costs for Time & Materials.

3) If You’re Going to be Away for the Winter Months, and you have your design plans completed, that’s the perfect time to renovate! A Project Manager (PM) can be your project WatchDog and keep you fully informed.

4) Shorter Time for Permits — The government agencies will be less busy so you or your Project Manager (PM) can get your permits and inspections quicker.

5) Frozen Ground and Dry Air are Better for Digging Foundations and pouring concrete footers than muddy ground and humidity.

6) Avoid Manufacturer Spring and Summer Price Increases — Now is the time to take advantage of reduced prices. You and your Project Manager (PM) may find close-out prices on materials, systems and appliances before manufacturers increase their prices to suppliers who will pass those increases onto you later on in the Season.

7) Gardens and yards can recover in the Spring — Gardens and lawns take a beating during any kind of construction, no matter how careful your workers are – the construction process creates traffic and materials which need to be temporarily stored and/or moved over your lawn. The advantage of renovating during winter is that any garden damage will recover far faster with the vibrant growth which Spring brings!

8) And Last, but not Least, Your Dream Renovation will be Finished Sooner-Than-Later!

What are the 4 Disadvantages to Beginning a Renovation in the Winter Months? 1) Shorter days for outdoor work 2) Possible weather delays 3) The need for Plowing & Shoveling 4) Temporary Heating may be needed.

Even so, most people agree that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages!

The Bottom-Line…What’s the Point of Waiting? Most people want to live in a home which they thoroughly enjoy, which meets their needs, and which has room for everyone. They want to be proud of their home…Here’s your opportunity to participate in your home design and own something you will truly enjoy and be proud of.

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How to Get Started? Call us at 216.577.1307. One of the simplest ways to start the Renovation Process —without contracts or obligations — is to discuss your dream with a Project Manager (PM) whowill walk you through the stages involved in a renovation, the professionals required, address your concerns, and answer important questions.

If you’d like to discuss your Dream and how the PPR WatchDog will protect your real estate property interests during a renovation project, email phil@contactppr.com or call 216.577.5579 

For Your Reading – Recently PPR wrote a Blog on the difference between a Project Manager (PM) and a General Contractor (GC). To protect your interests, and only your interests, the PM manages your Renovation from Inception to Completion with onsite oversight at every phase of the Project, including the Inspection and Construction phases. The GM takes on the Construction Phase only.

 

How To Avoid the Renovation Nightmares You’ve Heard About!

Choose a Project Manager (PM) – OVER – a General Contractor (GC)

You’ve Heard the Horror Stories..And I’ve Been There Myself! Many years ago I depended on a GC to oversee a large renovation project only to find myself in the midst of continual project delays, inferior materials and installations and as a result, a project completed at a lesser quality Using a Project Manager - Making the right renovation decision!than the overall design had dictated plus many lost dollars. The GC made claims and promises he did not keep and I had virtually no recourse. I learned then how important an Owner Representative Project Manager is…one who provides onsite oversight to meet the owner’s objectives from project inception to project completion. Choosing a PM over a GC makes it possible to survive a renovation so that planned outcomes are realized with a minimum of unplanned disruptions, stress, sleepless nights, problems with partners, and financial losses!

Choose the Smoothest Renovation Project Experience: Hire a PM, NOT a GC! The common wisdom is that a residential and/or commercial real estate renovation project requires a GC to head up the construction, which is only one phase of the project . Unfortunately, especially in the residential realm, most owners are not aware of the more comprehensive role which a PM plays in a renovation: managing a renovation project from design, through construction to completion. In other words, the PM oversees the entire project as the owner’s representative; the GC only operates during the construction phase representing his/her staff of trades and vendors supplying construction materials. The use of a PM is more common to commercial projects, and high-end construction and renovations. They are utilized by top architectural firms.

Unfortunately, most owners planning to begin a renovation project begin the construction process by interviewing and asking for bids from GCs only after working with architects and engineers during the design phase. The wiser course is for the owner to seek out a PM at the start of the design process who then moves into the construction phase understanding, visualizing, and executing the overall project design through onsite oversight.

Here’s Where Many Renovation Nightmares Begin! Not realizing that they have the PM choice, many owners try to find a GC thinking the GC represents their interests and will therefore work to meet their specific needs, complete the project on time and stay in budget. Most owners who have undertaken a renovation, however, encounter the following problems as a result of working with a GC because a GC is NOT the owner’s representative, but rather represents their staff of trades and their materials vendors.

Common GC Nightmares

                                  Lack of Communications                                                             Systems Failure

                                  Attitude Problems w/Subcontractors                                        Unfinished Projects

                                  Starting & Quitting Times w/ Workers                                       Missed Deadlines

                                  Worker Cleanliness, Attire and Language                                 Lack of Invoices and Documentation

                                  Lack of Craftsmanship                                                                  Project Cost Overruns

                                  Substandard Materials and Installation                                     Delayed Completion Dates

                                  Lack of GC Project & Worker Oversight                                     Lack of Transparency

                                  Unfinished Projects                                                                        Lack of Ongoing Accountability

                                  Lack of Oversight                                                                            Inferior Materials

                                  Inferior Installations                                                                       Expensive Litigation

Need More Info on the Difference Between a PM and a GC? Here are Some Details… 

The Project Manager (PM) becomes involved in the owner’s renovation process during the planning/ pre-construction phase and continues to work on behalf of the client by overseeing the construction project on a day-by-day basis from start to finish. The PM vets the best of workers, trades, and subcontractors to complete each individual phase of the project with a concentrated effort to streamline project scheduling among the trades to keep the focus on quality, cost and time. By involving PMs early in the development process, the pre-construction design team is capable of making more informed decisions and the construction team is capable of deriving more precise cost estimates, thereby saving the client time and money. The collaboration between the client, construction Project Manager, architects and engineers results in a better-informed and more efficient project process, further strengthens relationships, and yields specific and overall project outcomes which best meet the client’s plan design.

The General Contractor (GC) becomes involved after the architects and engineers have completed the plans and is responsible for only the management and coordination of the construction phase of a project. GCs are typically hired on by the client through a bidding process that integrates the advice from the client’s consultants, namely the architects and engineers. Often the lowest qualified bid is selected for the job. The GC uses his own staff, trades, subcontractors and materials vendors with whom he/she has a working relationship. Once the construction process is underway, the GC primarily interacts with the client through the architect. There is little to no effort made to foster an environment of cooperation and collaboration between the GC, client, and architect. Often, this results in misunderstandings, confrontations, hostilities and less than planned-for project outcomes.

                           Item-by-item Comparison Between a PM and a GM

Project Manager (PM)

General Contractor (GC)

Works with Architects & Engineers at the beginning of the Real Estate Renovation project– Assists with design and purchasing

Bids on project after architectural & engineering plans are drafted – Not involved in the client, architect, or engineer’s design vision so execution can be compromised

Has the capacity to manage multiple types of projects

Often has expertise and workers focused on specific types of construction

Vets and hires the most expert trades and professionals to construct each job associated with the renovation, researches the best solutions for the design, and oversees materials quality and installation

Utilizes own staff, trades, and materials vendors with whom they have an ongoing relationship, often with cursory regard for the expertise needed for a given project

Trades and subcontractors hired by PM as the Owner’s Representative

Trades and subcontractors work for GC – Client has little or no say

Works with the client, architect, and designers to select materials compatible with the owners specifications

Generally works with the materials provided by the client through the architects and designers, and/or the materials vendors with whom the GC has a financial relationship, with minimal, if any, client input

As the Owner’s Representative, works with Architects, Engineers and specific trades to assure that all permits are obtained, work is to code, and that inspections go smoothly to protect the owner

Generally expects the Architects, Engineers and Subcontractors to handle permits, code violations and inspections with the responsibility for meeting code requirements left to the Client.

Works with client on paying trades and subcontractors when projects – or parts of projects – have been inspected for quality and approved when the job specifications have been met. Provides the client with invoices and daily work logs

Client pays GC who pays the Trades and Subcontractors and materials as agreed upon with client, most often without critical materials and/or project quality inspection and approval…GC may or may not itemize expenses and hours for the client

Communicates with the client on a daily basis – or as agreed upon. Total transparency re: the concerns, progress and costs of projects

Generally have limited communications with the client – unless there are major problems, delays or when more funding is required

Provides onsite oversight whenever work is being done on projects associated with the renovation, inspecting projects for quality as work is being done

Is on site only as needed by the trades and subcontractors with cursory oversight for quality of materials and installation specified by the project design

Here’s a Second Opinion About the Value of a PM vs a GC

From a Leader in the Construction Industry…

Watchdogpm is an owner representative firm for large commercial and industrial projects and is not related to PPR. Watchdogpm says that before you decide whether to hire a Project PM or a GC for your next real estate project, you should

…know the difference. And if you can’t decide, do your project a favor: hire a project manager who will manage your full project scope, not just construction.”

Here’s the PPR Conclusion – If you want a strong foundation for the real estate renovation project you are Project Manager, construction manager, home renovations, remodeling, real estateconsidering, it’s time to take the 1st Steps by putting together your management team: Architect; Engineers and Project Manager. Then your renovation project will be completed with a minimum of fuss and bother and a maximum of satisfaction and pride!

We’re good listeners at PPR and if you and we agree that the fit is right our PPR WatchDog is ready, willing and able to protect your real estate interests by managing the full scope of your project through onsite oversight–from inception to completion!

Want to discuss your project? Contact PPR by email or call 216.577.5579