Choreography is key to successful home remodeling projects – Daily News

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Choreography is key to successful home remodeling projects

Make sure you know who’s doing what and when to avoid conflicts and gridlock among vendors.

When in the course of your life as a homeowner you elect to embark on the often daunting task of updating your house, get ready to figure out who is in charge.

Let’s say you’ve decided to update your kitchen, bathrooms, flooring, stair banister, baseboards, and crown molding. Unless you hire a designer or a general contractor to take responsibility for the entire project (think Chip and Joanna Gaines and Hilary Farr), you’ll need to keep track of the Venn diagram of project responsibilities.

For example, when you hire folks to demo your old cabinets and counters and install the new ones, make sure you know who is going to install the new kitchen sink, faucet, and garbage disposal and all the new appliances.

If the appliances are being installed by the company you purchased them from, make sure you coordinate their arrival with the completion of the counters and cabinets. And that the water supply for the ice maker is not behind the trim for the adjacent cabinet.

While the cabinet guys might be capable of installing the appliances, you choose to go with the suppliers’ installers. Make sure everyone knows.

This is just one example of how your home improvement project might get complicated.

Most of us are interested in making our money go as far as possible. To that end, you want to get bids from multiple people on all the various projects you have in mind. What you will likely find is that not all of these vendors will come with the same skill set.

One may be able to do the counters and cabinets, but not the flooring or electrical work. Another may be able to handle the plumbing upgrades, but not the electrical. And the electrical expert may not be able to patch the drywall when all their projects have been finished.

You’ll need to manage the overlap and let people know which of their services you’re going with and which you are giving to someone else.

This is not a time for you to go on autopilot. In fact, the opposite is going to be necessary to get the result you are looking for.

Once you select your team and sign all of their contracts, make sure you create a detailed list of each person’s task, when they’re doing them and what needs to be done both before and after their parts of the project.

Make note of the things that can happen simultaneously. When projects are delayed, make sure the others down the line are informed. And don’t be surprised if one delay causes several others.

Most people in the trades have several other jobs scheduled around yours and may not be able to accommodate a two- or three-day setback. They may need to keep their commitments to their next client, and then come back to your project, causing more delays.

Whether you hire a cadre of individual experts or a single person to be in charge, you will face challenges and schedule issues.

And you may get a call to choose between two different faucet styles because the one you originally chose is no longer available. And they are due to be installed this afternoon.

Leslie Sargent Eskildsen is an agent with Realty One Group. She can be reached at 949-678-3373 or

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