By Andy Meredith
If you’re familiar with our work, you probably already know that Candis works as the general contractor for all of our remodeling and renovation projects, while I’m our on-site, hands-on project manager. Because we’ve been working together for years (even before we started dating and got married), we have a pretty good model for splitting up the work. I remember, though, when we both were really new at this and things weren’t so well defined. It got pretty stressful on more than one occasion before we hammered out all the details.
So, how can you figure out who should do what on a renovation project? Start by figuring out what you’re good at and what you should stay away from.
Define Your Strengths
Do you have experience with designing great floor plans and putting together materials? Or are you better at doing the manual labor side of things? Do you know where to go to find the best deals on materials? Or are you a natural leader who’s great at networking and hiring specialists?
Sit down together with everyone who’s going to be working on the renovation before you start planning the actual project. You should each write down what you think your greatest strengths are, and if you really want to do one thing or another, make a note of that, too. Then you should discuss what traits you each bring to the job. Except maybe demolition, the work won’t start until the design for the house is done and you know what materials are needed, but at this point, you should be able to look at everyone’s strengths and determine who should be responsible for which parts of the renovation.
Assign a Designer and/or General Contractor
If one of you has experience with designing floor plans and working with contractors and subcontractors, that person should probably be your general contractor. If not, you might want to hire a contractor or project manager to help you out and keep everything and everyone moving in the right direction.
Create Your Renovation Plan and Assign Tasks
With the design done, your general contractor should be able to put together a clear plan for the order that everything will be done. Now you have all of the jobs and tasks for the renovation in front of you. It’s time to start splitting things up.
At this point, Candis and I like to get our kids involved wherever we can. If we have a job that’s appropriate for one or more of them, we’ll assign it to them to take some of the weight off of us and to teach them the value of hard work and responsibility. If not, we’ll start splitting up work between the two of us, looking at what needs to be done first and how much each of us is already responsible for. We like to keep it fair.
Don’t Try to Do Too Much
There are always going to be some jobs that you just can’t do and that you need to hire a professional for. There’s nothing wrong with calling in the experts, especially if you’re working with a strict deadline and you already have a lot that you need to do to move the project forward.
The key to all of this, though, is communication. If you feel overwhelmed, don’t just suffer in silence. If you’re having trouble with something, don’t think that you need to reinvent the wheel – call a contractor to get it done right the first time. If you follow these tips, you’ll have a much easier time splitting everything up and getting it all done.