How to Complete Your Next Interior Home Remodeling Project Fast & On Time Tackling a home remodeling project on behalf of a client? Whether it’s a kitchen renovation, a bathroom remodel, or anything in between, renovations can make your client’s home more enjoyable while adding value. Unfortunately, one of the biggest ongoing concerns people have when planning a remodeling project is not just staying on budget but keeping up with the planned timeline. In fact, according to the National Association of Home Builders, more than 90% of builders reported delays and material shortages in 2021. Supply chain issues continue to be a problem worldwide, making it difficult for suppliers and retailers to get the materials needed for many construction and renovation projects. Transportation delays and skilled labor shortages have also impacted the trades, causing job-site delays that can set projects back weeks or even months. Combine all of this with the unprecedented demand for materials, and it’s easier to see why so many remodeling projects end up off-schedule. While there will always be variables you can’t control, the good news is that there are some steps you can take — and that you can encourage your clients to take — to help complete these projects on time. Start Planning Early When a client asks you, “How do I get my home remodeled quickly?” one of the most important things you can tell them is to plan ahead. Once your client has identified which areas need stone or tile, you’ll want to determine exactly how much square footage you’re working with. This is especially important for flooring, regardless of whether your client plans to install traditional porcelain tile or a more complex natural stone. This should be easy enough for clients who are building or remodeling with an architectural plan. Otherwise, a contractor or installer may be needed to take the proper measurements. These measurements are more important than ever before because once you know the parameters of your project, our team will be able to check stock and work with you to find the products that suit your client’s needs and timeline. Nothing is more frustrating to a client than spending hours, weeks, or months making material selections for a home remodeling project — only to find that the needed materials have a lead time that won’t work for them. You can avoid these kinds of headaches by planning as early as possible. Gather Inspiration Photos Before You Shop Another tip to keep in mind when it comes to finishing home remodeling projects on time is to gather inspiration photos before shopping. This is a tip that you can pass on directly to your clients, especially if they don’t yet have a precise idea of the type of style they want to achieve. There are plenty of great resources for project inspiration, ranging from sites like Pinterest to more specific platforms like Houzz and even Instagram. Either way, gathering inspiration photos before shopping for materials helps clients get a better feel of the style they want to achieve. From there, even if the exact color or pattern your client wants is unavailable, our experienced team can take the inspiration photos and research products that are available within the timeframe needed. Consider Locally Sourced Materials Another great piece of advice to remember with any quick home remodeling project is to shop for locally sourced materials. Specifically, stones indigenous to the United States tend to have greater availability and faster lead times. This is because working with domestic products eliminates several of the problematic factors that are currently being encountered with overseas products. By shopping for locally sourced materials that don’t need to be transported overseas, clients will enjoy the advantage of getting their materials faster. They’ll also enjoy the peace of mind in knowing that transportation issues and labor shortages should not affect their locally sourced materials to the same extent. Place Your Order ASAP! Lastly, being quick about placing orders is key to determining how to finish home remodeling on time. Once your client has made any stone/material selections, it’s important to officially place the order as soon as possible. This is the only way to secure the available inventory. If your client wants a material that is a special order, this will help to get the ball rolling as quickly as possible. In today’s dynamic world, things are constantly changing and shifting; countries are opening and closing for business seemingly at the drop of a hat. In fact, we saw this with China’s complete shutdown due to COVID-19 concerns just a few months ago. This unpredictability can have a major effect on a material’s availability, especially when considering the rising cost of transportation. By placing the order as soon as possible, you can lock in pricing for your clients, making it easier to keep the project on track and on budget. What About Exterior Projects? Many of the same tips for interior home renovations can also be applied to exterior renovations. Planning early and utilizing locally sourced materials can drastically reduce the timeline needed to complete the job. However, there are some additional tips you may want to pass on to your clients that can help to keep your exterior remodeling project on schedule. For starters, always consider the season in which the project is being planned. Here in Connecticut, harsh winters can significantly impact exterior project timelines. Because natural materials are typically quarried in the spring, summer, and fall, once the ground freezes, it isn’t easy (or possible) to quarry stone. Generally, exterior work should be planned far enough in advance, so the material is out of the earth and quarried before the harsh winter weather hits. This will help us fabricate the stone during the winter, so you’ll be ready to begin once the ground thaws and the weather improves in the spring and summer months. When planning an exterior remodeling project, working with experienced and reputable suppliers also makes a big difference. This is especially true for larger-scale projects that may require the sourcing of many materials. An experienced supplier will be able to review your proposed timeline and let you know whether it is realistic based on the availability of materials. At CT Stone, our team can make specific material recommendations for your exterior project based on our own availability and supply. No matter what kind of look or feel your client is going for, we can help you achieve it. If your client wants to add stone cladding or a stone wall as part of their project, our lightweight ThinStone™ veneer is well-stocked and is very easy to work with — which can expedite your project while wowing your client! Many exterior projects will also require permits; this may be true when building a deck, adding a patio, or making any other major changes to the property itself. With this in mind, it’s important to research permit requirements ahead of time and submit applications/paperwork as early as possible. Because it can take some time for these permit applications to be approved, getting them submitted sooner rather than later can help you avoid delays. In addition to local permits, homes located within a homeowners association (HOA) scope may also have specific by-laws that they need to adhere to when handling any exterior renovations. For example, homeowners may need approval from the HOA’s governing board before completing any major exterior changes. This can include: Painting Adding a deck or patio Making significant changes to landscaping Just as when handling permits, it’s a good idea to get applications for HOA approval submitted as soon as possible when tackling an exterior project. Often times, HOA boards only meet once a month or once every few months to vote on these approvals, so having your materials submitted early on can expedite your project. When submitting permit and HOA applications for an exterior project, be sure to include any materials that are requested. This may include a list of the materials to be used, as well as a written description of the project and any related blueprints. It’s also important to look at the project specifications and discuss the availability with your stone supplier. The more selective the specification, the harder the order may be to fill. For example, consider a random rectangular pattern that utilizes multiple sizes instead of choosing to use a single-size stone for your entire patio (like a 24″x24″). Chances are that your order will be filled faster if you have a little flexibility on the size specification. Color specification for the project is another crucial element to consider in advance. The tighter the range of color, the more stone has to be made and culled through to get the desired look. Having flexibility in regards to the natural range of the material will assist you in getting your order faster. Another important tip? Always order more than you think you need! Materials generally are available one minute and sold out the next, so be sure to order enough “extra” material to allow for on-site selection, waste, and more. Also, make sure to inquire about the origin of the material. Each country faces its own unique challenges, so it’s essential to consider things like health regulations and supply chain issues when ordering your materials overseas. To keep your project on time, we recommend trying, whenever possible, to work with domestic products. Don’t Delay — Get Started Today! When clients ask for help remodeling their home quickly, these are just a few of the most important tips to pass along. As you’ve probably noticed, the overarching theme is to be prepared, do your research, and act quickly when it’s time to place an order. With a bit of diligence and planning, it is usually possible to keep even the largest of home remodeling projects on track — even in this unpredictable market. Along the way, our dedicated and knowledgeable team at Connecticut Stone is always available to help you with your project, regardless of size or scope. In fact, we encourage you to schedule a free design consultation with our team as early on in the process as possible. This way, we can get a better feel for exactly what you and your client need while helping you get the ball rolling. Get in touch with us today to schedule your consultation and learn more about what we can do for you.