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Scheduling work in phases (or making your money go as far as possible…)

If you have a large project in mind, but a small budget, one of the best ways to achieve the works, without compromising on quality, is to phase the works. The trick to doing this successfully is to really carefully plan and consider the order in which you do things – reducing the cost disruption and reworks for later stages.

Living room and kitchen with wooden parquet floor, grey sofa and hanging concrete pendant lights - renovation by Absolute Project Management

Step 1

We strongly suggest designing the scheme (project) as a whole early on  – once you know what you want to achieve throughout, it’s much easier to plan the separate phases and ensure any earlier works don’t undermine later designs. You don’t necessarily need to confirm every single finish/ colour/ piece of furniture, etc., but the fundamentals need to be right to avoid having to make expensive changes later on.

If you require planning permission, another benefit to getting all design work done and approved early is that approved applications (which otherwise usually have an expiry date) will last longer/ indefinitely once you have made ‘a meaningful start’.

Parquet flooring living space. Renovation by Absolute Project Management.

Step 2

Confirm urgent work. We suggest getting all fundamental, safety-related or disruptive work done early, for example, plumbing, electrics, structural changes and works to the shell of the building. These are often most costly, so you’ll need to think about how this works with your current budget, but by doing these first, later phases will be easier and less disruptive.

It’s important to engage with a specialist who can help with this process as there are likely to be ‘first fix’ considerations such as ensuring future phases are allowed for- e.g. ensuring any structural works (particularly in steel) incorporate extraction routes that you know will be needed for future use.  An example would be ensuring a steel box frame for a (future) rear extension allows for kitchen ducting if the kitchen is to be upgraded/ relocated in the future.  This can reduce costly and disruptive structural works later which could affect areas you’ve already finished.

Beautiful brass tapware and carefully selected decorative items add a luxurious touch to this fresh white bathroom. Renovation by Absolute Project Management.

Step 3

Get costs and consider grouping them. We suggest grouping work by area, for example where possible finishing works furthest away from the main access to the property first- thereby reducing access disruption at each stage. You could consider doing works by room, floor or type of job. It often makes sense, for example, to do all plumbing works at once as this saves on multiple revisits by costly specialists and ensures all pipework etc is either replaced or flushed so debris from older parts of the system doesn’t build up in new appliances/ boiler etc.

We also advise sequencing works per stage and assessing how that affects overall timings- for example finishing one room will not necessarily take half the time than completing two rooms, because there are economies of time and scale with materials, drying times, specialist visits etc. If you’re working on more than one room at a time- you can progress one while plaster or paintwork in the other dries, for example, reducing the overall timeline.

Chris, Hove - Home staging by Absolute Project Management

Step 4

Confirm dates and details for later stages as early as possible- to ensure you stay on track with plans. It’s easy to lose momentum on a build so also consider taking breaks when you’ve achieved a particular goal, with no construction work – you can save up for the next step and recover from disruption!

Do you need help with your renovation? Contact us now!

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