Estimating Deadlines

How to predict with eyes wide open

Estimating the number of steps involved in a project, and the time it takes to do them, isn’t easy. But it’s one reason why remodeling projects can fall behind schedule. 

To avoid this, keep these tips in mind:

The more steps needed, the greater the chance for a snag. When providing a deadline, contractors usually take an optimistic view and assume the project will be typical. That’s a very common mistake. There are too many variables they have no control over such as material availability, whether the equipment will function properly, a labor shortage, and other factors that can negatively impact a project. Always put some breathing room on a deadline for unforeseen delays.

Get an unbiased opinion. The smartest, most successful people in business are not afraid to ask questions and seek advice. Run project deadlines past other experts to see what they think. Could they complete the project that quickly? What problems have they encountered on a similar job? This can be a helpful way to determine if a deadline needs to be readjusted.  

Don’t overpromise. Just because someone is in a rush doesn’t mean it’s possible to meet their deadline. In this case, the contractor is the expert and not a miracle worker. Speak up if a job cannot be completed by a proposed deadline. Honesty is always the best way to go.

Estimates are just that: estimates. Remind the homeowner that you are not guaranteeing all work will be completed by a given deadline. It is simply a target. Going forward, immediately communicate any changes in the work schedule. This will go a long way toward creating a positive relationship.




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