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Ask the Editor: Project Schedule

A kitchen in the early stages of a remodel.

Where Can I Get a Project Plan for a Remodel?


Question: "Is there somewhere I can get a project plan for a remodel; i.e., an actual project plan in a format like a Gantt chart? It should have every possible item on it and what order it should be done in. Then I can pick and choose the items I am doing and see the order they should be completed in.

I know demo is first. But are floors next, or do you put cabinets in before floors? What if I don't have enough money for cabinets right now? Can I put floors in now and then put cabinets in? What if I change the configuration of the cabinets? Do I need to have enough flooring left over for if I change the cabinets a year from now? Is there a book that will give me this info? Why don't more construction people use project managers to keep on track?"

 

Answer: There are professional construction management software programs; Sage Master Builder and Sage Timberline are two that come to mind that work for custom homes or remodels.

Plenty of contractors do have project managers; but you will pay more for those companies' expertise and professionalism, just as you would pay more to work with a certified public accountant instead of a bookkeeper, or to see an ophthalmologist rather than get an eye exam at a retail store.

When remodeling, you can be flexible about the order in which you install cabinets and flooring to a certain extent. If you are replacing your flooring but not your cabinets, you can simply measure, cut and lay new flooring around the cabinets. You might not even have to pull up the old floor as long as it provides a decent substrate for the new flooring.

However, if you think you will be able to replace your cabinets in just a year, I would wait and replace both at the same time. Here's why:

Matching up the seams on existing and new vinyl or linoleum flooring can be a major challenge. With wood, the finish can be particularly difficult to match and likely will require re-sanding and -staining of the whole floor. And unless tile fits perfectly against the cabinets, the border tiles will probably be cut to fit. Which means that when the cabinets come up, you'll have to tear up the border tiles and then finish laying the rest of the floor.

Also, once the cabinets come out, you'll have a better idea of what is lurking underneath. An older home may have multiple layers of flooring-some of which didn't go under cabinets and appliances-in which case you will find significant variations in floor height that require removing some of those layers in order to make changing the layout possible.

 

 

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