Project Planning & Tips

Anticipate the roadblocks your contractor may encounter

Getting a patio or pool installed is a major project. Here’s what your contractor wants you to know about the common problems workers face when construction begins.

Good communication is the best skill a homeowner can bring to a project. Many difficulties can be avoided when both the homeowner and the contractor are aware of the different snags a project can bring.

Rain

Rain is one of the biggest reason for delays. Rain in the springtime is a given, but contractors and homeowners can disagree with the length of a rain delay. Homeowners may not understand why numerous sunny days pass before the contractor begins work again. Preparing the ground and laying the foundation for pools and patios can be an exacting process. The ground may need more time to dry, especially if the rain was heavy. If your area experiences some rain, ask your contractor what the next steps will be. She or he may come out to the site to judge the dampness, and may be able to give you a good guess as to when work can resume.

 

Heat

Contractors are known for withstanding crazy hot temperatures. But while excessive heat may not be a problem for these hard workers, it may be a problem for the materials. Depending on the project, some construction materials can’t be set in high temperature situations. Contractors get around this by working the earliest in the morning as the municipal regulations will allow, or they avoid using materials that are heat-sensitive. Paver patios can be set in almost any temperature, and are ready to use right after the last tamping and sand sweep.

 

 

Supply Chain

While rare for projects like a paver patio (as all materials are delivered ahead of time), supply chain issues sometimes derail a project. Unfortunately, the contractor cannot control the workings of the distributor or manufacturer. If the supplier does not have the material in stock, sometimes the homeowner is left waiting. Talk to your contractor about how the materials will be sourced and if they will all be on site either at the property or at the contractor’s warehouse before the project begins. Pre-ordering all the supplies is usually standard practice, but if special items are needed during the project’s construction, unforeseen delays may happen. A little patience and understanding goes a long way when the project doesn’t proceed as planned. At EP Henry, we have multiple manufacturing sites that produce pavers, veneers, kitchen kits and fireplace kits for your patio with the highest standard of consistency. Make sure any supplier you use for materials also has multiple sites and high standards for color and texture consistency, and your project will be less likely to run into supply problems.

Logistics

Access to the job site seems like an easy thing. An open gate to the backyard isn’t the only help a homeowner needs to provide. Plan for alternate parking for your own vehicles while the project is happening. Machines and trucks may block your exit otherwise, and interrupting the contractor’s concentration is not optimal. Ask the contractor about bathroom access. Will the house be needed or will the contractor provide portable facilities? Both options require further planning, like protective covers for floors and rugs inside and a suitable placement of a portable toilet outside. Besides space for cars, toilets and supplies, your project may need space for a dumpster. Make sure to take a walk through a draw up a plan for logistics with your contractor. Be flexible about changing daily habits, like which door you typically use to enter the home, during the length of the project.

Your Changes

Even the smallest change to a project can cause major delays. If a new cabinet piece needs to be ordered because the homeowner changed his mind, weeks may pass before the unit is delivered. In outdoor projects there may be a little more flexibility in terms of changes than with indoor projects, but it is best to avoid changes after work begins. Be flexible and keep the lines of communication open and contact frequent with your contractor. A beautiful patio or pool will be the fruit of both your labors.

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