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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With our business it always takes longer to complete an inhabited remodel than a vacant one. Has anyone been able to identify the added cost drivers? With an inhabited home there is more cleanup at the end of the day and there is typically more difficult access to the work area if we are coming through the home. Any other specifics that others have identified?

Thanks, Mark
 

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Home Builders/Contractors
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I always suggest to the HO that a vacation would be best while we are there. It's a long shot, but I try. Even if they peel out for the weekend it helps. My guys get to cautious when the customers are around.

If it's a kitchen burn I can ususally convince the insurance company to put the fam up for a week or so.
 

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LOL Roll it all into PITA.

The new construction guys picking up remodels must get ulcers over this!

Keeping the cat from escaping, not getting eaten by the dog, little old ladies talking, little old men following every move, DIY'ers asking stupid questions, Tonka trucks to trip over, driveway always full, cooking smells, bathroom smells, powder room schedules, showing up on a Saturday to get ahead and asked not to work, furniture to move, furniture to damage, dust barriers, drop cloths, as of 4/10 HEPA vacs and glove test, material storage and lack there-of, material damaged by the families daily activities, the need to shower everyday :rolleyes: so as to not offend the occupants, etc. etc. etc.
 

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Interior Renovations
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I do a lot of work in Manhattan and the apartments are usually very small. Renovating a bathroom (theres usually only 1 in the apartment) or the kitchen is such a pain and the HO's are always around.

I once installed a kitchen in one of these apartments. Hung the cabinets, installed the countertops...Went back the next day to finish the backsplash, install the moldings, under-cabinet lights and put on the doors. The lady put all of her dishes and glassware in the cabinets the night before...She was not happy when I had her remove everything from the wall cabinets... It shocks me how stupid some people can be.
 

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wannabe
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LOL Roll it all into PITA.

The new construction guys picking up remodels must get ulcers over this!

Keeping the cat from escaping, not getting eaten by the dog, little old ladies talking, little old men following every move, DIY'ers asking stupid questions, Tonka trucks to trip over, driveway always full, cooking smells, bathroom smells, powder room schedules, showing up on a Saturday to get ahead and asked not to work, furniture to move, furniture to damage, dust barriers, drop cloths, as of 4/10 HEPA vacs and glove test, material storage and lack there-of, material damaged by the families daily activities, the need to shower everyday :rolleyes: so as to not offend the occupants, etc. etc. etc.
"how much longer is it going to take?", stepping in dog crap, Taking a crap with the HO in the next room, nosy neighbors...

Did a PITA whole house remodel, HOers watched TV all day everyday. Whenever the circuit for the tv would be tripped the old man would get up and inform us the TV was off. We started taking Over/Under bets as to how long it would take then pull the power.:w00t: We did get a bonus in the end for as he said, "putting up with me (HO)"

As mentioned doing work in phases, temporary hookups (for appliances), protection, and moving personal items three, four times.
 

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Grand Rapids Remodeling
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Subbed out a tile job last year. I've used the crew before, experienced and fast. They called me said it was going to take longer than expected, kinda vague on why. Couldn't get a hold of the HO the next day so I went over. The daughter home on spring brake answered the door had some sort of filmy shirt on and a bikini (HO had a swimming pool).

It's not only furniture that gets in the way of progress. :laughing:

www.phbconstruction.com
 

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Walked in to bid a kitchen/recroom addition last year.Four kids,3 under school age,living in a cramped ranch house.
Hardly a place to walk through,toys,clothes,books,DVD's all over the floor.
Garage and cellar full of crap,nothing organized,just in piles.
Added 50% to profit line for PITA.

First phase went great,never opened the addition to the old house till the new rooms were completed.No stairs for the little ones to get in.
This is going too good.Right on schedule.Going to make some good $'s.
Well the electrician and plumber had to clear tunnels through the crap to do their work in the cellar.It reflected in their final costs.Can't blame them.

Second phase after opening to house,three rooms,opening doorways wider,moving laundry room,new floors was a nightmare.
Kids in the way all day...,sweep up a pile of debris,go to get a barrel,....someone came in and spread it all over the place.

I had to keep reminding myself of the bottom line.
Kids uncontrolable all day,get a room cleaned out to work in....next day full of [email protected].
Bottom line,bottom line.....

Even the new addition was a complete disaster after a few days.
None of us looked forward to working there so that hampered production.

Well,that's half the story,I won't bore you with the rest.

In the end the Bottom line was right where it should have been if I bid a regular price where I didn't have to deal with the mess.
It's tough to gauge all the things that may inhibit your production,even with an iron clad contract containing clauses for hold ups.
In the end,even with the right clauses,you end up making an educated guess about the overall working conditions.
Making a read on the client's property,and how it's kept up is a good start.
Number of kids at home,are they watched well.Is there a room away from your work where they hang?
The conditions here easilly doubled my time on part of this project.

So to the OP I say,
Consider everything,and add alot!
 

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ampman
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anytime the project is inhabited it should cost double
 

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A bathroom remodel.

Day One I snapped chalk lines (it was an added bath in the corner of a great room), went over everything one more time with the homeowner, including the location of the toilet.

Their special needs daughter must have been listening, because it wasn't 45 minutes before she dropped her pants to pee on the "toilet" :eek:

Final day of same job I was caulking the vanity top, homeowner came running in with the two year old son to use the toilet. Dropped bits of poop covered corn all over my drop cloth.

I would've been mad but for the fact it makes such a great story :laughing:
 

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A bathroom remodel.

Day One I snapped chalk lines (it was an added bath in the corner of a great room), went over everything one more time with the homeowner, including the location of the toilet.

Their special needs daughter must have been listening, because it wasn't 45 minutes before she dropped her pants to pee on the "toilet" :eek:

Final day of same job I was caulking the vanity top, homeowner came running in with the two year old son to use the toilet. Dropped bits of poop covered corn all over my drop cloth.

I would've been mad but for the fact it makes such a great story :laughing:
thats classic
 

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A bathroom remodel.

Day One I snapped chalk lines (it was an added bath in the corner of a great room), went over everything one more time with the homeowner, including the location of the toilet.

Their special needs daughter must have been listening, because it wasn't 45 minutes before she dropped her pants to pee on the "toilet" :eek:

Final day of same job I was caulking the vanity top, homeowner came running in with the two year old son to use the toilet. Dropped bits of poop covered corn all over my drop cloth.

I would've been mad but for the fact it makes such a great story :laughing:

We did a bath remodel years back and the toilet was clogged the day after we put it in.
Well,gotta get the plumber over.
Fifteen min. after he gets there ,he comes out with a frogman toy.
Evidently the new johnny,impressed little Jimmy!
 

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I like Green things
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The more comfortable and more pleasant you make it for the HO's, the more work you will get.

It's the new construction guys that bid remodel work that piss me off. They have no clue. Then they ***** about not making any money.
Well duh, residing an old pos that has to have all the windows and doors tuned up, is a little more costly than slapping some siding over a brand new framed house.

Freakin idiots!!
 

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wannabe
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The more comfortable and more pleasant you make it for the HO's, the more work you will get.

It's the new construction guys that bid remodel work that piss me off. They have no clue. Then they ***** about not making any money.
Well duh, residing an old pos that has to have all the windows and doors tuned up, is a little more costly than slapping some siding over a brand new framed house.

Freakin idiots!!
I'm spoiled, most of our work is on 2nd,3rd homes so the HOer isn't normally around....we do do a lot of exterior work "inhabited", but when we invade the interior a whole new skillset is involved.

as wacked out as a homestead can be, you have to keep focus and stay on track. That skill is commendable!

You have to keep a vigilant eye on what you say as well as the conversations and relationships your workers develop with the HO. Next thing you know your good intentioned helper is doing a honey-do job, or inadvertantly agreeing to extras.
 

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Don't forget- being there, they have all that much more time to think of questions to ask, additional little chores, odd requests, seeing projects half-done makes them think they don't like how it's turning out, changing their mind on what a finish or appliance (affecting the cabinet(s) around it or windows or...).

It always adds time- you've got an entire facet of client management that just doesn't exist when the person isn't around. When treated right it can mean change orders (good if you stay on top of them, and charge for them, bad if you don't), also gives you time to build a relationship with the clients- also good if you've got the right people around who watch their language and are clean, bad if they're a bunch of crude knuckle-draggers (unless you're working for knuckle-draggers: there's always an element of politics).

I had one customer that would stop in about every hour or two. Would call throughout the day. Would call throughout the night. Easily a hundred hours of talk time over 4 months. Probably pushing 200. Absolutely, astoundingly frustrating.
 

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I'm spoiled, most of our work is on 2nd,3rd homes so the HOer isn't normally around....we do do a lot of exterior work "inhabited", but when we invade the interior a whole new skillset is involved.

as wacked out as a homestead can be, you have to keep focus and stay on track. That skill is commendable!

You have to keep a vigilant eye on what you say as well as the conversations and relationships your workers develop with the HO. Next thing you know your good intentioned helper is doing a honey-do job, or inadvertantly agreeing to extras.

I would guess most of your work is in less than pleasant weather, who would want to renovate their lake house in the summer. That probably adds time and frustration as well.
 

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Next thing you know your good intentioned helper is doing a honey-do job, or inadvertantly agreeing to extras.

I had a HO try to pull that on me (I'm the good intentioned help) She wants her LCD tv recessed into a wall, my boss wants nothing to do with bracing a load bearing wall, and making the proper shelf as a favor. Especially considering that's what wall mounts are for. The HO bugged me for about 3 days straight when my boss wasn't around and I told her that if she bought the $150 mount and paid to have an outlet installed I'd be glad to mount it on the wall for her. She stopped bugging me after that.
 

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I had a HO try to pull that on me (I'm the good intentioned help) She wants her LCD tv recessed into a wall, my boss wants nothing to do with bracing a load bearing wall, and making the proper shelf as a favor. Especially considering that's what wall mounts are for. The HO bugged me for about 3 days straight when my boss wasn't around and I told her that if she bought the $150 mount and paid to have an outlet installed I'd be glad to mount it on the wall for her. She stopped bugging me after that.
Did she offer to post a testimonial for you on Craig's List?
 
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