Category Archives: Project management

Help! Where did my contractor go?

One of the biggest fears many people have about hiring a contractor is whether the contractor is going to hold true to their commitments. Will the contractor start the project on time? Will the contractor have unexplained absences? Will the contractor do what they said they were going to do? Will the contractor finish on time? You are right to have these concerns. Hiring a contractor for a custom project is, by its nature, untested since every project is different. There are so many factors that determine how long the project will take, if it will be built as promised, and if it will start and finish on time. As we’ve mentioned in past posts, reading as many reviews as possible is a great way to get a sense of the degree to which the contractor fulfills their commitments. Here is another recent post we did about selecting a contractor.

What is the gold standard for start date, continuous work flow and finish date?

Here is the simple answer to this question. The gold standard is that the contractor does what they say they’re going to do.

Contractors will have various factors that determine when they can start a project, how long a project will take and if they will work continuously after the beginning of the project.

Continuous work flow

Our standard is once we start a project, we will work continuously on that project until it’s complete. We will be there every day. You can count on it. The only thing that will keep us from being there is weather that prohibits us from building and if by some chance an item is back-ordered.

There are two primary factors that influence why some contractors do not deliver on a continuous work flow once your project begins. First, there are ethical factors and secondly there are organization factors.

A less than ethical contractor may make commitments to several homeowners for the same timeline. They may do this because they fear losing your business if they are honest with you about when they can start or finish your project. In order to juggle multiple jobs with the same timeline, this contractor may provide various excuses such as waiting for inspectors, sick staff, flat tire, broken-down vehicles, etc.

An disorganized contractor may not be able to hire and retain quality staff, maybe frequently because they don’t treat them ethically and legally.High quality skilled people like to work for a high-quality organized company. Many small businesses or contractors don’t have the the business experience or management skills to retain skilled staff. The disorganized contractor may not be skilled at planning project schedules. And, they may have a poor system for tracking materials or ordering on time causing them to run out of key materials necessary to achieve continuous work flow.

When we start your project at Archadeck of Kansas City, we guarantee that we are going to be there every day unless a product is back ordered or unless the weather absolutely prohibits us from building on that day.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Call us for a free consultation (913) 851 – 3325 or email kansascity@archadeck.net. We look forward to talking to you about your project.

How long should your outdoor contractor take to build your project?

This is one of the first questions our customers ask after they decide upon their outdoor project. After all, once you’ve decided that you’re going to give the green light on a project, then it’s human nature to want it done right away so you and your family can begin enjoying it as quickly as possible. Believe it or not, this is what you want to hear.

We promise good design and good quality. We don’t promise deadlines.

Olathe Kansas sunroom by Archadeck of Kansas City

Olathe Kansas sunroom by Archadeck of Kansas City

This is what we tell all of our customers. The reason we can’t promise a particular deadline is primarily because of Mother Nature. What we can promise you is that we will be at your house every business day until the project is complete. If Mother Nature won’t let us work one day, we will be back the next business day.

It’s good to be wary.

Let’s be honest. It’s as easy to be wary of contractors as it is to be wary of car repair men. The reason we are wary is we often don’t have enough knowledge about what they’re doing to determine if they’ve charged us the right amount or if they’re taking a reasonable amount of time to do the project or even if they’ve sold us something we don’t need. We don’t know if pouring concrete for footings should take 2 hours or two days. We don’t know if installing a railing should take 1 day or 1 week.

Large Gable Roof Sunroom with Attached Deck in Lee's Summit MO

Large Gable Roof Sunroom with Attached Deck in Lee's Summit MO

A bad contractor will tell you what you want to hear. A good contractor will answer all of your questions by giving you the information you need to feel comfortable with what you are getting for your money as well as feel comfortable with how long it should take.

We encourage the gut test

If you feel comfortable with the information in the answers that your contractor is giving you, go ahead and use the gut test. Does this contractor feel knowledgeable? Does he seem to really care about your project instead of treating you like a number? Do you like him? When you are building a significant outdoor structure or home addition, it is important to like your contractor. If he’s not likeable, he’s probably not trustworthy and probably not capable.

Although no respectable contractor can give absolutes, due to mitigating factors such as weather, here are a couple of things you should keep in mind.

TimberTech Deck with White Low-Maintenance Composite Railing

TimberTech Deck with White Low-Maintenance Composite Railing

Good contractors will have a waiting list throughout the year but even longer in the spring when building is heaviest. The sooner you get your project in, the sooner your project can be started.

It’s a very good idea to sign your contract for your outdoor project in the fall whether you plan on building in the fall or in the spring. If you plan on building in the fall, the wait list will not be as long so your project can get started much earlier. Even if you are planning on having your project built in the spring, read here about why it makes a lot of sense to sign in the previous fall or winter.

Down to the nitty gritty. Here’s an idea of how long it takes us to build a project. It varies based on the size and scope of what we are building. Depending on the complexity of the job, it can vary from days to weeks but our average size job takes one week to 10 days after the project is begun.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

We would love to discuss your outdoor project ideas with us and we offer a free consultation. Give a call at (913) 851 – 3325 or send us an email at kansascity@archadeck.net.

Visit our Archadeck of Kansas City website

See more pictures of sunrooms we’ve built in the Kansas City area

See more pictures of porches we’ve built in the Kansas City area