Aside from budget and space planning, scheduling is one of the most important factors to consider when undertaking any interior design project. Having a good grasp of your project’s time constraints will help keep a tight leash on your budget. The longer a project drags on beyond the expected date of completion, the more time there is for budget overruns and costly mistakes. I often run into homeowners undertaking first time DIY (do-it-yourself) home renovation projects. In these encounters, I hear many horror stories about being without a kitchen or bathroom for way longer than what is typical. Most are so excited at the prospect of doing it themselves and creating a wonderful new space, they fail to create a proper plan of attack, i.e. a schedule. A schedule creates focus, as well as a step-by-step outline of what to expect and when. It keeps the homeowner or DIYer in the loop and generally more prepared for any unforeseen mishaps.
A schedule should be created once you have determined your budget and developed a well thought out space plan. Start by considering the lead times for all materials and services to be rendered and work backwards from the item with the longest lead time. This might be a bit easier for someone with experience working with trades as they will know how long each task should generally take but if you are undertaking a large project that requires skilled laborers, the laborers should be able to give an accurate estimate of about how long each portion of the project will take. For my own clients, I typically like to provide an actual calendar that outlines the project timeline from start date to completion date. I do, however, include a caveat that allows for any unforeseen circumstances. The main goal is to have as firm a grasp as possible over all the details. When you are fully aware of all the minutiae of your design project, big and small, there is less room for major missteps.