By Bob Hinz
Stretching Your Time Horizon
When I was a teenager my time horizon was about 30 minutes. In other words, my ability to plan ahead was limited to that time frame. My algebra teacher pointed a crooked finger at me during a “class clown” episode and said “Robert – you will need this knowledge some day!” My time horizon did not go out as far as a career in the building industry. My algebra teacher was right. Fortunately, he was a good teacher and enough of it sunk in.
Luxury Home or Custom Home Timeframe: 12-Month Horizon
A key element in helping our clients build their custom homes, and a key element for us when we’re doing turnkey work as a custom home builder is a long time horizon. A 12-month horizon at minimum is imperative.
For owner-builder clients we spend about 4 hours preparing them for their project before any of the real construction work starts, and we preach the importance of time horizon.
Custom Building Construction Time Horizons
- Order the windows when the foundation is being built – about six to eight weeks before the windows are needed.
- Select appliances when framing starts, about six months before the appliances will be delivered.
- Choose flooring before the cabinet finishes are selected, about seven months before they go in.
- Finalize the kitchen layout and all the other cabinetry is before the partition walls are built, again, dozens of weeks before the kitchen crew begins to assemble.
Many items that we order, or that our clients order for their homes have long lead times, so knowing those lead times and preparing for them requires a long time horizon.
Many decisions made regarding appliances, cabinetry, flooring, plumbing fixtures and heating / cooling, will have an impact on framing, so making those choices early requires a long time horizon.
A great builder knows the appropriate planning horizon for the various choices that need to be made along the way. We make sure that our clients are focusing on the right materials and choices at the right times, so there are no surprises and no last minute “panic choices” that need to be made.
Remember, “You’ll need this knowledge some day!”
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