It is only natural that many people think of building outdoor projects in the moment. This is usually during the outdoor living season when the weather is nice and they want to spend time outside, but sometimes it can be challenging to hire a quality contractor during these busiest of times. Choosing to secure your project design and details early has many advantages. That is why I am often stumped when a customer has their preliminary design in place and says we will just wait to sign the contract in order to confirm moving ahead with the project.
From our 25+ years experience as an outdoor living space designer and builder, procrastinating about when to begin a project can mean waiting longer to enjoy your finished space. Any reputable contractor will have some lead time before they can begin construction on your project. In addition, there are many timing factors that are beyond our control and moving ahead will prevent less hold up of your anticipated project.
The timing factors you cannot control
When you sign a contract with Archadeck of Birmingham to build your project, we will add your project to our construction schedule. Keep in mind that we have other jobs underway in the Birmingham, AL, area. This means more projects, with signed contracts, which were scheduled to begin in the order they were confirmed.
Before we build anything, we work with you to design the outdoor living space you’ve dreamed of. The design process may take several iterations from rough sketches to polished 3-D renderings. Some clients think of elements they want to add or change each time they see a new version of their design. That’s okay because it’s your home. But each change must go back to our drafting department and be added to the architectural renderings. Archadeck of Birmingham is one of the few local Archadeck offices that still structure their own drawings in-house. We are a certified office and supply our clients a rendering for every porch or outdoor room we design.
When the design is finalized, we also finalize all of your material choices including the genre of materials you choose to use on your project, including woods, synthetics, amenities, porch ceilings, railings, pillars and beams, etc. Knowing what materials you want in your design enables us to give you an exact quote for your project. At that point, we can sign the contract and schedule the job.
We must submit the confirmed design and specifications to the local permitting agencies, either city or county, depending on where you live. Sometimes we encounter delays at these agencies. Permitting usually takes 3-5 days, but the permitting process is unpredictable. If zoning issues arise, additional action is required. You may have to meet with a zoning board, and you must get on their calendar a certain number of days in advance of their meeting. If you just miss getting on the agenda, you may have to wait a month until the next zoning board meeting.
Does your community or neighborhood require Homeowners Association approval of your construction plans? How often does this group meet, and how far in advance do you need to notify them of your plans? In most of the neighborhoods in and around the Birmingham-area, HOA approval usually takes about 3-5 weeks.
Material Availability & Delivery
We special order many of the materials we use from reliable vendors we have worked with for many years. Some of the materials may not be available during the timeline we need them or in the amounts required for a particular project. In these cases, additional material arrival date and delivery may be affected. While we can usually predict when materials will arrive, every now and then we encounter delays.
Every season has its share of bad-weather days that can set a construction schedule back. Weather can be unpredictable. For example, the Birmingham region is just coming out of a rainy spell, and now would be a perfect time to get your project underway.
As you may have gathered from the details outlined above, you cannot call a contractor in May to build a project you plan to start enjoying by Memorial Day. With so many factors beyond your — and our — control, the timing works out best if you begin planning farther ahead.
— Isn’t it time you called Archadeck of Birmingham today and start living the outdoor lifestyle you deserve?
The most important timing factor for your new outdoor living project is when you first make the point of contact schedule your design consultation. The sooner you start the process, the sooner your new porch, deck, screened porch, (or outdoor living combination space) will be completed. That’s why you should go ahead and get started now, while spring is fresh in the air. Before you know it, summer will be here! If you take steps now to begin setting up the project, you’ll be showing off your new outdoor living space in no time at all!
Call Archadeck of Birmingham for a free design consultation at (205) 576-5780.
— Derek & Carissa Crews, owners Archadeck of Birmingham