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Baine's Forum Posts: 66

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By Baine on 1/24/2005

Big tract home builders build homes in 2-4 months. The O-B Book schedule is 6 months with no shortcuts built in. My house was built in 4 months. I have heard of people building in 2 months who had a perfect plan and were well organized and who optimized things. There are a ton of places to cut corners and save time. There are many overlaps. Let's make a good post where everyone can post as many ideas as possible to cut corners timewise and shorten the building timeframe. Here are mine.

1. Have the outside and roofing done at the same time as the inside. This includes landscaping, siding, decks, windows, exterior doors, etc.

2. Have electricians do one room at a time to finish the room, from one end of the house to the other in a decided path and have the drywallers go right behind them so the drywallers finish right after the electricians would have.

3. Have plumbers in as early as possible to lay plumbing and have them do the outside to house plumbing first as they can get this done earliest.

4. Have the rooms where there are cabinets and bath fixtures plumbed and electrical done 1st so drywallers can attack it first, then get the painters to paint them right after the drywallers are done, and right after that the cabinet and fixture guys can install while the drywall guys and electrical are doing the rest of the house.

5. Have electrical do the interior roof electrical first in rooms and then the drywallers can drywall the roof areas while electrical is doing the walls.

6. Have electrical and plumbing come in as soon as possible in the framing process behind the framers. there is no need to wait until the entire framing job is complete. In general there is no need to wait until any trade is done before the other can come in.

7. If windows come in interior wrapping or this is an option, you can install them any time without paint worries.

8. Carpenters can come in right after paint dries and before the interior is complete as subs can wear booties.

9. Interior doors can be painted if need be at the same time one of the interior rooms is painted by having them all in one room etc. and spraying them at the same time.

10. Always try to think of jobs that can be done at the same time. Ask every trade when he can have the next trade follow him and ask every sub for time saving ideas.


Joe's Forum Posts: 22

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By Joe in Cincinnati, OH on 1/25/2005

Your concepts look fine on paper.

If you have a permit, plan on paying extra for several different inspections. Plan on a laspe time from completed work & getting inspections done.

Good luck on finding subs who are willing to work with you on a schedule like that. Their top priorty is turning a profit. If they are willing to work with you like this, plan on paying a premium price.

Production builders can meet schedules like that because they have subs who do a lot of work for them. They have the clout to schedule subs because they are keeping at least one or more crews busy at all times. Being a one-time shot, it would be very hard to do a 60-90 or 120 day deal. It is possible but all pieces have to fall in place. I have seen one day of bad weather set a job back by 45 days. Just remember the true definition of a construction job is that it runs over budget and behind schedule.


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Kenneth's Forum Posts: 937
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By Kenneth in Lees Summit, MO on 1/31/2005

Not going to happen. But to address a couple of your issues individually:

1) There is some efficiency to be gained here, but you can't hang your siding until the windows and exterior doors are installed.

2) How are you going to schedule inspections? In my locale, the inspector won't even do a plumbing rough, electrical rough, mechanical rough, or framing rough inspection until they can do all four at once. I can't be having the rockers in as electrical is being done if it means foregoing an inspection. The rockers make a huge mess; they get the entire house to themselves. I participated in a Habitat for Humanity Blitz Build a couple of years back (something like 10 houses in 10 days). The foundations were poured about 30 days prior to actual construction start, but the rest of the house construction was completed in a 10-day period. Even with this accelerated schedule, when the rockers showed up everyone else left.

3) The plumbers usually put this in at the same time as the underslab plumbing, so it goes in about the same time as the foundation and before the basement slab. For the mechanical, plumbing, electrical trades, you want mechanical first as they are hanging sheetmetal and need the most room. It is much easier to route electrical wires and plumbing around duct runs than it is to run duct runs around plumbing and wiring.

4) See my comments to #2 above.

5) I don't see likely that rockers will work side-by-side with electricians. Good rockers work like lightning, and they aren't going to be waiting around for other trades getting in their way.

6) You want mechanical in there before electrical and plumbing. Yes, they can all three be there at once, and should be there in case there are any issues that need to be resolved such as putting air returns where the plumber wants to run water lines or the electrician wants to put switches. In general though, the mechanical gets a head start on the plumber who gets a head start on the electrician. This past week, they were all three working at the same time on my house.

7) These are replacement windows, but they can be used in new construction. I figure there is a reason they don't use them in new construction though, perhaps because they are more labor intensive to install?

8) Good luck getting any trade to wear booties.

9) I thought this was common practice.

10) Always involve your subs in the planning and execution process, they almost always have some good ideas that should be considered.


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By Netie in Salt Lake City, UT on 3/3/2006

Baine's idea is a good one  & Kenneth's bullets are sound -

As I understand it - I think it's the concept behind the idea of concurrent labour that Baine's really trying to promote, and of course generate a discussion on where you can (& can not) overlap schedules. 

I'd talk to sub's and ask them - 'Which other trades can you  - or will you work with - or around?  

My hubby has a speech that explains which sub hates which & why they're all complete idiots - it's comical, but again, it's based in truth.

Anyway, ideas and discussions are always a good idea - what's obvious to one person might be completely missed by another.



James's Forum Posts: 47
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By James in Spring Branch, TX on 3/4/2006

Kenneth and Blaine, both have very sound comments and ideas.

However, I am from the school that if you take the approach that it can not be done, then it will not get done.

Blaine gives some great ideas to not only follow but to get you to think about other areas that can be worked on at the same time.  A good tool to help you see these areas in black and white is Microsoft Project, with a tool like this you can link the trade items that must be finished before some of the others can start.  But when you complete the task schedule the trade items that can  be worked on at the same time stand out.

As far as some trades having the arrogance that they have to have the house to themselves then I quess I would have to rethink my choice of sub (does he want to work with me or dictate to me).




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By Marie in Newcastle, CA on 3/4/2006

Oh what a perfect world you all must live in. With all due respect, I just couldn't stop laughing when I read this!  Truthfully, we had a very nice schedule of how everything was to fall into place, everyone overlapping to keep the pace going, items were ordered based upon when we needed them so the item wouldn't sit on an empty lot in the rain, waiting to be stolen, etc. then reality struck . . .

We here in California must have an inspection completed before we can even think about moving on to the next task. They literally write it down "OK to proceed with insulation,"  "OK to proceed with tape and texture".  We had to have our drywall inspected before they even allowed the sheetrockers to come back to tape and texture, then you must wait a few days (at least) before you paint. Then of course, they have to inspect your trenches, your insulation, your electrical, your "shear wall", your roof, and remember, all this before they allow you to move to the next step. There are sooooo many delays just waiting on the inspectors, tradespeople, bank draws, texture drying, paint drying, troubleshooting, weather, special order items that couldn't be ordered until you could actually measure a room, such as the template needed for your granite countertops that must wait for the cabinets to be installed, then the plumbing can't even be completed until the countertops, and tile are completed - UGH!


The inspectors here want to make sure we have each phase done to "their specifications" (which are always different depending on which inspector you get that week) before they will allow us to move to another phase or allow another tradesperson to come in. Then there's that thing called delayed shipments, weather, other jobs keeping the tradespeople from keeping their schedule with you (after all, you're the lowly Owner-Builder who they don't care about keeping on schedule with, if they have a developer who keeps them busy elsewhere, you're last on their list). And you will no doubt change your mind on colors, lighting, etc. along the way.



Learning Curve: Our time to learn how to do things along the way because we couldn't afford to hire a pro because our bank draws were so minimal in the beginning when we needed the money the most. And heaven forbid if something was done wrong and the inspector finds it, then try to get the tradesperson back out to fix it - or spend the next two weeks trying to figure out how to do it yourself, after you figure out what it was the inspector meant by "you must use an intumescent collar" No one knew what the @#%! that was!


Anyway, I didn't mean to go off on a tangent. I wish I could offer up my timesaving tips, but wo is me (can you hear those violins?), I have lost all patience and now have just given up trying.  Any timesaving things we did just went down the drain (literally) when it rained for 4 months straight, our carpenters were just plain slow, our other tradespeople kept putting us off, after two months of waiting on our windows to arrive (typical time is 6-8 weeks) to find out our window supplier NEVER EVEN PLACED THE @#%! ORDER!


I applaud all of you who have been able to achieve such a miracle. A miracle for us will be to actually get this house finished in our lifetime! Well, at least we'll be ready for our next O-B job . . . the main house . . . See "My construction website".


Calgon take me away!


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