Armchair Builder

The Schedule for Finishing Your Basement

Photo by Fast&Easy

If you’re planning on finishing your basement as an owner-builder, it’s a good idea to have a written schedule.  This schedule lists each activity in the order they are to be completed and shows the time allowed for each.  In this post we will discuss why you need a schedule, the critical components and time frames, and how you fit in when providing your own labor.  Check out our new video…The Schedule for Finishing a Basement.

Why Have a Schedule? As mentioned before, the schedule tells your trades when they are to start and finish their work.  It shows them your complete schedule so they understand the importance of hitting their scheduled date.  The schedule also keeps you, the general contractor, organized when it comes to material ordering, inspections and quality checks.  Without the schedule, you might miss something critical that can set you back days or worse yet, require tear out because you missed an inspection.

Critical Components The first, and most important activity to any building schedule is pull permit.  We don’t want to forget this item as it can cause major delays if forgotten.  Check out our previous post called…Do I Need a Permit for My New Renovation?  Inspections are another critical component to your schedule.  You need to make sure the local building department approves of your work prior to covering it up.  If you forget this step, you may be required to remove work that you have already completed.

How Long? The first question I typically get from customers regarding their building projects is…”How long will it take?”  Most finished basements take anywhere from four to six weeks to complete depending on size, finishes, and complexity.  I have accelerated schedules before to finish off a basement in two weeks.  However, this required a very tight schedule that used hours, not days.  A shortened schedule will also require multiple activities to be going on at any given time.  This is typically not the most efficient way to go.  And don’t forget, efficiency equates to cost savings.

But I want to do Some Work Myself No problem, this is one of the benefits of being an owner-builder…you get to decide who does what.  Just remember to figure into your schedule your day job and family life.  I have always said, “the best schedule is a realistic schedule.”  It does you no good to create a one week schedule if it takes three to do the work.  Just be realistic and your trades will thank you for it.  If you miss a target date, don’t forget to call all of the subcontractors that are scheduled afterwords to allow them to change their schedule.  Don’t forget, your job is one of many jobs they have on their schedule.


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3 Comments for The Schedule for Finishing Your Basement

noxexpare | September 10, 2011 at 8:06 am

Sorry if this is a little off topic… I enjoy reading

What do you think about Lite Sheetrock.
I really enjoy using it. Have you used it?

We save a lot of dough in dump fees. It is easy to lift.

Author comment by armchairbuilder | September 10, 2011 at 9:54 am

I haven’t used the lite drywall yet but it sounds like a great product. How does the cost compare with the regular stuff? Thanks for reading!

Eliseo Familia | November 2, 2011 at 2:45 pm

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