Construction meetings are important! Let me tell you a story. A couple of months ago I was on a job site for a construction meeting with the contractor and our client. We were about two months into the project and the rough framing for the addition and remodel was complete. The contractor had called the meeting so we could review all the door and window sizes and their placement before he actually placed his order.
This is a great time to have a meeting and a great opportunity that the contractor was giving us to review all the items that were on the plan. Of course, he has put in the doors and windows as shown on the working drawings, but it’s always nice to walk through the house and see how the doors and windows look in each room. As it happened there was a couple tweaks we wanted to make. One example was in the master bathroom where there is a very large shower with a window. On the plan the was shown window and it looks good but when we were in the space the window wasn’t exactly centered in the shower. It just needed to be moved over about 3. Why this was important because my clients were big on symmetry and they noticed that the window was off by center. Having the opportunity to review the windows and door placement and sizes we could adjust the window. Little touches that make a room better.
Also why we were going through the project we found various other little adjustments that we wanted to make on door swings, where switches were placed and electrical outlets. It was a great meeting to review things that had been decided on before construction started, but now we’re in the real world and my clients could actually touch and feel the space and how it was going to work for them. That is why you need to have regular construction meetings.
It’s not just a little adjustment that you get to make when they can still be made relatively inexpensively, but it is also an opportunity to look ahead and see what challenges might be coming up. One item contractor also brought up during our construction meeting was the fireplace and how the tile was going to be placed in the fireplace. Now you might say “What does it matter how the tile it’s going to look on the front of the fireplace” But we had an opportunity to review the placement of the fireplace, the TV, and the mantle and how the tile aligns with these elements. It was important for my clients, again symmetry, and how the grout lines of the tile intersect with vertical and horizontal lines of the fireplace, the mantel, and the TV. By taking a little extra time and thought on how the tile pattern lays out just strengthens the look of all the elements as you sit in front of the finished product.
Having the tile hit just above or just below the horizontal line of the fireplace; when the fireplace could have been adjusted to line up exactly with the tile grout line are little adjustments that make the space spectacular. We spent about 20 minutes talking about making small adjustments that all the elements work better together. Now did all the elements line up exactly and work out perfectly? No, it didn’t. The type of tile that my client wanted to use was a larger tile (12″ x 24″) and that makes it harder to adjust without cutting tile. But we were able to adjust the pattern layout so that it was a stronger design element. This is going to be a centerpiece of the great room where they’ll be sitting at and looking almost every day.
Having a construction meeting with your architect and contractor will also let you know how the construction going. As I have said in my book and mention many times in this Blog, the relationship of the architect and the contractor will have a major factor on your construction project. You want to make sure that these two principles are interacting on a constructive (no pun intend) basis. The construction meeting will give you an opportunity to observe their interactions.
Finally, construction meeting will give you a good sense of where you are in the construction process so that you can start to map out what money you’re going to need, what items you need to pick, (materials, fixtures, or appliances) and it keeps you in touch with your design and construction team. That will give you peace of mind as you’re working through the construction process. You will still have surprises that are a normal part of the remodel process, but you’ll have a better sense of the overall project. It’ll be more like a little bump instead of being blindsided.
If you are in the middle of your own construction project now and you not having regular construction meetings. Call your contractor and your architect and tell them you want to have a meeting the very next day. It will pay for its self in the long run. Good luck with your project and until next time.