Imagine that after months of planning and construction – not to mention years of saving – you finally have the outdoor living area of your dreams. The pool you’ve always envisioned is set against a gracious seating area, the focal point of which is a stone fireplace – with an unsightly electrical junction box that you can see from every angle. It’s all too often those jarring details that detract from the most carefully planned space. While these missteps can happen indoors, they’re even more likely to occur on large-scale outdoor projects where tradespeople who don’t usually work together may not be able to fully anticipate each other’s needs.
That’s why we at Palmer Custom Builders always recommend that homeowners use a qualified general contractor to coordinate large outdoor projects. On one recent project, we built a pool house that included a family room, kitchen, full bathroom and laundry facilities, and also managed construction of the pool. While the pool company was responsible for building the pool, managing its construction gave us several advantages. First, we were able to ensure that the pool was sited at the correct elevation to flow with the rest of the construction and landscaping. Then, we could ensure that water, electrical and gas lines that were being run for the pool house were coordinated with those being used for the pool pumps and heater. Finally, understanding the big picture allowed us to better organize tradespeople to maximize efficiencies and reduce construction time.
Even less extensive projects can benefit greatly from coordination. For one project where we created an upstairs deck and screened porch, we coordinated the efforts of the stonemason to tie our staircase into a stone pathway leading to a raised terrace with a BBQ and sitting area. This ensured that the completed project flowed in a practical and aesthetically pleasing manner.
If you have a long-range plan for your backyard that involves several phases, project management becomes even more vital. Having a contractor who understands your overall plan ensures that costly and time-consuming errors won’t be made. For example, a stonemason laying a patio in Phase One won’t cover a space where an electrical line will need to be buried in Phase Two.
No matter how good the tradesmen you hire are at their unique jobs, if you pull them in individually without having an experienced General Contractor diligently guarding the integrity of your project as a whole, the chances that something simple will be missed are high – and your dreams are simply too important to let that happen!