Pre – Construction

Pre-Construction Check List.
Getting your project started right!

Before you hire the contractor, sign the contract or write the deposit cheque; there are some things you will want to discuss. At Covenant Construction, we are here to answer all those questions for you, as well as make this the most rewarding and successful project.  Below there is a list of things you will want to think about before it all happens.

Dust – Just about everything that we do will generate dust. We try in every possible way to concel the dust into the smallest area possible, but keeping 100% of the dust in one area is impossible. Dust can get just about everywhere. To minimize the spreading of dust, we recommend that you change your furnace filter often. We close off doorways, and cover vents and will cover anything and everything that you direct us to but  please pack away family heirlooms, or prized possessions.

Hours of Work – Typically we work from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Monday through Friday, unless other arrangement are made. The presence of a lead carpenter is dictated by the schedule and workload on your job.

What is the morning routine like in your household?
If we show up early may we come in?
What time do you leave for work? What time do kids go to school?
Are there any weekly activities we need to know about?
What about holidays, vacations or special occasions?

This way we know that, if we show up a little early, we might be able to catch you before work or stay a few minutes late to discuss an issue. Knowing the more information about your daily routine will help us make the best decisions for informing you and making it as easy as possible for you to continue life as usual.

Access – We prefer to keep a key in a lock box on an accessible door. This way the key does not leave the job, and if the lead carpenter happens to be away from the job, another Covenant representative can meet subcontractors or check on things. This is usually the door through which everyone will enter and exit. Please let us know if you have an alarm system.

Lunch – We have a thirty minute lunch break between 11:30 & 1:00.

Breaks – About 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the afternoon.

Restroom – A restroom should be designated to be available to the workers, it is best if this is close to the area they are working in.

Clean up – It is our intention to leave your job in a “broom clean” condition at the end of each day.

Sub-contractors – These people are an important part of your job. They, like material, need to be scheduled well in advance. And, like material, they can be late. Since sub-contractors are not employees, we are not able to exercise as much control as we would like. But without them, our jobs and yours, would be much harder.

Delays – Expect a few delays. They come from many sources, all unexpected. Some are due to suppliers (the model you want is out of stock, or the truckers are on strike.) Other delays occur if, once walls are opened, a situation is exposed that causes plans to be redrawn, or something else torn out. Subcontractors provide another source of delay and the domino effect pops up (a delay on a previous job makes them late on yours.) Another delay we have been experiencing more often lately is City Inspections, sometime they take up to 3 days to do an inspection.  However, we do everything we can to keep delays to a minimum.

Customer Access During Construction Hours – For your safety access is restricted. Customers wishing to walk through the area are asked to do so only with the foreman or designated Covenant Construction employee. Spare hardhats and safety glasses are available from the foreman but proper footwear is your responsibility. Unfortunately for safety reasons we must ask that neighbours/friends/ relatives NOT be allowed on site when we are working.

Children – A construction site could pose various dangers to children. We ask that children not be allowed on the construction site, especially during work hours. If it is necessary for children to be either in or around work areas at any time, we ask that they be closely supervised. We always ensure that the job site is left safe at the end of the day.

Pets – Remodeling can be a trying experience on your pet. Many new faces will be coming and going. We will try to accommodate your pet as best as possible. Please inform us what to do if your pet “gets out” and any gates/doors that need to be kept closed.

Parking – A designated area for Covenant employees to park should accommodate both the homeowner and Covenant Construction. We would like you to let us know any specific concerns regarding your neighbors.

Preparing For Your Job
 – We will gladly move the larger items, i.e.: refrigerator, stove, etc. We ask that you clean out all cabinets and small items affected by the work, i.e.: wall hangings, knick-knacks, etc. Let us know where we can move the larger items and we will let you know which walls may be affected that you may not have considered. Dust travels so please box up any items that you would not want to get dusty.

Trash Disposal – We will either set a dumpster or establish a trash pile for regular pick-up by our own dump trailers. A suitable location for trash (or a dumpster) should be established.

Landscaping – During the normal course of construction, damage to the driveway, curbs, sidewalks, patios, adjoining plantings and sod may be beyond the control of the contractor. The contractor is not responsible for this damage, but will make every effort to avoid or minimize such damage.

Communication – On most jobs we will have a “foreman” that will run the day to day aspect of your job. Jobs run smoothest when all communications are funneled through them, including conversations regarding a subcontractor. Subcontractors take instructions best from the foreman, and it keeps information in the proper channel. The written word will have preference over the spoken word. To ensure your satisfaction, please put all changes and variations in writing.  Email is a great tool, but please understand unless it is an emergency staff only man their emails during business hours.  If you would like to discuss something on the jobsite, please talk to the foreman, Craig, or the office.  Craig Hardy is always available to discuss any part of your job.

Appliances, Equipment, Furniture, Plumbing Fixtures, And The List Goes On – Often items purchased or supplied by you have specific space, electrical, plumbing, & structural needs. This is best communicated as soon as possible in the project, especially to the foreman, who can then discuss any changes to the scope on your behalf. We try to ensure that all documentation is passed between everyone involved on the project, this is easy prior to the start of the project but if you receive further information after the project starts we just ask that you give the foreman a heads up as well. We just want to get it right the first time.

Material Storage – An area, usually one side of the garage, should be selected to store salvaged and newly materials delivered.

Conduct – All workers on your job have been asked to keep their shirts on at all times; not to smoke on your property; to play their radios at a low volume; and to clean up after themselves. Please advise your foreman or Craig Hardy if any of these rules are not followed.

Moonlighting – This not allowed by our employees or subcontractors for our customers. Unauthorized work for our customers could result in an employee’s termination.

Yard Signs – We would like your permission to set one of our signs in your yard. The majority of our business comes from referral advertising. This sign not only helps our company generate business, but it also gives your neighbors our phone number in case they have any problems or concerns regarding our activity in the neighborhood. The sign also serves as a marker for material deliveries and subcontractors.

Progress Meetings – At a point near the middle of the project, usually right before drywall starts, and at any other time you request, we would like to set up another meeting to review this checklist, the job schedule, and any other items of interest or concern. Craig Hardy and the foreman will be present for this meeting, also we want to ensure as we are wrapping things up we are all on the same page, so we like to schedule a “punch list” meeting about a week prior to project completion.

Pictures – It is our intention to take pictures of each project prior to the start of the job and at its conclusion. If this practice is acceptable with you, we will take our “Before” pictures as soon as possible. Upon completion of the project, the design manager will schedule a time with you for “After” pictures. With your permission, your pictures may show up on our web site and other marketing venues.  Your name and address will not appear in our marketing materials without your permission.

Additions – During your job, normal and standard construction practices and techniques will be followed. These practices are based on all existing conditions being standard. However, not all current conditions will be normal. Your soil is of varying strengths and moisture content. This may allow for your new addition to move and react differently than your existing house. These conditions can manifest themselves in cracks. The concrete installed on your job is likely to crack, chip, and/or pit. Salt placed by you or brought in on your car will cause the concrete to scale. The concrete should be sealed by the customer after the concrete has cured, a minimum of 28 days.

Interior Framing/Drywall work– The moisture content in your home can vary from a humidity level of 10% to 100%. This swing in moisture means that all the framing lumber, trim and hardwood floors will expand and contract. Drywall nails or screws may bulge out and new trim may separate – up to 1/4″ in some cases. Post renovation it is really important to maintain your humidity levels between 45-60% otherwise shrinking and expansion of any wood products or drywall will occur.

Tile work takes 28 days to cure.  At this point the grout should be sealed by the customer.  Ask us if you have any questions on how to do this- or you can contract us to do it for you.

Renovation Fever – the term coined for the natural pattern of customer emotions during a typical remodeling project. The following Renovation Curve illustrates this pattern:

Dealing with Renovation Fever

Remember that your home will soon become a worksite. We will work hard to respect your privacy and help minimize any inconvenience. Nonetheless, the train-station atmosphere may lead to renovation fever. You may feel a loss of control because of disrupted routines and the impact on your personal space. The best approach is to…

a. prepare for inconvenience, and prepare well. Be sure to set aside a room in your home where you can escape from the chaos and commotion.
b. maintain a sense of humor. You may need it when the weather refuses to cooperate or a vendor postpones the delivery date for materials; and
c. enjoy the renovation process. Tell the children you are “camping-in” and turn inconvenience into fun. Along the way, celebrate at completion of phases of the project, for example when drywall is finished order in your favorite take-out meal. With patience, consistent communication, and careful preparation, the process will go smoothly and you can enjoy the results for years. There is a light at the end of this tunnel.

We hope these tips help prepare you for your renovation.


Craig Hardy

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