Celebrating 40 Years in Business
On Schedule 
by Doug Hanna

One of the most common questions we get from owners, just after "how much will my job cost," is "how long will it take?"People who have experienced a renovation project before usually have a somewhat more realistic idea on schedule.   We often say that were it not for permits and inspections, we might be able to shave months off a particular job. But the fact is that we, along with all of our above-board competitors, adhere to the requirements of municipal agencies and go by the book. This process has increased the length of projects more and more over the years. Not only does procuring a permit take longer, but once we have the permit, new types of inspections are required depending on the town (such as screw pattern inspections in drywall... right Somerville?).  

Renovation schedules can be generally predicted, based on the anticipated size and complexity of a project, but the nature of renovating buildings, especially old buildings, can lead to unexpected delays.   Unanticipated repairs, or intentional increases in scope by the owner, have a direct and usually proportional effect of schedule, not to mention budget. Renovation shows on HGTV can give the impression, through time-lapse photography and severe editing, that a kitchen renovation can be performed in about an hour, or maybe a week. The truth is that a high quality kitchen renovation, especially one that involves changing layout, creating new openings, etc., usually takes anywhere from 2 to 4 months, and perhaps more, depending on a number of factors. Potential long lead-time items, such as custom cabinetry, tile and imported fixtures can have a significant effect on the time line.  Of course, when a singular project like a kitchen is wrapped up into a whole house renovation, the procurement of custom components becomes less of a schedule issue. Informed design and doing the homework of the decision-making ahead of time (and sticking to it), certainly helps keep things more predictable.

There are ways to speed up particular aspects of a job, and perhaps the overall project. Throwing more labor into the mix can help, up to a point. If people are in each other's way, it can lead to inefficiency and increased costs. Sometimes owners are OK with that in the interest of schedule, but not usually.   Ordering long lead-time items ahead of time can also shorten the schedule, but care needs to be taken that the items, such as cabinetry, are measured correctly for the space before production begins. This is something that most builders and cabinetmakers traditionally prefer happen after the rough carpentry is completed to avoid mistakes.  

Lastly, it's not always best to tie your schedule to the project schedule: OK, we know that you are having twins in January, but the job only started in November, and it has a March 1st end date. You also want to add a half bath and we discovered termites in main carrying beam between the kitchen and the dining room. Unless you can delay delivery, it's best to make plans to live elsewhere until that time, or put the project off until it is more manageable.   

Managing and informing your expectations up front, about schedule and budget, is the job of a good contractor and makes for a successful project.


Can Cambridge homes make it through the rough winter? Doug Hanna weighs in on how homeowners of historic Cambridge homes can prevent any major issues due to weather. To check out the full article CLICK HERE

S +H is pleased to announce that Rob Russo has recently joined the firm as Business Director. In this role, Rob is responsible for the customer experience, from the time they contact S+H, to the moment work starts on their project. He has an MBA from Babson College, and 15 years of experience in the construction industry. This includes work as a carpenter, job superintendent, and five years at S+H as a project manager. 

S+H is proud to once again be a silver sponsor of the Friends of Mass General Cancer Center Spring Luncheon, taking place on Friday, April 27, 2018 from 11:30am-1:30pm at the Four Seasons Hotel, 200 Boylston Street, Boston. This year,  author Meredith Goldstein, best known for her work with the Boston Globe, will hold a discussion and book signing for her new memoir titled, "Can't Help Myself: Lessons & Confessions from a Modern Advice Columnist." To purchase tickets for this wonderful event, please contact Tara Henry at thenry2@partners.org or 617-643-5774. 


S+H will be a bronze sponsor of the 2018 ABC (A Better Chance) "Rock the Hall" event, taking place on Saturday, April 7th at 7:30pm at the Winchester Town Hall. (ABC) is a national non-profit organization with a mission to integrate kids into the community by providing a true "home away from home."  For more information about the Winchester ABC program please visit www.winchesterabc.org.

Review Us on Guild Quality!
"They go the extra mile to provide confidence that you are in the best care possible for your home, the design, and safety." - 5 out of 5 stars, Elizabeth M. of Cambridge, MA 
"Both their workmanship, which is top notch, and their customer service, also top-of-the-line, make S&H the go-to construction company in the area." - 5 out of 5 stars,  Carol G. of Cambridge, MA                       

If you've had a recent project completed by S+H don't forget to give us your feedback on Guild Quality!

For more information on any of the above topics or to schedule a consultation/appointment for any of S+H's services, e-mail mail@shconstruction.com or give us a call at 617-876-8286.


S+H Construction is a multi-award winning general contractor specializing in new construction, residential renovation, historical restoration, kitchen and bath remodel and landscaping, serving the greater Boston area since 1979.

S+H Construction is a proud sponsor of CHAF, National Public Radio, Friends of Mass General Cancer Care Center; Cambridge Historical Society; Historic Newton and The Longy School of Music. 
26 New Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our profile on LinkedIn Read our Blog!
S+H Construction
26 New Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138