These days most of us are forced to tackle multiple tasks at once both at work and home. The fact that the demands on our time and energy are so stressful is bad enough, but the evidence is that we aren’t even getting much for our efforts, since multitasking is often unproductive. So it might surprise you when I suggest you’ll need to multitask your “preconstruction tasks” when planning to build a modular home – if you are to build it on schedule.
Work on Several of Your Preconstruction Tasks at the Same Time
Actually, I’m not advocating multitasking. What I’m encouraging you to do is to work on a few of your preconstruction tasks at the same time. For a little background about how many preconstruction tasks you’ll need to complete before your modular home is delivered, see these three posts: Your Modular Dealer and Financing Tasks, Your Permit and General Contracting Tasks, and Other Preconstruction Tasks.
As you might imagine, if you do each of the preconstruction tasks one at a time – that is, sequentially, it’s going to take you a lot longer than if you do a few of them at the same time – that is, concurrently. This doesn’t mean you literally should work on several preconstruction tasks at the same moment or even the same day, which is what you do when you multitask. But it does mean you should get the ball rolling with as many tasks as you can so all of the balls are rolling forward together a little each day. This is especially important because many of the preconstruction tasks take several weeks and much of the work done during this time is being done by others.
For example, here’s how long it typically takes to do each of the following:
Receive, review, and revise 2 drafts of plans and 1 set of permit plans from the factory – 8 weeks
Obtain an engineered and approved septic design – 4 weeks
Close on a construction loan – 6 weeks
Obtain all signatures required to apply for a building permit– 2 weeks
Starting Your Preconstruction Tasks Won’t Take a Lot of Your Time
Keep in mind that starting each of these preconstruction tasks will take comparatively little of your time even though it will take weeks for others to complete them. For example, the engineer will take several days to design your septic system, and the town will take a couple of weeks to approve the design. So although it will only take you a few hours to locate and hire the engineer, you will add four weeks to your schedule if you don’t start this preconstruction task until you’ve received your financing and permit plans.
The Consequences of Completing Your Preconstruction Tasks One at a Time
Now imagine you wait to start each of the four tasks until another one is completed. In that case, it will likely take 20 weeks to get through them all. But if you start all of them within a couple of weeks of signing a contract with your modular dealer, you can be done in as little as 8 weeks.
I’m not advocating that you sign a contract before you have received a preapproval from your lender. But once you have the preapproval, I recommend that you move ahead with your other responsibilities. If you do not, you are likely to fall behind your own schedule by weeks, and more likely by months.
For more information about scheduling the construction of your home, see Selecting a Modular Home Dealer, Selecting a General Contractor, and Building a Modular Home on Schedule in my book The Modular Home.