3-Week Basement Finish: How to Create a Construction Schedule for Your Project

Scheduling is a key component of managing any construction project.  I recently completed a partial basement finish with a large family room, kid’s study, and some storage closets, in just 3 weeks. Here’s how I scheduled the work so that it could be finished in just 16 work days:

Week 1:  Rough-Ins

  • Day 1:  Framing
  • Day 2:  Rough HVAC
  • Day 3:  Rough Electrical
  • Day 4:  4way & insulation inspection, stock sheetrock, install sound insulation

Here’s what the project looked like after week 1:

Week 2:  Sheetrock

  • Day 5: hang sheetrock
  • Day 6:  sheetrock inspection, install corner bead and start taping sheetrock
  • Day 7:  mud sheetrock
  • Day 8:  mud sheetrock
  • Day 9:  texture sheetrock
  • Day 10:  sand sheetrock, deliver doors, shelving and trim package

Here’s what the project looked like after week 2:

Week 3:  Finishes

  • Day 11:  Install doors, trim and shelving
  • Day 12:  Paint prep. work & primer coat
  • Day 13:  Paint ceiling, trim & doors
  • Day 14:  Paint walls
  • Day 15:  Finish electrical, finish HVAC, install door hardware
  • Day 16:  Install carpet, final inspection

Here are some shots of the basement after completion:

Here’s how to schedule your own construction project:

Start by listing all the main tasks required to complete the project (like framing, painting, carpet, 4way inspection, etc.) Then create a “construction work flow diagram” by organizing the tasks into a logical order.  (For example, the framing needs to be done before the rough electrical can be installed, and the rough electrical needs to be done before the inspector can do the 4way inspection, and so forth).

Here’s an example of what this might look like for this partial basement finish:

You can then use a blank calendar to start scheduling the trade contractors, starting with the first task, according to your construction work flow diagram.  Ask how much time they need to complete their work and ask them to commit to a date.  Then schedule and confirm the next phase of the project with that trade contractor, and so forth.  Once you’ve done this you should have a project calendar that looks something like this:

Give your trade contractors plenty of notice when scheduling out a project, then reconfirm with them as you get closer to their scheduled date.  Make sure the job is clean and ready for them.  If your project runs into a delay, reschedule as soon as possible starting from that point on. With proper scheduling and communicating with your team of contractors, your project can run smoothly from start to finish.

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