To resolve critical logistical issues and protect estimated job profits, many remodelers take advantage of pre-staging their projects well before construction begins. This involves gathering the materials, equipment, and information required to produce a job before it starts. Both office and field staff can contribute to this process, and it can provide an opportunity for them to use creative problem-solving skills. Some benefits of pre-staging:

• Catch potential problems early, such as discontinued or out-of-stock products or products with long lead times.

• Making selections ahead of time allows for timely materials delivery. And because materials are inspected well before job start, you can identify any that are not in good shape, are missing parts, or require additional parts to install. Then you and the client have time to research alternatives and make substitutions. Make sure you have a secure, weatherproof place to store the materials at your shop or at the jobsite.

• There’s less need for trips to the hardware store for additional items, which reduces extra labor costs.

• You can explain the benefits of your staging process during the sales meeting, providing a way to distinguish your company.

• Having a pre-staging process can also help justify asking for a significant deposit amount at contract acceptance.

Worth the effort

Pre-staging takes time, but that extra time is offset by the advantages listed here and can be measured in money, time savings, and greater customer satisfaction.

Some remodelers have made pre-staging part of their process and won’t start a project until products have been reviewed. Doing so helps motivate customers and sales staff to make timely selections. Holding back a salesperson’s commission until the project has been pre-staged is a good way to get him or her to finalize open items in the contract. Let the production department decide when to schedule the project.

Shawn McCadden founded, operated and sold a successful design/build company. A co-founder of the Residential Design/Build Institute, he speaks at industry events and consults with remodelers.