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The phases of a renovation project occur in a specific yet somewhat fluid sequence. If a task happens out of order, it can potentially result in significant costs – both time and money. For example, say you schedule your electrical contractor before your HVAC contractor. The electrician may unintentionally run wiring through a joist space that will later be necessary for a heating duct. This will result in either calling the electrician back or finding another (potentially more expensive) route for the duct – it is much easier for the electrician to adjust where wires are run than for the heating and cooling contractor to adjust where ducts are placed.
If you hire a general contractor, he or she will take responsibility for scheduling issues and minimize any conflict between the subcontractor trades.
This graphic timeline shows the general order of a gut renovation project from financing through move-in. Remember, of course, that each project is individual – not every renovation will include all these phases (and some will include more). Some people experienced in renovation may have systems and procedures that differ from what you see here. However as a general rule, bigger and more independent tasks are completed before detailed and flexible tasks. Arrows indicate the length of the phase and arrows that overlap indicate phases that can typically occur concurrently.