Column: Plan ahead for spring projects


It is that time of year. Graduations, confirmations, baby showers, open houses…they all inspire inviting the world into the home. When the window treatments are older than the graduate and are quite sorrowful, it sets off a whirlwind of groundwork preparations.

The house needs to prep for the big occasion, too. If that is the case, be prepared. It takes time to do it right.

StubbornOnce the decision has been made to redo a room in anticipation of a big event, the impatient 6-year-old in all of us comes out to play. Change is exciting and it really is hard to wait.

The following checklist should illuminate what to expect. This will make the wait far more palatable for that demanding little person living in all of us who wants what they want and they want it NOW!

Set an initial appointment with a designer: Several days to several months depending on how the designer works and the client load at the given time. We try to manage this by working as a team so that the process is started in a timely fashion.

A presentation based on your likes and needs: Once again this depends on how your decorator or designer works but it is realistic to expect anywhere from a few days to several weeks. We will often bring a client into the studio for an in-depth look at likes and dislikes to expedite the process.

Custom upholstery pieces: Six to twelve weeks from the time the order is placed is reasonable. If it goes beyond twelve weeks, something is probably amiss such as a fabric backorder.

If you place a custom order prior to the major furniture show at High Point, your order should have more of a chance of a faster completion. If you order shortly after High Point (April and October), your order can get bogged down a bit by the sudden influx of orders from the show.

Shipping from manufacturer: Even when an item is in stock at the manufacturing source, there can be a delay. The time involved with shipping is up to the truck drivers, the weather, and pure luck. This is like a school bus ride…someone gets on first might have to get off last. We have seen furnishings arrive in under a week and we have had furniture ride the highway until the color has changed due to motion sickness!

Custom window treatments: This can vary from a few weeks to several months. It all depends on the availability of the fabric and who is supplying the labor. Projects being fabricated by one of a larger, group workroom must get in line once all materials arrive. If it is the busy season, the materials must wait patiently until it is their time. This is totally unpredictable. Design firms and stores who have in-house workrooms have more control over timing, although the arrival of the fabrics can still bog the process down. We have turned “need-it-now” emergency projects in a day when the materials were in-stock since we have our own fabricators. This, however, is an anomaly.

Kitchen remodel: My rule of thumb is a) take the time quoted by the individual doing the work. b) Take that number and multiply times two. This should give you a reasonable idea. The larger the project, the more opportunities there are for delays, out of stocks, unexpected issues, and changes.

Whatever your project, share the due-date up front.