A Porch, Deck & Patio Success Story
A dance between coordination & communication
From the first phone call, this client in Vienna knew what they wanted: a porch, deck and patio. By the time the project was completed, they added a gas fireplace, six heaters, Phantom Retractable Screens and more. As the project manager, our journey together was both challenging and rewarding. Hearing about this porch, deck & patio success story should make your project better, no matter what you are building.
Most people focus on the construction details—size, height, home attachment—to determine how complicated a project will be. In this case, those details were straightforward with a standard size, low elevation and easy connection to the home. The coordination, though, was where the hard work took place. There were so many elements—carpentry, stone, granite, electrical, gas, HOA rules—that required meticulous planning upfront. Each element was interdependent with other elements, and there was little room for error if we were going to stay on schedule and budget.
First, we completed our design document that describes each project element in detail. Next, we created CAD sketches so everyone was clear on what was being built. Then, we completed our PM checklist which included dozens of tasks, owners and completion dates. Only then were we able to confirm the start and finish dates, with all the steps in between to ensure a fruitful outcome.
With these items in hand, we reviewed everything with the client and set clear expectations about what would happen and when. We know things don’t always go according to plan—inclement weather and client requested changes are our biggest variables—so we added a cushion to our schedule. Then we established communication channels so the client would be informed each step of the way.
Fortunately, the clients were deeply invested in the project which always results in a smoother process and better end-product. Clients often apologize for asking so many questions, but we love it. Those questions and our responses are documented so everyone stays aligned. When clients are not as engaged, it takes more effort to reach our final destination.
With the coordination and communication established, it was time to break ground and let the dance begin. We like to think of our client relationships as a dance, with both partners reading each other and adjusting to stay in synch. This is where most construction projects start to break down, but we shine here because of all the advanced planning. It’s like how professional athletes say practice is the work and gametime is the reward.
Once our crew was onsite, it was time to introduce our preferred subcontractors into the mix. This project required an electrician, gas fitter, roofer, gutter expert, granite fabricator and retractable-screening installer. We also had multiple building inspections which required careful planning because the inspectors typically provide a 3-hour time window and certain steps cannot be taken until the inspection is approved.
With all of these elements in play, construction required numerous adjustments. Our process kept all the puzzle pieces aligned, and the client was informed each step of the way. The client felt the project was seamless, but there were plenty of seams below the surface. That’s the nature of outdoor construction and is actually the most rewarding part of my job.
In the end, the client was thrilled with the smooth progression and final product. We finished ahead of schedule and on-budget, and everyone felt a deep sense of pride in what we had created together. If you would like to build a porch, deck or patio that feels seamlessly constructed, all you need to do is Contact Us and we will get your project started!