When it comes to home remodeling, the phrase “expect the unexpected,” couldn’t ring truer. We all know that it’s important to create a schedule or timeline for your renovation project, and veteran remodelers know to give plenty of time for unexpected delays.
But knowing what these possible delays are or knowing where they could come from can help you deal with them before they pose a bigger problem. That being said, we’ve outlined the three most common delays a homeowner can come up against during a home remodeling project.
Let’s start with the most unpredictable item on the list: the weather.
It doesn’t matter whether you get all four seasons or just two; weather is moody, capricious, and can often take a turn for the worse without any notice at all. If your home remodeling project requires exterior work, this is something you’ll definitely have to take into consideration.
You can’t exactly risk roofing during high winds or operating heavy machinery in the snow. You can’t mix concrete when there’s a heavy downpour, you will need to save painting or outdoor cabling for another day.
How to Deal: Try as we might, we cannot predict the weather—even with all the newfangled technology at our disposal. That being said, always have a backup plan or an alternative indoor project that you can do should the exterior work get pushed to another day.
For example; roof installations on Thursday and indoor retiling on Friday. If Thursday yields a weather delay. Then your contractor can swap the two around and start retiling indoors, as the weather rages outside. This will effectively minimize idle time and maintain productivity.
Most home remodeling projects need to be inspected and approved by City, County, and sometimes even State departments; Building and Development Department, City Engineering Department, Department of Environment, Land, and Water, and the like. Before the contractor/company can begin working on your home, you’ll need to check with your local municipality about whether or not you need a permit for your remodel.
Most cities will determine the need for a permit based on the scale of your project, and most cities use the overall cost of your project to determine the scale. However, different localities will have different laws regarding permits and permissions. When in doubt, contact the right offices.
Obtaining permits and getting all the right paperwork in order can be a long and tedious—and oftentimes frustrating—procedure. Some permits can take weeks or even months to process, especially if there’s a backlog or system issue.
Waiting for the approvals can greatly affect your remodeling schedule. What’s more, you can’t start construction without these approvals, otherwise you risk paying exorbitant fees.
How to Deal: If you do need a permit, get the approval process started ASAP. This part you simply cannot rush, so try to account for it when setting up your timeline. If your project requires multiple permits or certificates, try to get them all processed in one go. Having all your papers in order before you begin construction will ensure a more streamlined and time-effective remodel.
3. Pre-Existing Conditions
Although not as common a problem as the first two, pre-existing conditions in your home may become unexpected obstacles that could halt the entire home remodeling process. We’re talking conditions that could compromise structural integrity—like mold, rot, termite damage, water damage, etc.—or present a potential health hazard—like asbestos, pipe bursts, and disturbed pest nests.
Pre-existing conditions will need to be taken care of (especially the health hazard ones) before construction can continue. Unfortunately, such cases cannot be taken care of in just a few hours. Rotten floor boards or moldy pillars will need to be assessed before they can be safely cleaned or replaced. The same can be said for structural areas that have signs of asbestos or termite damage. Disturbed pest nests will have to be exterminated ASAP, and such jobs can take several days or longer to complete.
How to Deal: Before hiring a contracting company for your home remodeling project, have a remodeling professional assess the areas that you want to renovate. These professionals will use a myriad of tools to discover pre-existing conditions that could pose major problems.
The truth of the matter is that delays will always happen despite our best efforts to account for them. No matter how well-planned a home remodeling project is, there are just some things we can’t control. The best thing we can do is prepare backups and contingency plans to ensure that no one’s time, money, or effort is wasted.