Delays: how to fight the biggest monster in remodeling

Posted February 02, 2016 by Gabriel Posternak

From a small funny story with a happy finish to a nightmare with no ending at sight, delays are the biggest monster to face when doing a home remodel. They are always there, lurking in the dark, waiting for the least expected moment to attack and disrupt your dream of a smooth experience.

Unfortunately, there's no way to get rid of them altogether. But there's plenty you can do to keep them at bay and reduce them to a minimum. How, you ask? By following these tips we've collected over the years!

Be Realistic

Weather is one of the most common reasons to delay a remodel. If you are planning an outside kitchen in the snow season, be prepared to have a lot of patience. Planning in advance, and taking care of the weather forecast for the season should be your first step.

Hire professionals

You don’t want a delay because the contractor shows intermittently or not show at all for days in the middle of the remodel. Research and interview as many companies as you need and sit with them to agree to a doable schedule. Make sure they have the resources and the manpower to do so.

Pay attention to the paperwork

Make sure your project complies with all the rules and regulations -state, county and neighbour- and that you have all the permits before start. A good contractor should know that beforehand and warn you the moment you tell him your needs. He should also be able to carry most of the paperwork for you.writing-write-person-paperwork-paper-notebook

Choose materials in advance

At the beginning of your planning try to choose and order most of the construction materials you can. Windows, cabinets, flooring and tiles can have expected delivery times of 10 weeks or more! And remember that those times almost always should be taken with some tolerance… If you are on a tight schedule, go with the standard, less costly materials that are most easily on stock.

Plan with extreme detail

A loose plan or design can cause that either you or the contractor want to make changes or revisions in the middle of the project. If you are involved from an early stage of the process, you increase your chances of seeing potential conflicts and fixing them before starts. You should discuss with your contractor the strengths and weaknesses of partners, subcontractors and suppliers and what he will do to manage if any problem arises with them.

Put things in writing

Make a contract with the hired company and make provisions for delays or changes of plans. As we said before, some delays are unavoidable but you need to know which are those and which are the ones you should expect a compensation for. A good contractor should have a good insurance and so do you.

Schedule regular inspections

This will let you see any problem that will potentially cause a delay. You will also make sure all the plans and blueprints are followed and no rule or regulation is broken during the job. If something is even slightly off, you should sit with the contractor to adjust the schedule before suffering a bigger or more costly delay afterwards.

Calculate contingency time and money

Some delays will be fixed with more money and some will just need to be accepted, and that’s the whole definition of “contingency”. Be prepared to face them with the least hassle.

Delays can happen even in the most controlled schedule but this should not prevent you from start your home improvement project. Just follow these best practices to minimize the pain and try to focus on how happy you will be once the remodel is done.

Feature photo credit: Tony Webster via Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

Posted February 02, 2016
by Gabriel Posternak.


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