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How to manage renovation delays

Last modified: 2022-09-19 | Approximate reading time 6 mins

A renovation project without delays is like thunder without lightning; when one occurs, the other follows. Yes, the truth of the matter is that almost every single renovation project will experience a small or large bump in the road.

Therefore, it’s better to be fully prepared, safer than sorry and to plan in advance for your renovation to experience delays. So how can you manage your expectations exactly? Well, the best way to prepare is to know which delays are most common.

Knowing the most common renovation delays offers you insight into the potential ways things could play out. With this information, you’ll be able to plan ahead and be better at anticipating mishaps. We’re not guaranteeing that it’ll be smooth sailing, but at least you can avoid major disasters and keep things on track.

How to manage renovations: the most common delays

1- Weather

Home renovations bad weather

source: unsplash

You may not have expected the weather to be at the top of the list when it comes to renovation delays, but it's the most unpredictable factor in relation to home renovations. The forecast is impossible to predict and although you may spend your mornings or evenings watching the weather channel, it’ll never be fully accurate. If you’re working on your exterior or need to keep windows and doors open due to interior projects, then avoid winter months completely.

If it rains, this puts a halt on a variety of projects including roof repairs or replacement, painting, siding repair, deck, building, installing an addition as well as any projects that involve concrete. Regarding concrete, this material needs time to cure and in order to do this, it cannot get wet. Therefore, repairing a driveway or the foundation of your house can't happen during the rainy season. 

Of course, try your best to make do with weather conditions but in some instances, you may have to just wait it out. If you’re working with a contracting team, they’ll generally add a few inclement weather days into your work schedule, especially if bad weather already appears in the forecast. Most contractors are experienced in the realm of the weather Gods and will know how to plan for predictable events that are likely in the area where you’re living.

2- Permit delays

When it comes to taking on a renovation project, permits are an absolute must. Completing a renovation without a permit may lead to issues with your municipality, or the potential for legal recourse. You don’t want to make things more complicated than they already are and so, it’s crucial to do plenty of research and apply for the right permits.

Now, even when you take the steps towards obtaining a permit, there will still be a lot of stops and starts in the process. Of course, the specifics will come down to your municipality as well as the project itself but it’s important to expect permit delays to happen. Not only will you have to wait for permits to be approved, but in many cases, various stages of your renovation will require an inspection. These inspections can easily cause additional delays, so do bear this in mind during the initial planning stages, especially when working with an external team or contractor.

There are many reasons why your permit, as well as the process of inspections during the renovation, might be delayed. It could come down to you and could be about not having the proper paperwork and plans that are required to push the permit through. In other cases, it could be due to the city administration, and come down to municipal understaffing and other internal problems.

As you may have guessed, delays, as they relate to permit applications, cannot be predicted.  Your best bet is to be certain that all of your paperwork is in good working order a month or so before you intend on starting the project.

3- Lead times and backorders

Home renovation delays

Do you plan on ordering materials, fixtures, and appliances online? Do you know where they’re coming from? Is your contractor pressuring you to order everything up front? The answer to these questions is quite important due to lead times.

In some instances, the contractor you’re working with might suggest that you select all items ahead of time and that is an attempt to avoid a holdup. This is a pretty common occurrence when ordering online, especially if the items you’re hoping for are in a different part of the world. This might come down to proper planning, scheduling and understanding what is needed to get your project off the ground. Since there are already so many moving parts during a renovation project, make sure you or someone appointed ensures everything comes together properly.

4- Pre-existing conditions

There is no way to anticipate the horrors that lie behind walls or underneath floors. When renovations begin and you start ripping up these surfaces, what will you find? The surprises waiting for you in the form of unforeseen problems could be anything from water damage, mould, mildew growth, rot, asbestos, termite damage and so forth.

Getting rid of these issues may add some serious time to your renovation schedule. If you’re working with a contractor, they’ll let you know how long it may take to mitigate the situation. If your home is older, it’s safe to assume that some of the aforementioned issues are lurking underneath. Of course, not every old home will have these problems but just be aware that you may find something you weren’t expecting.

5- Inexperienced contractors

Contractor renovating home

source: unsplash

This renovation delay comes down to inexperience, laziness, and carelessness. Your home is a major investment, and thus you need to put time, energy and trust into choosing whoever’s going to be working on it. It’s crucial that you can depend on the work of your chosen contractor. There are plenty of ways to avoid hiring the wrong person, but following these basic steps can help you pick the right contractor:

  • Make sure they’re insured and fully licensed;

  • Read reviews of your chosen company or contractor;

  • Make sure they’re aware of city and municipal building codes and rules.

Above all, make sure you’re comfortable speaking face to face with the person or people you hire. As mentioned, renovations are a serious undertaking. You’re likely placing a lot of faith in this person, so it’s crucial that you feel that you can be open and honest with them. If you're looking for more tips on hiring the right person, check out our article on the subject!

Try our checklists to organize your renovation projects 

To help you create a structure that will allow you to make the progress of your project simpler, we've created checklists. These articles contain a broad range of information about materials, the steps to follow and the different elements to take into account.

Here are the links to the different checklists: 

Get quotes for your home renovation project can help you get quotes for your renovation project. If you submit your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with top-rated contractors. Fill in the form on the homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will receive quotes from companies that are specialized in home renovations.


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