Delays can seriously hamper your home renovation timeline. But they don’t have to dictate it. Here are five ways you can help limit delays on your next home remodeling project.
For any large home renovation project, a delay or two may be inevitable. But the right planning ahead of time and the right backup plans can make all the difference. Here’s a look at five of the most common causes of remodeling delays and ways you can help limit them.
Home renovation timeline: 5 Common delays and how to limit them
Specific materials, particularly highly customized ones, can play a role in delaying your timeline. But other factors such as backordered items, product discontinuations, or products that arrive damaged can also contribute. Other times, simple shipping delays can negatively affect your project timeline.
How to limit
Choosing a remodeling company that has developed strong relationships with product vendors and an efficient product selection process can help mitigate some of these delays. When you interview design/build firms, ask to see their selection process. Is it easy to use? Does it seem organized? Also ask them about how they work with various vendors and what their vetting process is like. Do they regularly revise preferred vendor lists based on product quality and reliability? If you intend to use highly customized materials, do they have enough lead time built in to their process to account for that? And what sort of notice and options do they provide you if a certain selection is no longer available? An experience remodeling partner should be able to answer these questions and have processes in place to address them.
2. Scheduling and subcontractor delays
Remodeling projects have a lot of moving parts. All of these parts can create dependencies and delays if not scheduled and managed properly. If you’re working with a contractor who outsources most of the work, for example one sub for tile work, another for drywall, yet another for flooring and so on, this could spell trouble. If there’s an issue with any of them, it could significantly slow things down. A lack of a detailed project schedule can also cause headaches. After all, if teams aren’t sure when they need to be at the job site, that’s a recipe for delays.
How to limit
When researching builders, try to identify how much of the work they do in-house. If they just do the construction work and outsource design, that could lengthen your timeline and increase your budget. Do they do things like tile, flooring, drywall, or even concrete work in-house? If that’s the case, this could significantly speed up your project as you aren’t going to have to be dependent on the availability of various subcontractors — and your remodeling firm can better streamline the entire schedule.
Also ask to see a sample project schedule. Does it seem clear to you or are there gaps or stages that appear missing? Do they assign a project manager to your project — and will there be someone on-site each day making sure your schedule is on track? The key is to have an organized schedule with all the project teams and subcontractors working in sync. And to have backup plans, so if a delay does happen at one stage of the project, it doesn’t derail the entire remodel.
3. Client Uncertainty
A home remodel can be extremely stressful. It usually involves a significant client budget investment along with countless decisions that have to be made. That can sometimes lead to second-guessing design choices or simply rethinking the project altogether. This can be especially true if you feel like you’re having to make a lot of key design decisions on your own.
How to limit
There’s nothing to be ashamed about if you like to take your time when making design decisions. It’s better to get it right the first time then to have to go back and redo something. An experienced designer working side-by-side with you can not only help guide you, they can also recommend ideas and options that can help stretch your budget, narrow down choices that may seem overwhelming, and streamline your overall timeline. When interviewing remodeling firms, ask whether they have designers in-house and what their design process is like. Overall, you want to feel comfortable with the design team you end up working with. The goal is to find one that understands your goals, can help you navigate the multitude of decisions in order to reach them, and doesn’t have you constantly second-guessing your design choices along the way.
4. Permit approvals and inspections
Permits and inspections are often critical parts of home remodels. Often, the project can’t move ahead if these aren’t approved and completed. If you’re remodeling a condominium or you live in a historic district, housing boards, neighborhood associations, or historic district boards may lengthen the permitting and approval process.
How to limit
Be sure the contractor you work with is experienced with local permitting processes. Have they developed relationships with permitting offices and officials? Do they know who to contact in case of delays? Seasoned contractors will have an idea of how long various permits take to process and will know how to stay on top of them.
At Lamont Bros., we belong to Portland’s FIR program (Field Issuance Remodel). It covers most residential remodels within city limits, including custom home renovations, kitchen or bath remodels, basements, and more. Contractors who are part of the program can get permits and inspections approved in a fraction of the time that it used to take. That means your project can start, and end, more quickly.
5. Bad budget estimates
A sound and accurate budget is critical to the success and timeline of a remodeling project. Estimates that are off track can not only be frustrating, they can also disrupt a project altogether. Plus, they may affect your ability to get the financing you may need in order to get started. This can be especially true if you start with a separate design firm that provides an initial estimate for your remodel but may be unfamiliar with current-day building costs. You may discover that your project will cost 50% more when you take those designs to the contractor.
How to limit
An effective way to make sure your designs and the budget for construction work are aligned is to work with a design/build firm. Both the design and construction teams understand what the costs will be for various stages of the project, how long each stage may take, and how to get the most out of your renovation dollars. When you interview firms, ask to see their budgeting process. Is it detailed, laying out various phases and when payments are due or does it seem too simplistic? When you review quotes, ask yourself if they seem reasonable or are too good to be true. If it’s the latter, chances are that’s a red flag.
Another key question to ask: Does the firm you’re considering working with have existing relationships with local banks and loan officers? If so, this can significantly speed up loan processing times and limit delays on getting your project started.
Home renovation timeline: Communication is key
Above all, one of the most important factors to help limit remodeling delays is clear, frequent communication between you and your project partner. At Lamont Bros., we pair our clients with a Design Consultant who works with you from the beginning to the end of your remodel to make sure your goals are being met. We also assign project managers to oversee the construction phase of your remodel, and we have a Remodeling Superintendent on site at your home each day work is underway to help ensure everything is running smoothly.
Are you thinking about a home remodel and aren’t sure where to start? We’d love to discuss your project. Simply schedule a conversation with us!