Main Reasons Remodeling Projects Are Delayed

Posted by Lori Bragg - 14 February, 2021

When everyone in the family is eagerly waiting for that bathroom or kitchen remodeling project to be completed, the last thing you want to hear is that unforeseen circumstances have caused a delay. If you do your homework and plan ahead though, most of these delays might be preventable. Here are a few of the most common types of delays and how they could be prevented.S&W - Roeder Kitchen - (2)

Inspections and remodeling permits

The majority of remodeling projects require permits which are normally handled by the contractor.

If they are not properly planned, however, both inspections and permits can cause project delays. This is where using an experienced contractor can save you a lot of time and many headaches. They know how long it typically takes to process specific types of permits and they will make sure the project stays on schedule by planning this properly.

Inspections can be another cause of delays, particularly if you use an inexperienced contractor. If your project should fail an inspection it is not only likely to cause a delay, but it could also increase expenses. This is why it’s important to discuss permits and inspections with the contractor before accepting their quote. If you get the feeling they’re not completely sure how the process works, walk away while you still can.

Adverse weather conditions

There is a good reason why the majority of homeowners schedule remodeling jobs for spring or early fall: it’s less likely that the weather will cause irksome (and potentially expensive) delays. This is particularly important for exterior remodeling jobs such as home additions, roofing, or adding a new deck. Although it’s usually not such a big deal in the case of interior remodeling projects, certain components such as cement and grout can take significantly longer to cure, thereby delaying the whole project. Inclement weather can also result in delivery delays, particularly if some of the materials have to be sent from out-of-state.

S&W Reed (18)

A change of plan

Plan changes are among the most common causes of remodeling delays. Sometimes a discovery is made while work is underway that forces the initial plan to be changed, but very often it’s simply because the homeowner changed his or her mind.

Even something as seemingly insignificant as relocating an electrical outlet to another wall might cause delays and could potentially increase the final cost. This is why it’s so important to discuss the whole project in detail with the contractor before work starts. Make sure there is no misunderstanding about any aspect of the job. You will be surprised to learn how many remodeling projects are derailed because of misunderstandings.

When unforeseen circumstances force a plan change, an experienced contractor is much more likely to be able to come up with solutions than an inexperienced one. Having said that, if you change your mind about, for example, the color or type of material to be used, try to do that before these materials are ordered and delivered. And make notes of all the changes you requested, and when.

Miscalculating lead times

Miscalculating shipping deliveries and/or lead times is another common cause of delays in remodeling projects. This is particularly common if you use an inexperienced remodeling contractor who sources his or her materials from a source other than the manufacturer, e.g. a depot. This can cause delivery delays or materials might be placed on back order. An experienced remodeling contractor knows how to manage lead times and how to take this into account when giving quotes and/or time estimates.  

This was been an even bigger problem in 2020, as the pandemic threw manufacturing off it's normal track and caused a domino effect on all in-process projects and predicting lead times for future projects became more difficult.  Having a long-standing relationship with these companies help seasoned remodeling companies weather the crisis.

Issues with subcontractors

If one subcontractor is unable to start or to complete a job as scheduled, it can (and often does) significantly delay a remodeling project, as the entire schedule of the project can be affected. This is where an experienced and reputable remodeling contractor again stands out from the crowd: they pick their subcontractors with the greatest care and they have backup plans in place in case something goes wrong.  Some, like S&W Kitchens, have in-house contractors to ensure these issues are minimized.

Topics: home remodeling


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