How to Avoid Common Renovation Delays

A renovation that goes from start to finish without a hitch is almost miraculous. “Hiccups” are inevitable, but there are always things you can do to avoid common renovation delays.

8 Simple Ways to Avoid Delays During Your Home Renovation

We covered the 7 most common causes of renovation delays and how to avoid them in our previous post. Now let’s look closer at simple ways you (the homeowner) can keep things moving smoothly. 

These tips address your renovation in general and will go a long way toward preventing easily-avoidable delays.

1. Effective Communication

The final date of your renovation will be directly determined by the effectiveness of your communication throughout the project. This one factor is vital to your renovation timeline and the quality of the project in general. 

The key is to communicate with the right person. A renovation project involves many people – you, designers, subcontractors, regulators, and others. It’s tempting to talk to the first available person, but that might not be the most effective way to get things done. 

Every individual’s work impacts the work of the rest of your renovation team. Imagine this scenario:

You see the cabinet installer working and discuss a minor change you want to make. He agrees to do it because it’s a simple job, but it requires an extra day so he can get necessary materials. 

The next subcontractor on the schedule is the tiler who will be installing your backsplash. He shows up on his scheduled date only to discover the cabinet installer isn’t done because of the minor change. This pushes the tiler – and subsequently the rest of your entire renovation – behind schedule. 

Not only that, the rest of the subcontractors and people involved in your project will have to be notified. 

Can you see the domino effect? This is easily prevented by communicating with a single contact person – your project manager, who will then contact those who need to know and adjust schedules accordingly.

2. Prepare Your Home in Advance

“Getting ready is the secret of success,” said Henry Ford. That principle certainly applies to a home renovation project. Some of the ways you can do that include:

  • Remove your belongings from the areas that will be renovated. Depending on what your remodel involves, this might include everything in your cupboards or closets, your furniture, decor and anything hanging on your walls.
  • Clear areas for the workers. Make space for them to walk and store their tools and materials. 
  • Protect any furniture and flooring that will be in the work zone.
  • Stay out of the work area once the project has begun. Don’t leave your belongings in that space either. (For example, when you stop by to check on progress, don’t leave your travel mug behind. Workers will be constantly looking for a new place to keep it out of the way.)

For more details and ideas to prepare your home for the renovation in advance, see “How to Survive a Kitchen Remodel While Living in the House.”

3. Provide Access to Your Home

It rarely works well when the homeowner is the only person that can give workers access to the house. All it takes is a traffic jam or a faulty alarm clock to delay your arrival at the house and hold up the project for all the workers awaiting entry.

Allow your project manager access to your home even if you’re not there. Typically, contractors will have a lockbox installed allowing them to enter and exit your home with a security code. This is both convenient and secure.

If you choose a contractor whom you trust to manage your renovation, you should also trust them to protect your home and belongings. 

4. Minimize Interruptions

It’s intriguing to see your home transformed before your eyes. Watching a skilled tradesperson do their work can be fascinating. But resist the temptation to ask them questions about their process or tools and materials. 

Every interruption delays progress on your renovation. Beyond the conversation itself, it takes time for workers to refocus and get back into their productivity zone. If you have questions that must be answered, direct them to your project manager instead of a laborer working hard to complete their job. 

Consider keeping a note on your phone or another handy location where you can add questions or comments as you think of them. The next time you see your project manager, you can go over everything on your list at once rather than engaging in many smaller discussions over time. It’ll be less disruptive.

Avoid micromanaging your project. Throughout the entire renovation, you might see things that look incomplete or questionable. Your renovation isn’t over until it’s over. There will always be a final walkthrough before your project manager declares that it is finished. So leave the work to the professionals. They’re experts at what they do. Trust them and direct your questions to the project manager. 

5. Make Selections Early

Typically, once you’ve hired your project manager, your renovation will steadily progress. You don’t want to waste any time or hold up any work because of decision-making. 

As soon as you’ve finalized the plan and design of your remodel, make your product selections. Remember that every decision impacts every other aspect of your project. You will want your appliances and cabinet doors and hardware and countertops and flooring and lighting to coordinate. So don’t wait to make those decisions.

This part of the process is fun but it can also be overwhelming. Your designer should be able to help you with these decisions.

6. Avoid Selections with a Long Backorder

The completion date of your renovation is dependent on the availability and timely delivery of your product selections. Before finalizing your selections, take note of whether or not the item is in stock. If at all possible, avoid ordering anything that’s on backorder. 

7. Stop Browsing

More than ever before, we have access to an endless supply of inspiration. Especially when you’re anticipating a new living space, browsing the internet or magazines feeds your excitement. If you’re renovating your kitchen, you notice details you wouldn’t have paid attention to before in other kitchens. 

Make your decisions with confidence. Every detail you change mid-project will result in at least a small delay. Naturally, bigger changes mean longer delays (and most likely added costs, too). 

There are endless fantastic ideas, but once your project begins, it’s time to stop browsing. Resist the urge to keep looking for inspiration. Avoid dreaming of bigger, better, brighter options. If staying inspired is important to you, create your Inspiration Board and dream about the space that’s actually being created for you. Anticipate your new reality. 

8. Be Available

During your home renovation, consider yourself “on call”. As with an on-call job, when the phone rings, you answer it. Period. 

When your project manager calls, prioritize that call to avoid delays. They might be calling because they need you to make a quick decision about a small detail. But until that decision is made, the workers are at a standstill. 

Prevent Unnecessary Renovation Delays

Renovation delays are inevitable, but many of them are avoidable. These 8 simple ways to avoid delays in your home renovation are possible for everyone. By implementing them, you’ll be doing your part to keep the project going smoothly. The contractors working for you will also greatly appreciate your efforts. It’s a win-win. 

Riverstone Kitchens & Renovations has over 30 years of renovation experience. We’ve mastered the art of transforming mediocre spaces into magnificent places. Our expertise allows us to keep the process simple and smooth. If you’re looking for an expert you can trust, let us handle your home renovation project!

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