When homeowners decide to take on a big project and work with a contractor to construct an addition or oversee a room remodel, they often don’t understand the full scope of work that the contractor will need to accomplish to meet their needs.
A common complaint that homeowners have with contractors is that projects take longer than the initial estimate provided when the contract was signed. Although every project is different, there are a few things that can slow renovations down. Avoiding some of these sticky areas can help keep renovation projects on track and finished as soon as possible.
When a room addition occurs, it usually means the addition of square footage to the house. Any time a project increases a structure’s square footage, it likely means that appropriate permits need to be obtained. Permits are often a difficult area that can slow down a project. Homeowners should make sure they understand the regulations for obtaining the correct permits before work begins. Often, permit issues can cause work in the home to be halted until the problem is cleared up with the proper officials.
The addition of a second story also increases square footage, so the same permit issues apply with this type of project as well. In addition, homeowners may find they need to obtain permission from neighbors to increase the height of their structures, a process that could also call for public hearings or a period of public comment. If these issues aren’t straightened out before work starts, they can cause headaches for the homeowner and contractor alike.
Kitchen projects are often the most difficult and time consuming work that a contractor will take on. Many choices need to be made in planning out a kitchen makeover, and each of these decision points is also a possible slowdown point. Homeowners should do their research early, and decide on their selection of cabinets, countertops, appliances and hardware, so the contractor can order the correct pieces to complete the job. Leaving decisions to the last minute, or changing the fixtures or plans of a kitchen layout can be costly, and can also drag the remodel on much longer than anticipated.
Bathroom upgrades are similar to kitchen remodels in that many decisions need to be made, and should be handled early in the process. Because of the detailed plumbing work involved in bathroom makeovers, homeowners need to have their minds set on the layout and fixtures early in the process, to prevent major plumbing changes once walls have been put up, and floors have been laid down.
For the majority of remodel jobs, the key to a successful project is proper planning and communication from the very beginning. Securing permits, making decisions on fixtures, and approving construction details while keeping an open dialogue with the contractor will ensure a speedy completion of most home improvement jobs.