Why Some Renovation Projects Stall...

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Registered: 09-05-2003
Why Some Renovation Projects Stall...
Sat, 05-10-2008 - 11:00am

from http://www.renovatorsplace.com/dsp_articles.cfm?l_article_id=312&l_cat_id=48&catid=1

Why do some remodeling projects stall and how can you prevent it from happening to you?

Here are the main reasons:

Problems with the contractor -- who juggles too many jobs, is not a good manager, has trouble supervising workers, spends money from one project to start another (a vicious cycle), is unethical

Surprises in the construction process

Scheduling or financial issues

Zoning or building code issues

Your own actions -- making changes after the work begins, not communicating your need to the contractor, adding to the "to do" list

Here's how to avoid:

Problems with the contractor
Carefully screen contractors before you hire one. Ask each contractor how many jobs he handles at a time and if he builds in extra time in a schedule for surprises or delays. Ask for examples of surprises on other projects and how he handled them. (Then call his references to check!)

And, DON'T pay ahead of the work being completed. If the contractor doesn't have enough credit to buy your building materials, ask why!

Construction surprises
Know what to expect. On a kitchen project, he should examine the electrical and plumbing systems. How old are they? Can they handle the added load from new appliances and lighting? If they have to be upgraded, what is the best way to do so? How long will it take to get permits?

Don't rush the planning. Be careful of a contractor who doesn't take time to learn how your house works. He might find out later that the main plumbing stack is behind the wall he wants to tear down. If the kitchen is in shambles, it leaves you with few choices than an expensive rerouting of the plumbing or a reconfigured kitchen design.

Scheduling issues:
Set a solid timeline before work starts
Build in a few days here and there for surprises
Meet with the contractor regularly (at least weekly) for a progress check
Make sure all products are ordered before work starts, and scheduled to be delivered before you need them.
Don't add to the "to do" list as you go along or make changes to the products, fixtures etc. once construction starts

Zoning/code issues:
Make sure the contractor is familiar with codes in your town. He should:
Get building permits/variances before work starts
Talk with inspectors instead of trying to work around them
Have all paperwork in place before work begins!

And, lastly, pay attention to your instincts and any warning signs. If a week goes by without anyone working on your project or you hear the contractor frantically calling workers in the afternoon for the next day's work, it could be a sign of bigger problems. Get to the contractor right away to work it out.

Co-CL for "The Stitcher's Niche" and CL for "Remodel & Renovate"

Visit me at That Yank In... and Traveling with That Yank

Avatar made with Portrait Illustrator Maker

Stitchery WIPs: "Bath 5¢", "Walking to Town", a selection of 8 San Man snowman charts, 2 sets of curtain tie-backs using a DMC freebie chart and the DMC linen threads, a Kooler Design Studio chart form JanLynn called "Needlework Shop", "Tsunami Charity Sampler" from the fall 2007 Sampler & Needlework Quarterly, and "Autumn Leaves" from the December 2006 New Stitches

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