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5 things that delay home improvements

Project delay is one of any home improver’s worst nightmares. Work has commenced, everything’s going to plan, but then all of a sudden something happens that means the project could end up taking longer than it should…

Nobody wants to be left worrying that their home could still be a partial building site by the time of that big birthday party later in the year, or worse yet, when the baby’s due.

To many, builder’s have a reputation when it comes to giving time estimates of just telling potential customers what they want to hear, but for the most part this is not true at all — a good builder will give an honest estimate of how long they believe a project will take based on all the information they have. Unfortunately some things can delay a project. Here’s what we think the biggest causes of project delay are and what you can do to try and make sure all your home improvements are always delivered on time.

 Image Credit: Ben Sutherland . CC License

1. The weather

Us Brit’s famously love to moan about the weather as it is, but when the weather’s put a halt to a home improvement you’ll find this trait put into overdrive.

Despite the best efforts of TV meteorologists, our weather is famously unpredictable and sadly some jobs simply cannot be carried out when it’s wet, or extremely windy. Rain for example will put a halt to external concrete and paint works in many cases. However, hopefully if the rain does put a stop to some jobs there will be other things your tradespeople can get on with inside.

There’s a real catch-22 when it comes to deciding when to start an external project, which you personally will need to weigh up. You want things like summerhouses and patios to be completed in the winter, so that your garden is in tip-top condition for the summer months when you want to use these things, unfortunately winter is also when the weather is most likely to prolong a project.

 Image Credit:  Christian Heilmann .  CC License

2. Hidden problems with your property

This issue is less common, but is also one of the things that if it does occur will delay a project the most, finding something wrong with your property once work has commenced. Dodgy wiring, leaky pipes and subsidence are all things that a good builder may detect once they’ve started work, which will need to be resolved before your project can be completed.

While finding out that there’s something wrong with your home is of course massively annoying, try to be positive. It’s a good thing that this problem was found during your home improvement and resolved before it started to worsen causing things like damp and cracks on your walls, and becomes far more difficult (and costly) to repair.

3. Back orders

Back orders can be particularly annoying. It’s not just car parts that can take awhile to arrive.  Home fixtures and fittings can do too, particularly if you’re after a bath tub or other fixture that is seriously in vogue at the moment, a plumbing or kitchen supplier could have weeks and weeks of backorders. The easiest way to avoid waiting ages for that designer basin to be shipped over from Germany is to order it as soon as possible, if something has a particularly long lead time, and you’re reluctant to allow any delay in progress, see if the merchant can recommend a similar product that they currently have in stock.

4. Indecision

While more often than not the blame for any delay is placed solely on the tradespeople doing the graft, this is a tad unfair. One of the biggest causes of project delay is the client putting off decisions, such as what kind of granite should be used for the kitchen worktop, or what pattern would be best for the bathroom tile.

While many tradespeople are undeniably very skilled, they are not mind readers and they need you to tell them what you want. While it can be difficult to decide on certain things, and opinions can shift, the easiest way to avoid this kind of set back is to decide on everything right before any kind of work begins.

Plan everything exactly out, and don’t start until you’re completely satisfied, if you’re struggling to decide about something, ask for help! Most builders, decorators and designers will be able to help you realise exactly what you’d be most happy with in your new home improvement.

5. Planning Permission

Happily for homeowners, in recent years many planning requirements have been relaxed and many of the basic home improvements that are commonly carried out (including many types of extension) are considered Permitted Development. Meaning there’s no need to apply for Planning Permission.

However, if your home is a listed building, in a conservation area, or you want to do something like add an extension which includes a balcony, you will need to apply for Planning Permission. Sometimes it takes longer than it should. This is frustrating because waiting to hear back from the local authority is something completely and utterly out of your control, and the only thing you can do is get your applications submitted as soon as possible.

Improve your home without a hitch

Opun is a revolutionary full-service home improvement service. You tell us what improvements you want to make to your home, we do everything else. From finding the very best Trade Partners to carry out the work, to managing the project and even providing a 5-year warranty on the work completed. Opun does it all.

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