The dominant type of building projects in construction right now are renovations. Renovations differ from building a new home in that there is an existing structure to work with, and that poses a few problems, some of which will be unexpected.
One of the most common questions I get from my renovation clients is “How long is this going to take”?
Typically, renovations take longer to complete.
Here’s 5 reasons why:
- The consultation process between the property owner, the architect and the contractor – the best advice is to ensure that all three parties are in direct contact with each other during the consultation phase. Clients will often hire an architect to draw plans for them before they look for a contractor to hire for the work stage. My advice would be to look for both parties at the same time and keep both your architect and building contractor uniformly informed. With a consultation relationship involving all parties of the project working together from day one, you will have fewer dealys. Your contractor can walk through your existing home and help you to decide what is the best approach to your initial plans for the addition or renovation. If you need to hire an architect to draw up plans, your contractor will be able to work with both you and your architect to ensure everything you want is attained with minimal issues.
Demolition and disposal of existing structure materials. Demolition and disposal is labour intensive work, which often cannot be performed by a machine.
Unexpected delays associated with the “mystery behind the walls”. It is impossible to ascertain if an unexpected issue will or will not arise from tearing down any part of an existing structure. Sometimes the age of the home is a good indicator that electrical may need to be upgraded, insulation may be ineffective, plumbing upgrades, unforseen rot, and any other aspect of your home that may not be up to the current building codes. Once the section of your home that is being renovated or added on to has been opened up, an inspection of the existing building components can be done by your contractor and any required changes (in order to pass City inspection) can be acertained at that time.
Plan changes as the project is under way. It is not uncommon for the client to decide during the renovation that certain aspects of the addition or upgrade need to be changed. This creates a delay in trade timing and work scheduling. If the client is dealing with an architect and there are structural changes required to the plans, it is not uncommon for a few more weeks to be added on to the original completion date while the plans are redrawn or adjusted as needed.
Engineering issues are not uncommon on large renovations & additions. As mentioned above, working with an existing structure can offer up a few complications that cannot be forseen until the project is under way. Much like architectural changes, engineering issues can also tack on a few weeks to the completion date of a client’s project.
The bottom line is that communication and coordination are your best friends when deciding to do a major renovation to your home. This will save you time, money and a few unnecessary headaches.