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If you’ve read about home renovations online or talked with people you know, you may have heard horror stories about projects that were completed way behind schedule. You may have even found yourself in that situation in the past. Here are some things you can do to prevent remodeling delays.

Choose the Right Contractor
Before you hire a contractor, contact references to ask about their experiences with the company and whether they encountered any problems. Read online reviews and look for any complaints filed against the business, especially for issues such as poor workmanship or breach of contract. If you find any red flags, look for a different contractor.

When you sign the contract, ask whom you should contact if an issue arises. Dealing with one individual can help you avoid miscommunication and make sure important information gets relayed to everyone who needs to know. Try to be available so the point person can get in touch with you if questions arise or if you need to make a decision. If you can’t talk right away, respond to voicemails, texts or emails as soon as possible.

Order Supplies That Are in Stock
In a major renovation, steps need to be completed in a specific order. A delay in receiving one type of supplies can hold up the entire project. Look for products that are in stock when you place your order so you won’t have to push back the entire schedule because a critical piece hasn’t arrived yet.

Stick to the Plan
Once you’ve settled on a design and the drawings have been completed, don’t decide to make changes based on something you saw online or in a magazine. Changing one element can lead to a cascade of other necessary changes that can delay the whole project.

Give Contractors Time to Work
Give the contractors large windows of time to work so they can complete the project as efficiently as possible. If you’re having major renovations done, consider moving out of the house temporarily so they can get the project done quickly without having to work around your family’s schedule.

Be Prepared for Potential Delays
Some types of work, such as exterior painting and pouring concrete, can only be done in dry weather. If the conditions aren’t right, you’ll just have to wait. The processes of obtaining permits and getting work inspected can be time-consuming and complicated. You and the contractor should build a buffer into the schedule to account for these sorts of problems.

Avoid Roadblocks as Much as Possible
Delays in home renovations are common. Before you start a project, make sure you hire a qualified contractor and create a detailed but realistic plan. Some delays are unavoidable, but many can be prevented with clear decision-making and open communication. Once you and the contractor have made a plan, stick to it and keep in touch so things can run as smoothly as possible.