Dealing With The Costs And Delays Of Home Renovations

How to mitigate potential cost increases and delays

couple going over bills

It’s no secret that over the past few years, renovators and builders have had to suffer from multiple effects caused by a combination of coronavirus and a weak economic outlook in the UK and the wider western world. If material shortages from abroad weren’t bad enough, companies in the industry across the country have also had to content with a lack of labour coupled with a hike in the cost of everything related to construction. 
This has made the situation much more difficult for renovators looking to provide an effective and affordable service to their clients. It has impacted how projects are planned for and which materials can be used to keep the client on budget, so it’s believed that renovation companies have been paying up to 20% more money than in previous years to achieve the same results. 
With all of this uncertainty and instability, let’s take a look at how you can plan ahead for your 2023 renovations with some helpful advice! There are 7 top tips you can implement to manage your renovation expectations and also take the time to get things right on your new project rather than rushing in trying to get everything completed within a certain timeframe. 

1. Prepare a larger than average contingency fund

A budget with a built-in contingency won’t help to mitigate the increasing price of goods and labour, however it will help you be more confident when executing your vision on a property. Allow for up to 20% contingency where construction related costs are concerned. If the budget does not allow for any kind of contingency, then it’s not really advisable to start a renovation in the first place without those extra funds in place. 

2. Extend your lead time

Many builders and renovators already have lead times of many months, and the exact materials needed for construction can also take a while to come. Due to this, plan the renovation with months in advance instead of just weeks to ensure everything runs smoothly. Select and buy your products in advance, especially if you are needing a new kitchen or bathroom with imported items you can’t source locally. 

3. Stay flexible

If you have a rigid timeline and a fixation on exactly what you want to achieve, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment when it doesn’t materialise. Keep everything from the budget to the deadline to the materials needed flexible. Be prepared to compromise and bend and flex with whatever comes your way. It always helps to chat with your builder or architect ahead of time and tell them your expectation and ask them honestly if they are realistic. 

4. Think about what can be delayed

When you break down your project into sections, you get a better feel of what can be delayed and what can’t be. You might want to delay parts of the build until the rates for material drop, or if the budget won’t stretch that far just yet. It may be that the exterior of your new extension can wait a few more months to be clad, as it won’t affect the daily life in the property. Other things such as heating and plumbing may be a high priority and cannot be delayed, especially in winter. 

5. Collaborate with your team of builders

It’s hard enough managing a renovation with all of the liaising you have to do with suppliers, but don’t leave your building team out of the equation. They too will be having difficulties sourcing the right materials and even labour, with some charging much more than they were just a few years ago. Any delays on their end will cause jobs to be delayed or even cancelled, so be sure to keep them in the loop with everything so the project can run as smoothly as possible. 

6. Don't settle for just any builder

Sometimes it can be tempting to choose a builder who promises to get a job done quickly over one with more experience who you might have to wait for to become free. If you aren’t entirely satisfied with your choice of builder, then don’t choose them just to get the project going quickly. Don’t compromise the level of workmanship as you will have to live with the results of it for years to come wishing you’d waited just that little longer for the right contractor. 

7. Think about extending your project

It’s always wise to factor in time extensions to projects too, and if you aren’t in a rush to get things finished then you can use that time delay to your advantage. If you have two weeks scheduled to complete an extension, then why not make it four weeks and take the pressure off everyone involved, from the builders and renovators to the suppliers – and yourself too. This way, when a project exceeds your original two-week deadline it’s not something which will cause stress. 

Should You Delay Your Renovation Project?

It’s no wonder that so many homeowners and renovators are putting their projects hold in the current climate with so many difficulties to content with. However, it is not always the right decision to fully delay a project, instead why not take that extra time to plan things more carefully, use it to source reputable builders with good feedback and experience, get samples of the materials you like and really take the time to discern what you need instead of rushing into anything. 
You can also use the time to build your budget to cover any contingencies, and with any luck the prices of materials will have dropped by the time you want to make your purchases. 

Get in Touch!

If you’re considering your own renovation, then reach out to the team here at Refresh Renovations and we can give you helpful advice and guidance at every stage of the renovation process. From initial designs to final touches, we’re here by your side to ensure you get the home renovation  you’ve been dreaming of!

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