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Time isn’t on your side during construction delays

After saving and dreaming, you have finally decided the time is right to begin that construction project. You may be building a new home, adding on to your existing home or constructing a separate building, such as a garage or office. Any kind of construction is disruptive, and delays can end up costing you both money and peace of mind.

To minimize the problem of expensive, prolonged delays, meticulous planning and communicating well with your contractor are irreplaceable. While a detailed plan may not eliminate every delay or interruption, you may be able to reduce the level of stress when something stalls the forward progress.

Planning for common hindrances

Building extra time for setbacks into your plan may reduce the chances that your project will run into costly delays. Some common factors that often put construction behind schedule include:

  • Weather: Even if your project is not outdoors, certain weather conditions may affect the work. Severe weather may keep your crew from arriving at all.
  • Holidays: These are predictable and therefore easy to include in your plan. However, consulting your contractor will save you from being surprised when no one shows up on a day you expect work to continue.
  • Shipping delays: You or your contractor may need to order most of the items for your plan. If your project includes any custom-made items, delays in shipping may be more likely.

If you take notes on the start and finish times of each phase of the project, you will be able to gauge the progress of the overall construction and work with your contractor to keep things on track.

Some delays you control; others you can’t

Making decisions about your project is an important part of planning. Waiting until construction is underway may cause expensive delays. Changes that may seem simple to you, like moving an electrical outlet, may cost you money and time you cannot afford. Having your plans in stone ahead of time is an important component to keeping your project running smoothly.

On the other hand, most construction projects require some kind of inspection, perhaps even multiple inspections from different agencies. Timing inspections is a delicate balance, and failing an inspection can bring a project to a screeching halt. Your contractor should be knowledgeable about local statutes so that inspections will not be a source of tension.

When things don’t go as scheduled

After all your planning and preparing, if your project incurs delays, it may result in financial loss or other hardships. You and your family may be forced to spend extended time in a hotel or rental, or your business may suffer while construction stalls because your contractor did not hold up his or her end of the bargain.

If this has happened to you, you have a right to seek compensation. Consulting an attorney who has experience in construction disputes will provide you with answers to your questions and solid advice for which options will work best for you.

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