Are you planning a home renovation to increase your property's value or preparing to sell your home in the future? Home renovations can be exciting and rewarding but can also come with their fair share of challenges. Here are some common problems that you may encounter during your renovation and some advice on how to avoid or address them.

Plumbing Issues

Plumbing issues can be a major headache during a renovation. Leaks, faulty installations or old plumbing systems can disrupt your project and result in water damage. To prevent plumbing problems, hire a licensed plumber with a strong track record to inspect your existing system before starting the project. Inspect for water seepage — a common issue in older homes where water can infiltrate from the roof, walls and leaky plumbing lines. If necessary, consider updating your plumbing to meet modern standards and reduce the risk of future issues. Leaks in pipes can result in water damage, mold growth and added costs. Regularly check for any leaks, especially if you're renovating bathrooms or kitchens where plumbing is extensively involved.

Electrical Complications

Outdated or insufficient electrical systems can jeopardize your project's safety and progress. Prioritize safety by hiring a qualified electrician to inspect your existing systems before starting the project. Consider modernizing your electrical systems to meet current standards and accommodate the renovation's needs, including outlets, lighting and load capacity. Collaborate with your electrician and designer to plan electrical placement strategically, enhancing functionality and aesthetics. Allocate a budget for electrical upgrades to prevent future complications, ensuring your home complies with safety codes and energy efficiency standards.

Lack of Proper Resources

Inadequate resources can quickly derail a renovation project. Supply chain disruptions as experienced in recent times can lead to shortages in construction materials. To tackle this problem, work closely with suppliers to secure the necessary materials and have contingency plans in case of delays. Skilled labor shortages can hinder your project's progress. Collaborating with contractors and
tradespeople who have access to skilled workers is vital. Choosing the right contractor is essential as they will become one of your critical allies throughout the process. Be prepared to adjust timelines if labor shortages become an issue.

Construction Project Delays

Construction project delays can cost homeowners both time and money. Poor project productivity and management even result in some organizations squandering an average of $97 million for every $1 billion invested. Delays can occur due to unforeseen issues, weather conditions or contractor scheduling conflicts. To avoid delays, plan your renovation carefully. Create a realistic timeline and communicate regularly with your contractors — factor in potential delays when setting deadlines to minimize frustration.

Budget Overruns

Overspending is a common concern for homeowners during renovations. Unexpected costs can quickly add up. To avoid budget overruns, create a detailed budget that accounts for contingencies. Allocate 10% of your total project budget as a contingency fund to account for unexpected project overruns and emergencies. Be prepared for unforeseen expenses and try to stick to your initial
budget as closely as possible.

Permit Problems

Failing to secure the necessary permits can lead to legal consequences, fines and delays in your project. It's important to research and comply with local regulations thoroughly. Engaging with experts who understand building codes and permit requirements can guide you through the application process. Remember that permit applications take time to process so plan to avoid setbacks.

Communication Breakdown

Effective communication is vital for a successful renovation project. Detailed documentation of all project-related communications such as contracts and meeting notes is essential. Regular meetings with your team provide an opportunity to discuss progress, address concerns and adapt plans if needed.
Stay open to feedback and be clear about your expectations, including project milestones, timelines and desired outcomes. Clear communication helps prevent misunderstandings and ensures everyone is on the same page throughout the process.

Home Renovation

With the right approach, your home renovation can be a rewarding journey that enhances your living space and adds substantial value to your property. Proactively addressing these issues significantly improves the chances of a smooth and successful renovation project as you watch your home transform into your dream space.

Evelyn Long is the founder of home living magazine Renovated where she writes about the current housing market and real estate. She has also written for publications like National Association of Realtors, Building Enclosure, and McKissock.