What Can Delay your NYC Apartment Renovation Project
The two most important questions a customer may ask a contractor when undergoing a renovation project are how much it will cost and how long it will take. While costs are always an ongoing discussion, what really is more disruptive is when a contractor takes much longer to do a project than they claim. Whether you hoped to show off your kitchen remodel and planned a party or are staying elsewhere and do not want to elongate your displacement, nothing can be more annoying in renovations than not having certainty in project timelines. So, make sure when you ask for a project timeline for your New York City apartment remodel, you factor in a buffer based on some of these common project delays.
Design Initiated Change Orders
When going through the design process, the initial process tends to focus on aesthetics, function, and layout. But as the designs advance towards construction and code compliance, a lot of times the engineer may come back and say you need to make changes. Design Initiated Change Orders are the most common reason for a delay in the design phase. Usually, a design may prematurely advance before certain issues are resolved, or a proposed idea needs time to be considered acceptable. This tends to be common with structural concerns in a full apartment renovation, or electrical work when renovating a much older building structure. So, keep in mind that the more innovative and challenging your apartment vision is, the more likely a delay will pop up in design.
Permitting and Building Approval
As plans get finalized, they usually need to go through the NYC buildings department for approval and permitting. While most experienced remodeling contractors and design-build firms can account for an appropriate amount of time this takes, a less experienced remodeling contractor or a complex project design can hold things up in this part of the process. Also depending on the type of permits needed, the process can either take a few hours or a few months. In a worst-case scenario, the buildings department may reject your project and recommend you redesign it to an appropriate standard. This can severely backlog your project timeline.
If you are doing a full apartment renovation, odds are your design-build firm or remodeling contractor may be reliant on sub-contractors to perform specific tasks. More importantly, some tasks may not be able to be completed concurrently and may depend on the completion of another. For example, an electrician doing a bathroom remodel usually would want the plumbing to be done before they do any wirework since plumbing products are generally more rigid. So, if a plumber runs into an issue and takes longer to get work done, the electrician cannot make up time nor start work when scheduled, thus delaying the entire project.
Sometimes a remodeling contractor who needs to schedule his subs to come in may find early on that his subs schedules do not match with when he needs them to show up. If you hired a good remodeling contractor, they will be transparent and inform you of this delay early on to ease any pain. It is also important that if you hire a remodeling contractor to do work, that you do not force him to use subs that he is not familiar with, as he may be unfamiliar with their availability and work efficiency.
While this is usually not the case, it is important to make sure you pay your contractors on time. Most remodeling contractors use pay as they go structure, asking for payment on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis for major renovations. Anytime there is a hold up in payment, a remodeling contractor can cease work for lack of payment, and will usually have a clause in the contract that requires them too. So always make sure you have the funds in place to pay your remodeling contractor, or he will leave your NYC apartment in an inhabitable condition. The last thing you want is a partial bathroom remodel to stare at or a kitchen remodels that is nothing more than a demolition job.
Most remodeling contractors in New York City have a huge pool of clients they want to work for and have no desire to drag out projects any more than necessary. But they know that quality is important, and if a project gets delayed, they cannot take shortcuts. So, make sure that you understand that it is rarely a remodeling contractor’s fault your apartment remodel got delayed, it is just a matter of circumstance.