5 Construction Challenges You'll Face When Remodeling a Home
Remodeling a home is a major undertaking that often requires months of planning and weeks of manual labor. Regardless of how well you've planned, however, there can be challenges waiting to surprise you. Explore the top five construction challenges that you might face with a home-remodeling project. There are a few solutions to smooth your pathway to success.
Tearing Down Load-Bearing Walls
Open floor plans are all the rage nowadays. The issue, however, is that older homes were designed to separate a floor into various rooms that each had a specific purpose. If you’re living in or buying an older home, it’s going to take some work to get that open floor plan that everyone craves.
The bigger problem? Depending on how many walls you want to remove, there’s a good chance you’ll want to alter a load-bearing wall - one of the walls that supports the weight of your home. Removing a load-bearing wall isn’t as simple as ripping the wall out; a support has to be added when removing the wall. From there, there are several options you can use to support the home’s weight without having an entire wall in the way.
It’s not just load-bearing walls, either. Any heavy additions - like reclaimed wood beams for a vaulted ceiling, for example - are going to need proper care to make. Make sure you have the right ladder, power tools, and extra hands on hand to handle heavy items comfortably.
Relocating Plumbing or Electrical Wiring
Kitchen and bathroom redesigns are highly-coveted amongst home buyers, and they can add a lot of value to your home. A true remodel generally requires relocating the plumbing lines, however - an expensive project that might include drywall removal, extending the plumbing pipes and other added expenses. This single project can take days and hundreds of dollars to complete.
Adding an addition onto the home means that extra electricity must serve the new space. Most electrical panels cannot support several new circuits, however. An electrician must come in during construction so that a new panel can be installed. This challenge costs several hundred dollars, but it ultimately protects the property from any fire hazards associated with electrical shorts.
Avoid an asbestos surprise by simply having the property tested before the remodel even occurs. Asbestos is a construction material that was extensively used in buildings prior to the 1980s. It's extremely hazardous if it becomes airborne. If the structure tests positive for asbestos, it can be removed from the home well before the project begins.
Remediation of asbestos costs thousands of dollars. It must be taken care of beforehand because no contractor will work on a home with this hazardous material in place.
Delaying the Project Due to Material Shortages
Waiting for cabinets, drywall, paint and any other materials can be part of your construction challenges. Poor planning is often the reason why delays occur in the first place.
Ideally, your contractor should purchase around 10 to 20 percent extra of the materials in question. These extra items can help with measurement anomalies, cutting needs and other construction details. You may pay a bit extra for the materials, but the delays are avoided.
In fact, the delays might cost more than the extra materials. The crew might have a rented tool that sits idle during a delay, but you still pay for all of those days. Keep the bigger picture in mind when material costs are initially calculated.
Repaving the Driveway and Walkways
It happens to every property eventually. Over time, concrete will begin to crack and become displaced. This can happen in a variety of ways, but plant roots, erosion, and water are the usual causes. It’s unfortunate as well, since walkways and driveways are such a vital part of a home’s curb appeal.
The biggest challenge in tackling these projects is the equipment that’s involved. The equipment required makes this a very difficult project to DIY. Instead, your best bet is to consult with an asphalt paving company who has all of the equipment on hand. If you go the professional route, this is a project that can be finished very quickly.