5 Things That Can Go Wrong With Building Renovations


Planning on renovating a property? Looking into building renovations? Sometimes things don’t go to plan…

Uncovered ground might need resurfacing, a room might be painted using the wrong colour, a foot could go through a ceiling… Or, a new kitchen could be installed in completely the wrong property. 

Yep, you read that right. A newspaper reported that builders recently began renovating a kitchen in the wrong house – the very same property that also experienced uninvited gardeners beginning work the year before. It’s quite a read!

Whether you’re new to commercial building renovations or an old hand, it can be a stressful and time-consuming process. So to avoid a building renovation disaster, it’s wise to plan for the project by being fully aware of what could go wrong. 

Here are 5 of the most common issues that come up during building renovations.

1 – Uncovering Existing Problems 

Not everything is highlighted on a building survey, and the uncovering of further problems happens more often than not. Knock down a wall, and you might stumble upon a bad damp situation. A suspended ceiling is great at concealing cracks. Or you might think you’re replacing a dodgy light switch, and before you know it the whole property needs rewiring. 

Once you start taking things apart, you begin to uncover what’s lurking underneath. And what you find can cause big delays and even blow your budget. The situation can be especially catastrophic when you’re renovating an old property that has been sitting untouched for years. 

Be prepared for the worst, just in case, with a hefty contingency budget. Somewhere between 10% and 20% of the overall build budget is a healthy amount, but the more, the better. This way even the nastiest of surprises can be sorted as quickly as possible, avoiding delays and getting your project completed on time.


2 – Weather Delays

You only have to watch the news to understand how troublesome weird weather can be in the UK.

Some building renovations rely on a stretch of good weather to get the bulk of it underway. This is all well and good until you hit a spate of bad weather that doesn’t seem to be shifting… Suddenly, your project is months behind where it should be.

And we don’t necessarily mean rain and snow, either. The intense temperatures of recent summer heat waves have led to water shortages and even buckling railways, meaning construction work can end up being extremely unsafe. Whatever the season, weather can be an issue.

It’s inherently frustrating, but there isn’t much you can do if this happens during your building renovations. If you’re planning building renovations such as an extension, or a new flat roof, all you can do is protect the property as best you can whilst you wait for the adverse weather conditions to blow over. 

3 – Material Shortages

Covid, Brexit and industrial strikes have all contributed to some intense material shortages in the construction industry. 

High demand for building materials, alongside shipping problems and labour shortages, meant that even throughout 2022, prices were higher than ever. Whilst materials are more readily accessible now, the butterfly effects of the initial shortages are still a very real problem; one you’re likely to come up against if you’re planning building renovations for your property. 

When you’re considering who to use for building renovations, bear in mind that a bigger contractor has a more robust supply chain and overall better relationships with merchants. They can call in favours left, right and centre, meaning that they can leverage their position to get the materials you need at a better price and faster. Smaller contractors and one-man-bands are less likely to access everything you need in good time. 


4 –  Bad Workmanship

You could have access to the best quality products and materials in the world… but in the wrong hands, it’s still a disaster waiting to happen. 

Cowboy contractors are rife, and they’re good at pulling the wool over your eyes. It’s a sad fact, but a fact all the same. These professional imposters are true experts, doing a slapdash job and charging you through the teeth for it before ghosting you and avoiding your attempts to contact them. 

Usually, this means time and money spent chasing them for what they owe you, plus the cost of re-doing the shoddy and potentially unsafe building renovations they left you with. The whole thing is devastating, and hearing stories from the victims of cowboy contractors is painful, to say the least. 

To prevent this from happening, it’s on you to do your homework. Perform extreme due diligence. Check all available reviews, read as many case studies as you can get your hands on and ascertain what qualifications, certifications and professional memberships they hold. 

5 – Contractor Pile Up

Large-scale building renovations rely upon many trade professionals working together.

If you choose to use different contractors, you run the risk of things going awry because the completion of each and every stage is dependent on the completion of the step before… 

If the carpenter you’ve brought on board isn’t finished with his current job in time for yours, the electrician that’s supposed to be coming next Monday won’t be able to get his work done. Or if the electrician is delayed, this will hold up the plasterer.

There are lots of moving parts when you’re undertaking building renovations, and project management is a full-time job. Not to mention an exhausting one. Using a contractor that encompasses all trades means you can hand the reins of responsibility to someone else. 

And, as an added bonus, you can rest assured that each trade worker is a professional, sailing you swiftly past the issues raised in point 4. 

Reduce The Stress Of Your Building Renovations


There are no two ways about it. Renovations are stressful, and renovations are complicated. There are so many, but you can make it a whole load easier if you work with an experienced contractor with a professional, intensively trained and extensively certified team. 

Are you in the throes of planning a renovation for your commercial or industrial building and worried about managing the project? Take the stress off and get the whole job done professionally. Contact us today to discuss your building renovations. 


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