What to do when a project stalls

Metro Service
Don’t let home improvement projects slow you down.

■ Metro Service

Upon embarking on a home improvement project, homeowners who have never before lived through such undertakings are often told to expect their projects to take more time than initial estimates suggested. Unforeseen complications can compromise project timelines, and some homeowners may find their projects stuck in neutral.
Stalled projects can make life at home difficult, and homeowners may feel helpless with regard to getting a project back on course. But there are ways for homeowners to get stalled projects back on course.

Start off on solid financial footing. It’s important that homeowners who want to upgrade their homes enter the home improvement process with a realistic grasp of their finances. Many home improvement projects stall when homeowners run out of money. Homeowners can avoid such unfortunate situations by only beginning a project they know they can afford. Whether funding a project with a loan or savings or a combination of both, homeowners should make an honest assessment of what they can afford to commit to a given project. If the amount of money available does not add up to the estimated cost of the project, delay the project now or you might be facing a stalled project down the road.

Honestly assess whether or not you can finish the job. Do-it-yourselfers may have the abilities to complete a project, but they should not let their pride get in the way of their ultimate goal, which is the completion of the project. In addition to money, time or lack thereof, is often the culprit behind stalled projects. Homeowners with full-time jobs, families or both may not be able to find the time to complete a job in a timely fashion. If the project has been stuck in neutral and no sudden windfall of free time is on the horizon, start contacting contractors to finish the job for you.

Ask for help. There’s no shame in asking for help to complete a project. Some homeowners may underestimate the scope of a project until it’s too late. Asking family, friends or neighbors for help might be the only way to get a stalled project back on track. Certain home improvement projects may not require advanced skills, and even friends or family with little or no home improvement experience can pitch in to complete such projects. When more advanced projects stall, homeowners may want to hire contractors to complete the work. If budgets have not left much room for hiring a contractor, homeowners can perform some of the labor on their own.

Be mindful of permits. Some home improvement projects require permits, and these permits often have expiration dates. Homeowners must keep permits in mind when projects start to stall, recognizing that they may need to re-apply for permits if projects go unfinished for especially long periods of time.

Stalled home improvement projects can be a nightmare. But homeowners can address such delays in various ways to get projects back on track.

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