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How To Overcome Renovation Setbacks

How To Overcome Renovation Setbacks

Before, during and after photos with renovation setbacks

Every home build or home improvement project—whether DIY or professional—will run into unexpected delays and problems. If you're in the midst of renovation setbacks, we feel for you! They're another challenge that seems to get in the way of your dream home. The question is, how do you overcome renovation setbacks while also maintaining your relationships with your builder, contractor or designer?

Here are two projects that experienced renovation setbacks and will give you examples to follow.

Snowy exterior of a home halfway built with renovation setbacks
Photograph via The Fox Group

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Bad weather bringing snow, water, and mud has stymied the advancements on our Utah Project House. We've followed our partner, The Fox Group, as they've built a speculative (aka custom) new-build house in Holladay, Utah. But despite the winter's visit from Jack Frost and the resulting renovation setbacks, they made progress nonetheless.

Snowy exterior of a home halfway built
Photo courtesy of The Fox Group

For a new build, plumbing and electrical comes before drywall. The build also has to be prepped in order to be ready for exterior stone and brick. “However, due to the record-setting snow, we adjusted our plans,” says Cara, owner of The Fox Group.

Instead of first bringing in the classic brick and beautiful stone the team wanted, they instead switched their focus to the inside of the home and the task of completing the electrical wire placement, plumbing and heating. “We also had our team finalize other details such as cabinetry and tile details,” Cara says. As Utah thawed in the late spring and summer months, the team was able to again shift focus to the exterior and brick.

The renovation setbacks were major, but by changing the part of the house they were working on, they were able to reduce the delay time.

Spanish Court Villas bathroom before
The abandoned Villas at Spanish Court before the renovation of the Louisiana Project House. Photograph by Hector Sanchez.

Asbestos and Termites

Another example of renovation setbacks comes from our Louisiana Project House with Sara McDaniels of Simply Southern Cottage. She renovated a 100-year-old set of buildings into a brand new, beautiful boutique hotel. But starting with abandoned structures led to many renovation setbacks.

The problems included asbestos in the walls (which requires special removal) and major termite damage. The demolition process also included taking out old electrical, which can be dangerous. "It’s an intense part of the restoration process,” Sara says. “There’s a lot of physical labor but it’s very exciting because it paves the way for what’s to come.”

Spanish Court Villas restoration process
The spring now flows into the creekbed next to the Villas at Spanish Court. Photograph by Hector Sanchez.

Sara also encountered flooding from a spring next to the property. "Water ran all down the driveway,” she says. So plumbers had to dig a trench underneath one of the buildings and reroute the water to a creek bed running alongside the property. 

Keep Calm and Carry On

So what does this mean for your own renovation setbacks? Whether they're from Mother Nature, human nature or age, you can pause one aspect of a project to figure out solution and, as you brainstorm, move forward on another. That way, you won't lose too much time and can continue making progress to your dream home.

In the middle of a renovation? Take courage from this before and after story! And don’t forget to follow us on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest for your daily dose of farmhouse inspiration!

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