As a custom carpentry company in Red Deer, we see half-finished, on-hold and delayed home renovation projects all the time. If you are planning on doing a home renovation, you probably don’t want to hear this but its almost a guarantee that your project will have delays – some avoidable and some unavoidable. Delays are caused by anything, the homeowner, the homebuilder, the weather and much more. When it comes to home renovations, delays are the rule more often than they are the exception. But you aren’t entirely powerless – you can prepare for whatever may come your way.

The best way to avoid unnecessary delays and navigate the unavoidable ones is to understand and anticipate the most common causes. Here are the top four causes of delays on home renovation projects we see in Red Deer – and some ideas to help you keep your project on track as much as possible.

1. Permit Delays

man using a ballpoint pen to fill out an application form at a wooden deskThe City of Red Deer requires that every homeowner who wishes to do a renovation project gets a Building Permit. This is pretty standard for most cities, but the process can still be frustrating and time-consuming. There are a lot of factors that can contribute to the permit process taking longer than expected. A lot of which are out of your control. Something you can do to streamline the process is making sure you have all the required plans and documents ready before you submit your application. Also, be sure to check out the City website for more details on what you need to do for your specific project and get as much of it figured out as possible before you submit your application.

2. Long Lead Times and Back Orders

Long lead times and back orders are one of the most common delays we see – but they aren’t entirely unavoidable! It’s best to order as many of your materials as possible at the forefront of your project, to avoid these delays. It might seem counter-intuitive to select a lighting fixture when you’re just starting your home renovation. But, if you wait until closer to the time the electrician is coming to install the fixtures, and the one you select is back ordered for two months, you will regret not making your selections sooner!

3. Subcontractor Schedules

Depending on the scope of your home renovation, your homebuilder will need to hire subcontractors (painters, plumbers, framers, electricians, etc.) Unfortunately, sometimes your homebuilder’s preferred subcontractor is booked when they need them to come into your project. Most builders take a lot of time to build long-term relationships with their subcontractors. So, it’s not always an option to hire another company. Their preferred subcontractors are often people they trust to do an excellent job at a fair price. So, even though these relationships may result in delays, it’s usually in your best interest to wait.

4. Weather

black umbrella outside, covered in rain droplets

Unlike everything else in this list, the weather is something both the homeowner and homebuilder have no control over. Do keep in mind that if you opt to do your home renovation during a time when it’s cold, snowy, rainy, or even uncharacteristically hot – your timeline may be affected.


When you hire a home builder for your home renovation project, it’s completely normal to expect them to give you an accurate schedule. However, it’s also essential to prepare yourself for the possibility of delays. Every homebuilder, no matter how skilled or experienced, can be affected by back orders or a delayed permit process. You can help the process by knowing and preparing for the common causes of delays and by adjusting your project plans and timeline as they occur!


Check out some of our Red Deer home renovation projects in our gallery.

Have a home renovation project in mind for this summer? Contact us!