PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When you are in the midst of a home improvement project, a delay can be costly.

But there are ways to avoid project delays with your contractor.

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Neither you nor your contractor wants a delay in a project that could inevitably cost time and money.

Therefore, careful planning and communication with your contractor before the project is key to avoiding delays.

“The best bet for avoiding delays is to document and communicate regularly with your contractor and be sure you are realistic at the beginning about the timeline,” said Angie Hicks, of Angie’s List.

It is recommended that you build some buffer time into your project timeline just in case of a delay.

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Some delays are unpredictable, work on outdoor projects often depends on the weather and materials that have to be ordered and shipped to the site may not arrive on time, but the most common delay is often the result of poor planning.

“Changing a project mid-stream is the most common delay for projects,” said Hicks. “Having a well-documented plan when you start out is going to lead to a more efficient project.”

For your next project remember to plan carefully and build some extra time into your timeline in case of delays.

Document and take note of project plans, changes and progress to avoid delays.

Also, stay in contact with your contractor throughout the project so you are aware if any changes to your plan need to be made.

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