Your Renovation Survival Guide
You’ve selected a home remodeling contractor, but before any remodeling can take place there is preparation work that needs to take place on your end. Some it is obvious such as clearing the room of furniture and other items. Some isn’t so apparent such as getting a mindset that will help minimize stress on you during the process. Here is your renovation survival guide on the things to expect during a home remodel, including expecting the unexpected.
Reorganizing Your Life: Remodeling Your Kitchen
Remodeling can be a disruptive force to the everyday flow of life, especially if it is a vital living area such as a kitchen. The first thing you must think of is – how will you feed your family for the typically six weeks it takes to renovate a kitchen? Sure, you can eat out a lot and that might be nice to a point, but nothing is better than home cooking. Plus, it is a lot less costly.
The first thing to do is set up a temporary kitchen that can accommodate the basics such as a microwave oven, coffee maker and any other countertop appliance you rely on. Access to water is a must and you might find yourself washing dishes in a bathtub or stationary tub in the basement. The refrigerator will need to be relocated and the garage is typically the spot, but keep in mind that the garage might also be used as a key staging area by the contractor for the job.
Those cabinets need to be taken out which means they need to be empty out first. Just like a move, you will need plenty of boxes and bubble wrap and/or tissue paper to protect fragile items. You will also need a place to store those items. Again, the garage is ideal, but talk to the contractor first and ask how much, if any, space he needs to store materials. A spare bedroom is also a good place to reconstitute as storage space.
Emptying out kitchen cabinets is a minor hassle but look at it as a positive. In depth of those cabinets are items that haven’t been used in years. In fact, you may even forgotten about their existence. Now is the time to clear the clutter after all, you don’t want to pack your new cabinets with junk.
Bathrooms pose their own challenges depending on which one it is and the family situation. If you are empty nesters and it’s a spare bathroom used by guests, there isn’t much of an inconvenience to your daily routine. And if there are children in the house, expect them to invade the sanctuary of the master bath.
If it is the master bathroom that is being remodeled using the spare bathroom can be a minor inconvenience if there are only two of you. If you both work you will have to reserve “your morning time” for the room. Again, if there are children, it can feel like a free for all.
The other inconvenience is less obvious. Contractors are like farmers and they like to get at it as soon as the rooster crows. If you are not an early riser you might think about retreating to a spare bedroom for the duration.
Communication is Everything
During a remodeling project you should expect constant communication and access to the contractor. That begins with the contractor providing you with a timeline of how the project will unfold. While there is always a possibility that delays can occur, at least you have an estimated timeframe of when will work will commence and when it will wrap up.
You should have multiple ways to reach the contractor such as an office phone number, cell phone number and email address. You should expect him to respond quickly to any questions or concerns you express. Some contractors such as JT McDermott also incorporate high tech methods into the communications mix. The online app www.buildertrend.com offers a means of two-way communication and a place for the contractor to post photos of work in progress.
Keeping it Clean
There is no doubt that remodeling is a messy process, but that is no excuse for a contractor living you with a mess after the end of each work day. A conscientious contractor will clean up any debris, sawdust, etc. before bidding you good evening. Some even employ filtration systems to reduce airborne dust particles from scattering everywhere in the house. Of course, cordoning off the room with protective sheeting is a must. All that noted, there will be dust in your house. It just doesn’t have to look like the aftermath of a snowstorm.
Be prepared for the curveballs a remodeling project can bring. Tearing down walls might reveal hidden problems with the bones of the house such as mold or water damage. It could also be that the original builder cut some corners where he shouldn’t have.
You might also be the one delivering the curveball. As the project unfolds you might ask for changes be made to the original design. While a contractor should do his best to have all of the details nailed down before the project begins, it is not uncommon for changes to be made midstream.
By planning carefully for a change in lifestyle, maintaining a go with the flow attitude and demanding accountability from your contractor you can help reduce your stress throughout the process.