As a design/build remodeler, all of our customers go through two stages: the design stage where you’re viewing the possibilities for your space and making decisions and picking finishes and everything is so fun and the possibilities are endless and life is a dream! Then there is the build part of the process where your house is a work zone, people are coming and going from your home all day, and you’re making all of your family dinners on a hot plate in the garage, and you might be thinking your old space wasn’t that bad after all because hey, you at least had a kitchen sink.
While a remodel has inherent inconveniences, here are some useful suggestions from the National Association of Homebuilders to help you live through a remodeling project.
Consistent and open communication between you and your remodeler will enhance your understanding of the project, provide an opportunity to exchange ideas, and ultimately help to make the experience a positive one for everyone involved. To facilitate this process, you need to:
- Determine who you and your remodeler should contact for daily decisions or an after-hours emergency. (Due to our extensive planning process at Red House Remodeling, daily decisions are really minimal. And since we’re a small business, our customers have access to us 24/7 via phone, text or email.)
- Create a place in your house where the contact persons can leave messages for each other (a securely anchored notebook is a good idea since it is less likely to disappear).
- Speak up. If you are uncertain about any aspect of the project, be sure to let the contact person know.
The Pre-Construction Meeting
One way to ensure the success of your project is to plan for and actively participate in a pre-construction meeting. This allows your remodeler to clarify procedures and explain how the job will progress. It also offers both you and your remodeler an opportunity to prepare for those issues that may arise later. You should think of this meeting as a forum for all participants to define their expectations and agree on the anticipated outcome.
Some of the issues you may wish to cover at this meeting include:
- Will you allow your remodeler to place a company sign on your property? Remember that, in addition to being a marketing tool, signs help contractors and suppliers locate your home.
- Does your house have an alarm system? Will workers need a key or will someone always be there?
- How will you ensure that your children and pets stay out of the work space?
- How will trash removal be handled? Where will the remodeler locate the dumpster on your property?
- Does the remodeler anticipate any interruptions of utilities during the project? If so, when and for how long? At certain stages of construction, the project may affect basic household necessities like water and electricity. Will you need to vacate the house at any time?
- What times will workers begin and end work at your home? Be sure to consider the neighbors as well as household members.
- What is the remodeler’s policy on smoking on the jobsite? (At Red House Remodeling, our employees are all non-smokers. We expect all sub-contractors to remain smoke free on job sites as well.)
Preventing Remodeling Fever
The train-station atmosphere of a remodeling project can lead to remodeling fever. The main symptom of this temporary affliction is feeling a loss of control that results from disrupted routines and the impact on your personal space. The best way to prevent this fever is to prepare well, remember that “this too shall pass,” and focus on the progress being made. A few other suggestions from remodeling pros:
- Prepare for inconvenience. A remodeling project can turn your home and — on some days — your life upside down. A kitchen remodel will, of course, affect meal planning. Set up a temporary cooking quarters by moving the refrigerator, toaster oven, and microwave to another room. Arrange a dishwashing station in your laundry room. If the weather is warm, fire up the grill and dine alfresco.
- Maintain a sense of humor, remember that certain things are out of your control and it’s best to laugh rather than upset yourself about things like the weather or delayed delivery of materials.
- See the remodeling process as an adventure. Tell the kids that you are “camping in” and transform inconvenience into fun. Along the way, celebrate as different stages of the project are completed.
While living in an actual construction worksite was probably NOT part of your remodeling dream, everyone agrees the inconvenience is worth it in the end. To discuss how Red House Remodeling can transform your space, request a consultation.