Now that you have gotten the estimate and chosen an ethical professional remodeler for your project, you will have to live with this project for weeks or even months.
“Remodeling your home is uniquely different from building a new one. With remodeling, your home becomes the worksite. You live side by side with the project from start to finish. Once construction begins, you’ll probably long for simple pleasures like a dust-free home or a fully functioning kitchen or bath. But the end result will be well worth these inconveniences.
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.
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:
- 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 are your expectations regarding clean up? Will sweeping be sufficient for a daily cleaning, or will you need a more thorough cleaning in order to use the space?
- You should also use the pre-construction meeting to establish guidelines for the remodeling crew working on the project:
- What times will workers begin and end work at your home? Be sure to consider the neighbors as well as household members.
- Where can workers park near the jobsite?
- Will bathroom facilities in your home be available to workers?
- What is the remodeler’s policy regarding smoking on the jobsite?
- What is the remodeler’s policy on the use of profanity? If you are especially sensitive to this issue, you should let your remodeler know.
- Will you allow workers to play their radios at a reasonable volume? Are there any stations or programs that you do not want played?
To ensure good communication, we recommend that you determine who you and your remodeler should contact for daily decisions or an after-hours emergency.
John Pedersen, President of Anthony Renard Remodeling suggests the following:
“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. But a little ingenuity and some culinary shortcuts can lessen the impact. Set up 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.
- Designate a safe haven in your home where you can escape from the chaos and commotion.
- Guard against dust. During a remodeling project, dust has the unfortunate tendency to appear everywhere from lampshades to plates stacked inside your kitchen cabinets. To keep out as much dust as possible: 1) Seal off doorways and stairs; 2) Turn off central air or heat when workers are sanding and stock up on extra filters so that you can change them often; 3) Have deliveries made though a designated entrance; 4) Use doormats and temporary floor coverings where appropriate; 5) Remove anything that might get damaged by the dust or at least cover it with plastic drop cloths that are taped shut.
- 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.
Just like being in a train station means that you are probably going somewhere, so it is with the journey that you and your home are going through. At the end of the journey, you will have a transformed home. Once you are there it will be worth it.
The Remodelers Council of the Greater Houston Builders Association is an organization of remodelers and industry professionals. We are dedicated to the promotion of excellence and professionalism within the industry, and public awareness of the Remodelers Council. We achieve this through education, certification and service to the membership, industry and the community. Members of the Remodelers Council give back to the Houston community by participating in an annual charity project. The Remodelers Council holds an annual Garage Sale at the September Texas Home and Garden Show with proceeds going to their local charity project. To join the council or to find a professional remodeler in your area, please visit the GHBA website.