Home remodels can be a huge undertaking. Not only are they often a large financial responsibility, remodeling projects come with a lot of decisions that need to be made. From choosing paint colors to choosing layouts, the decision making process can be long, tedious and confusing for many homeowners. Many remodeling efforts are focused on the kitchen, bathroom, basement, or other living spaces, and no matter which room is being remodeled, the process can be very overwhelming.
No matter how far into the decision making process you are, there are things you can do to prepare yourself and your home for the project. Below we’ve compiled eight things you can do to help make the remodeling process easier.
Come up with a budget
If you’re in the early stages of your remodeling project, determine how much you have available to invest in the improvements, this way you can allocate finances accordingly, and ensure you have enough money to finish the job. Additionally, make sure you leave a little bit of wiggle room in the budget for any surprises that may happen along the way, such as faulty wiring or plumbing. Once you’ve determined your budget, its recommended to research which products or materials will help to ensure you stick within your budget. If you are working with a reputable contractor, they should also be able to assist with this aspect of the project.
Know what you’re getting into
Remodeling a kitchen, bathroom or any room of the house is exciting, but can also be very time consuming and frustrating. It’s easier to handle the excitements and frustrations if you know they’re coming. When going into the project, and throughout, understand that there may be unexpected snags, delays, and the inevitable inconveniences that come from living in a construction zone. Additionally, make sure to talk to your contractor to receive detailed information on their process, payment information and timeline of the work involved so you have a clear and structured plan on how your project will end on time and on budget.
Pack away your valuables
Remodeling projects will have an effect on the whole house. The dust and debris that is associated with remodels – especially complete gut and rebuild remodels – is unfortunately very hard to contain in one room. Because of this, there will be a mess in nearby rooms and pathways to the front and/or back door of the house. Also, as cabinetry, appliances, fixtures and other times may need to be moved in and out of the workspace, it is highly suggested to take down pictures, move vases, and pack away valuables before the project begins.
Additionally, as the mess, dust and debris will find its way into nearby rooms (as we mentioned above), it’s important to take steps to protect your furniture and flooring. Cover and sheet off areas to minimize the dirt and dust during construction. You may also consider moving select items to rooms farther from the workspace to ensure they stay protected.
Consider your daily routine
As remodeling projects will cause a disruption to your daily life, it is essential to consider your daily routine and how the construction will impact it. This is especially important if you work from home or have young children at home who need to play and/or nap.
Prepare alternate space
Sometimes you need to figure out an alternate living situation in order to help during the remodel. For example, you may need to find an alternate place to work or set your children down for a nap. Additionally, if you’re remodeling your kitchen, you may want to set up a temporary kitchen in a spare room with some basic cooking necessities such as a small fridge, slow cooker, microwave and perhaps a portable induction burner. Consider using paper plates and plastic utensils to avoid washing dishes in the bathtub or bathroom sink. If you’re remodeling a bedroom or another living room, make arrangements to ensure you have enough space for sleeping and other living activities.
Unfortunately, despite all the planning on behalf of you and your contractor, there is still the potential that unforeseen events can delay the start of a project or extend the duration of a project. Weather events are more likely to delay exterior work while material delays and backorders can extend the length of any project, especially when those materials need to be reordered if they come in damaged or incorrect. Additionally, permitting and inspections can cause delays due to the township or the third-party provider. Lastly, if the contractor finds a preexisting condition during the demo phase that was unable to be observed prior to demo, repairs may need to be added before the remodeling can continue. Examples include ”funky” electrical or plumbing work, mold or water damage to name a few.
Consider the time of year for your project
Seasonality is an important factor for home remodeling projects. Some projects are easier and better to do during a specific time of year, while others can be done at any time. Outdoor projects like a deck, for example, are best done when the ground isn’t frozen. Indoor projects, like kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects, can be done year-round. That said, it is important to consider the time of year it will be easiest on your family – when can you make other accommodations? Are your kids in school? Is there a holiday or event coming up? Be sure to take all this into consideration when finalizing the timeline for your project and allow for extra time in the schedule to accommodate unexpected delays.