Failure to plan is planning to fail. We have all heard this statement and it is true. But, sometimes the best plans still hold surprises that we didn’t prepare for. The 8 items below are common occurrences when major or even minor home remodeling projects are undertaken. Knowing in advance what to expect will make it easier to deal with it should any (or all) of these happen to your project.
Demolition is messy. If you are tearing walls down in your house, know that the dust and debris will spread throughout the house. It can get into tiny crooks and crevasses far on the other end of the house. While you can put plastic down and seal door openings, it still tends to spread everywhere regardless. Keep an extra supply of HVAC filters to change out more frequently during construction to minimize the dust and allergens that may spread. Your house will not look magazine perfect while it is under construction. You will not be able to keep it as clean and neat as you would like. Know this in advance and keep one portion of the house undisturbed as a retreat. Better still, if it is in your budget, live elsewhere during major renovation.
Depending on where the construction is taking place, have the contractor protect your existing flooring if it is in the path of travel. This will prevent any damage and extra wear and tear.
Decide if the work crews will use your bathroom facilities or a porta potty. While the cost of the porta-potty will increase the cost of the job; you will be grateful for the privacy and not having a bunch of workers using your facilities. Somethings are sacred.
Clear as many personal items or valuables from the working area and nearby areas. You don’t want demolition on one wall to make a valuable painting on another wall to fall and break. With the traffic in and out of the house, don’t tempt fate and leave any valuables where they could easily disappear.
It will be loud and it will be incessant. Nail guns, compressors, trucks and all the other equipment will make jarring noises not a smooth hum. Don’t expect the baby to sleep or you to concentrate on that proposal you are writing from the home office. Grab some ear plugs or work / stay in another location during the construction period.
The rule of thumb is to budget 20% more than the most you think it will cost. Unfortunately, the bigger the project the more that can go wrong. Remodeling is a stressful thing. Writing large checks also tends to stress people out. You will be writing checks and the money will seem like it is flying out of your hands. Knowing this in advance and having a 20% cushion can go a long way toward reducing stress.
Along with the budget, the best timeline is subject to delays from manufacturers or sub-contractors. Cars break down. Manufacturers may ship the wrong item which then has to be returned and re-shipped. Weather delays are unpredictable but tend to occur at the worst possible time. Murphy’s Law, right? Adding some slack to your timeline from the beginning will reduce the stress involved with typical delays. Don’t schedule the wedding to occur the day after construction is to be complete. Who needs that kind of stress?
You may not be doing any of the work, but you will be tired. You will get tired and frustrated by the disruption and want to get your life back. You will get tired of cleaning up the mess everyday just to do it again the next day. Too many people constantly coming and going is very disruptive. Know that this will not go on forever and eventually the project will be complete and you will have your life back. Look forward to the party you will host to show off your new space.
Almost every re-modeling job will come with at least one surprise. After all, one does not have xray vision and can’t see behind the walls. Tearing into a wall and finding termite damage that has to be fixed can also be looked at as a blessing. More damage would have occurred had you not discovered it now. The same applies when discovering rigged electrical wiring, substandard plumbing, asbestos insulation or a hidden leak. Fixing these items now will prevent a potential future tragedy.
No one will be happy. This is also the reason why the budget is increased by 20%. Depending on how big the problem is the timeline may need to be adjusted as well.
Of course, there can also be better surprises. Depending on the age of the house, frequently previous remodels or additions will leave a bit of history behind. Maybe there is some history behind the walls, like finding an old newspaper, or even coins and bottles. Finding a pocket door or construction materials from the original house can be exciting and perhaps be re-cycled for new life in the house.
When I was very young and purchased my first house, I jumped right into a bathroom remodel. What I did not consider was my bathroom (I know, duh), the only bathroom would be out of commission. Needless to say, it was inconvenient to find alternative locations to shower for a week. Depending on your project, count on the fact you will be inconvenienced. If not with a bathroom, it will be the kitchen or access to another part of your house. You may be without power or water for a period of time. Know this going in. Don’t take on too many projects at once as the inconvenience factor rises exponentially and the ability to manage the projects decreases the same.
There will come the point either during the project or once it is complete, when you sigh and know that everything has all come together. Perhaps, for you, it is the removal of ugly pink bathtub replaced by a custom tile job that provides the satisfaction. Or, maybe it is to see the whole job complete; just as you imagined it.
Xpert Home Services understands what it is like to be a homeowner in the process of remodeling. We make sure we clean up each day; so you are not stressed and left with dust and debris day after day. We are considerate of your time and space and work with you to reduce the stress and keep the budget and timeline on track. If you are thinking of improving your space, inside or out, call Xpert Home Services at 252-226-9742 today for a free quote.