When you decide to remodel your home, it can mean living in a construction zone for days or even months. The trick is to keep the end goal in mind: a brand-new living area! No matter what, there will be dust, noise and, if your kitchen is involved, dishes being washed in a bathroom sink.
Home renovation can also be an adventure for you and your family in flexibility and adaptability.
To keep your household functioning, it helps to communicate clearly with your contractor, as well as your family members. Here are some tips to consider:
1. Establish construction-free zones. Don’t hesitate to set some boundaries for the people working on your home. Let them know which areas of the house you will need to restrict access to depending on where they will be working that day. This includes setting rules about the use of bathroom and kitchen facilities.
2. Send pets and, if possible, children out when necessary. There are going to be “big days” in the construction process, such as when the marble countertops are delivered, or the floors are put in. It will be easier for everyone involved if the professionals are permitted to do their work without worrying about little hands, feet and paws underfoot.
3. Set hours. Agree in advance as to when workers arrive and when they will leave each day. This will help you and your family members keep to your own schedules.
4. Make daily cleanup part of your contract. While keeping your home neat or clean during a remodeling job is its own challenge, it’s not unreasonable to request that the crew sweep up at the end of the day. Construction zones are dangerous and it’s not uncommon for metal shavings, sharp tools, discarded nails, slivers of wood, etc. to be left behind. For the safety of everyone, those things need to be removed and put away at the end of each day.
5. Be proactive about protecting your things. Even with the best of intentions, contractors can’t always control where construction dust and debris may fall. Take the precaution of wrapping your things in plastic or moving them out of the way altogether.
6. Have a plan for being without water, plumbing, and electricity. It’s important to have a back-up plan for the periods when you know you’ll be without utilities. This can mean arranging to use your neighbors’ facilities, putting your gym or library membership to good use, or checking into a hotel or motel for a few days.
7. Be prepared to accept the unexpected. From pipes no one knew were in the wall to construction delays while parts are ordered, things happen. Be prepared, possibly by arranging access to a home equity line of credit, in advance to handle any additional expense.
In the end, the key to a successful remodeling project is to keep your eye on the prize – an improved living space. It also helps to find ways for you and your family to enjoy the adventure of seeing your home transform into an improved version of itself.