A few months ago, we doled out tips to help you plan your next remodel project. If you took them — or will soon — then the countdown is on to demo day. Unfortunately, after months of deciding on hardware, finishes and colors, there are still a few decisions left to make before the big day. Here’s a look at some of the last minute preparations you can take to help get you and your home ready for your renovation.
Decide how to communicate
This may be the most important item to determine before work begins. How will you be communicating to the team working on the project? Who is your main point of contact and what is the best way to reach him/her? Is it by phone, text, or email? And what is the best way for them to reach you if something unexpected pops up? If possible, we suggest setting a standing meeting time for each morning to discuss the work planned for the day, and another in the evening to review what was completed. That way, it’ll be easy to keep track of the project and ensure it is progressing as expected.
No, not to leave the house — we’ll get to that next. Before work begins, walk your home as your crew will. Are there large pieces of furniture or rugs that need to be moved out of the way? Do you have anything that should be covered with a tarp to prevent it from getting dusty? Are there breakables on tables, dressers and mantels that need to be packed away? There is one thing on the mind of your crew while they’re working — work. Although we give them the benefit of the doubt that they will be as careful as possible, you never know what could happen as they’re carrying tools and equipment through the site. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
We know you may want to run for the hills, book a hotel room and move out for the duration of the remodel, only to return when everything is complete. But don’t pack your bags just yet. The truth is, no matter how much you trust the professionals, the project will run much more smoothly if you’re around. Take advantage of your time at home in the mornings, evenings, and even your lunch break, to review the work that has been done. Inspect the quality and be on the lookout for potential problems for the next day’s work. If you absolutely can’t stay in the home due to safety, plan on stopping by when you can. In addition to keeping an eye on the progress, you’ll probably feel a lot better knowing what’s going on.
Prepare Your Children
If you have young kids in your home, this could be the most exciting few weeks of their life. Construction trucks, power tools, and lots of dirt and dust — what’s not to love? But it’s also a time of change. Their home doesn’t look the same, things aren’t in the same spot, and there are lots of new faces coming and going. There are also safety concerns, so parts of the house may be completely off limits. Take time to talk with your children about what they can expect during the remodel. Set ground rules on where they can go and what they can touch. If you feel comfortable, introduce them to the people working on the project and allow them to ask questions at a time when they aren’t going to be a distraction. Involving them in the project can be a fun way to help make the transition of their home a little easier.
Expect the unexpected
We hate to be the ones to break it to you but, no matter how much planning and preparation has gone into your project, chances are something unexpected will pop up. Your crew likely won’t know everything they’re dealing with until they get started. What’s behind that wall or under the layers of old flooring? There are a certain amount of surprises you’ll be facing. And, depending on what they are, they may compel you to make changes to your plans that you never expected. It’s normal and it happens. Our best advice? Remain as flexible as possible.
If only home renovations were as easy as they seem on TV. The reality is, there’s a lot of planning, preparation and oversight that goes into them. And even then, they can be challenging. But, as long as you know that ahead of time, it can lessen the room for mistakes and your frustrations with them.