(Remodeling Preparedness)


        Remodeling is the best and cheapest way to have the home you want without moving.  No secret there, but often people aren't ready to have their kitchen torn up or bathroom out of commission while we are doing the remodel. This is a necessary evil, but if you prepare for it domestically as well as mentally, it will make the experience less painful.

Controlling the Mess

If you are the type of person who is always running behind everyone with a Dustbuster and a wet rag, then having a constant mess in your house will bother you more than most. A good idea to keep your sanity is to buy some carpet pieces and lay them on your floors wherever we will be walking. This will keep dust and dirt off your floors while we walk back and forth to our trucks, and then you can put them away when we leave.

Determine the Best Time for Work
If you work during the day, this is obviously a good time to have us working. But most of the time, someone is home and/or children are coming in at all hours. Decide before work begins if you have a set time for us to be working on your home. Maybe you live in a secluded area and the noise, at any hour, won't bother your neighbors so we can work from 7am to 7pm. It also might be the case that you only want us working from 8 to 5 so that you don't have the distraction when you get home. Tell us your time needs.


Working Out the Job Rules in Advance

The work rules we will be following:

  1. The earliest and latest hours for working: Typical work hours are from dawn to dusk. If you have special requirements, or you just need a break once in a while, spell out the hours when work is not allowed. Do, however, expect to make an exception here and there, especially where critical tasks absolutely have to be done.
  2. Smoking areas: Odds are very good that at least some of the craftsman on your project will smoke.  We will never allow smoking indoors at anytime!  If you have special concerns about smoking, you need to let us know.
  3. Entrances: Generally workmen will use an entrance closest to the project site. Where possible we prefer an entrance not frequently used by your family. We will use only the designated entrance. Your family should use it as little as possible to avoid mishaps.
  4. Keys: Unless you intend to be on site at all times work is being done, we will need keys to your house. Except for very unusual situations, only I will have a key and will be the person responsible for it. Do not give out keys to any workman unless you have discussed it with me and you approve.
  5. Storage: There will have to be storage on site for tools and materials. If possible, we will store tools inside the house or garage. We will also need to discuss where materials may be safely stored with minimal disruption to your use of the premises.
  6. Children and Pets: Children and household pets must be kept out of the construction area for their safety and to minimize disruption on the job site.
  7. Off-Limits Areas: All parts of the house not involved in the project are off limits unless you specify otherwise, the exception being bathroom facilities.
  8. Bathrooms: We need to arrange for toilet facilities for workers during the remodeling.
  9. Cleanup: We do everything we can to keep waste in its place and out of the way. But there is no way to avoid a mess when remodeling. We want to work out a plan for handling waste materials so they will be routed away from sensitive areas, such as gardens or porches. Trash is hauled away on a regular basis.  


                          Plan For Everyday Living

Your house may be in shambles for weeks, but you will still want hot meals, a warm bed, a daily shower, and clean clothes. Have a plan for how you are going to continue your life as normally as possible during the remodeling.

Living In: If you live at home during remodeling, plan for it before work begins.

  • To prepare for a kitchen makeover, move your microwave and refrigerator to a place where they can still be used. Set up a makeshift kitchen. Be sure to keep a can opener, coffee maker, microwave, utensils and other such items accessible. Stock up on disposable plates and cups.
  • If the water will be turned off for long periods of time, order bottled water and scout out a place for showers — the health club, for example.
  • A bedroom may even become a combination living room/kitchen for the duration.
  • Plan some meals at your favorite restaurants — take the opportunity to try out new restaurants.
  • Spend a occasional weekend at a romantic bed and breakfast inn.
  • Don't try to keep an immaculate house. It's just not going to happen during construction, so don't drive yourself crazy. Do your normal cleaning and tidying up, but realize that there will be constant clutter and confusion until it's done, and make that mental adjustment. Postpone that thorough cleaning until after we have gone.

Protect Your Belongings: Remove pictures from walls and store fragile items away from the work area. Lock up or remove valuables. Construction dust is insidious and inevitably will travel to other areas of your home. Computers, electronic equipment, and furniture should be covered or removed. Keep expensive telephones out of the remodeling area. Roll up area rugs and store them out of the way. Seal clothing and linens in plastic bags. We will tape plastic sheets to doorways, windows and air vents to seal off rooms where remodeling is under way. If we are building an addition, we will not break into the main house until the last possible moment so most of the mess will be outside for most of the project. If you have any special protection requirements, you should let us know as soon as possible.

Pro If we are going to be working in and around your garden or shrubs, you need to move those plants. Before we start, decide which plants you want to save. Saving plants during a remodel means digging them up and potting them; or digging and heeling them in some place away from the construction site. Let us know which plants might be damaged. We do all we can to protect them, but keep in mind that if we are digging three feet from your clematis arbor, some damage is almost inevitable.

Involve Your Neighbors:
Let your neighbors know as soon as possible about a major remodeling that may create noise, congestion and traffic problems. Tell them what you are doing and how long it will take. Invite them to come over and look at progress from time to time — they are going to be curious, especially if their house has the same layout as your house. We will do our part by making certain they are disturbed as little as possible and that any trash that blows in their yards is picked up promptly.

Avoid Air Pollution:  
We will identify periods when glues, finishes, or other noxious, odorous or toxic materials will be used. We will make certain the premises are properly ventilated during these periods, but you may want to escape to a motel for a while. If anyone in your house has asthma or a severe allergy to dust, mold or fungus, it would be best if that person was not around at all during the renovation.

Don't Rely on the Timeline Exclusively:
We will give you as accurate a timetable as we can. But don't rely on it exclusively. Many variables can have an impact on the length of the project. Things over which we have little or no control will cause some delays. Weather, delayed factory deliveries, out-of-stock materials, and myriad of other things can sabotage even the most careful schedule.

Expect Loss of Utilities: At times we will have to turn off your electricity, gas or water. We will make every effort to let you know when we must do this, but sometimes the lead-time may be very short. Fortunately, the outages are also likely to be short — just a few minutes in most instances.


Prepare for Mood Swings

       Prepare yourself for a roller coaster of emotions. Your initial excitement will nose dive once the mess, noise and organized confusion of remodeling begin. At different stages in the process, it’s perfectly normal for your feelings to go up and down. Expect it to happen. Just remind yourself that your original enthusiasm will return with interest when the remodeling is finished and your beautiful new space is ready to use.

  • Be Patient: A major remodeling is a constant source of little irritations. Stay calm and be patient with us and your family. If it really starts to get to you, and it just might, consider one or two days off. We can work around you for a while.
  • Take Time Out for Fun: Take some time for fun and relaxation. Remodeling can be all consuming. It can leave you tired, stressed, and not your usual cheerful self. You really need to schedule some restful and fun times during the process. One night a week or more as often as needed. Consider it therapy.

Be Accessible

       We will need to know how to contact of you at all times. Things always come up that require you to make decisions. If we can't find you, all work may come to a halt until we do.

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