How to stay sane during a remodeling project

How to stay sane during a remodeling project

Angie's List members plan to take advantage of deals made possible by the economic downturn by investing more in their homes this year compared to last, according to a nationwide, commissioned poll of members.

For homeowners, Angie's List offers a few tips to help them keep their sanity both before and during a remodeling project:

  • Map out your routine. Every home remodeling project will likely affect your routine in one way or another. If it’s a kitchen or bathroom remodel, determine how you are going to re-route the family during mealtimes, as well as the “getting the kids out the door in the morning” routine.
  • Set limits. Before the work begins, talk with your contactor about the areas of your home that are off limits, as well as agree on the hours the crew will actually be onsite. Another important point is to establish whether the crew will have access to a bathroom in your home, for their use. If not, you need to discuss whether or not a portable toilet will be leased, and how that cost will be covered.
  • Designate storage space. Agree with the contractor on where supplies and tools will be stored. You don’t want to constantly be walking over or moving supplies to get to things you need on a regular basis. As well, it will help ensure that supplies and tools don’t come up missing or lost.
  • Agree on the meaning of clean. Expect a significant amount of dust and dirt throughout any remodeling project. However, you should establish with your contractor what the ground rules for cleaning up the worksite at the end of each day. Just because the crew will be back “first thing in the morning,” it’s not OK to leave out trash and supplies.
  • Protect your children. Talk to your contractor to make sure workers act and dress appropriately. As well, a construction site can be a fascinating place for your children. Let them watch from a safe distance, but prohibit them from playing in the work site and let them know that tools and supplies aren’t toys. A pile of dirt can make for fun playtime adventures for your kids, but if it’s spread across your yard, it’s not very useful to your contractors.
  • Think of your pets. It’s not unusual for homeowners to acquaint their dogs with the crew at the beginning of a project. If the remodeling project is going to be especially noisy or stir up a lot of dirt and dust, you may consider boarding your pet for at least a few days during the heavy work period.
  • Get out of town. Some homeowners suggest planning a vacation during your remodeling project. However, only do this if you trust your contractor and the details of the project have been specifically laid out and agreed upon. You’ll want to make sure your contractor knows how to reach you in case any problems arise. As well, you’ll want to check in with the contractor frequently by phone on the status of the project.
  • Create a united front. Don’t let the stress of remodeling drive a wedge in your family relationships. Think of yourself as a team. If big issues come up on the project site, discuss them later, when you have a chance to reach an agreement without “airing” your dirty laundry in front of the work crew.

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Remodel, Stress | Angies List Tips

Before your contractor starts the remodel, talk in great detail about the project and how it will affect the rest of the house - and your day to day lives. Good communication is key.

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Comments

Gloria

Subject:

We are nearing the end of a bathroom/family room rehab, and I feel that it was important for me to be there and not "get out of town." So many surprises came up, such as the contractor discovering that our old house's electric wiring was located where the new shower door was supposed to be. No fault of his, but it needed to be addressed. Questions arose as to location of bath fixtures such as grab bars and so on.

Dave

Subject:

I can't emphasize the need to set limits with your contractor. We replaced a one car carport with a two car garage. Workers showed up at 4 pm and worked until 9 pm. They also showed up on weekends. It became obvious they all had regular jobs and ours was a moonlighting job. We had to have a very unpleasant confrontation with the contractor to fix this situation.

Onessa

Subject:

We just completed a major remodel (adding on over 1000 sq ft and touching all but one room in the house while living in the house) -- best advice is to "roll with it" Do not expect your life to be the same through the remodel. Do not hold yourself to the same level of organization and cleanliness.

Marty

Subject:

Make sure the contract is written such that once work begins it is continuous, not on-again-off-again between 'other jobs'. We just finished a full kitchen remodel and were able to schedule it so that our vacation was during the 'dead week' while the counters were being made. Ditto on the importance of being on-site and watching what workers do so that questions get addressed immediately.

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