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How to Prepare for & Survive a Remodel

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How to Prepare for & Survive a Remodel

Most people start their 1st remodel experience without knowing how the process is going to affect their daily lives. The excitement of building a fabulous new kitchen, luxurious bathroom, or an expansive bedroom is all you can think about. If budget isn’t an issue, you can move your family into a rented home or apartment during the remodel and avoid the dust and disturbance. Unfortunately, most of us can’t afford this extra cost. So we will have to stay home and do our best to survive. Remember, a beautiful new home awaits you at the end.

As an experienced contractor, I have done many remodels from one room to entire houses. I’ve learned that preparation and organization are key to a successful remodel. You and your contractor are a team. Frequent communication with each other will alert you to the things you need to do to prepare for the remodel. Here are four tips to help you survive a remodel and live to enjoy your new home:

Pack Up

Depending on whether your remodel includes just one room or a whole house, consider packing up items as you would if you were moving out. You may not realize it, but even work at the other end of your house can endanger anything on walls. Wrap and pack heirlooms and fragile items in boxes to store. Remove paintings and photographs and pack them too. By wrapping and boxing, you’ll protect your precious items from breakage, and the dust and dirt of construction. Consider it a good time to get rid of clutter and to give away all the items you don’t want or need.

Temporary Kitchen

If your kitchen is part of the project, it is wise to plan a temporary kitchen. It’s fun for a while to have an excuse to eat out, but it does add extra expense. You’ll want to have a place where you can have your morning coffee and make a few meals. When you pack up your kitchen that’s a good time to pull out all your electric appliances. Consider including a coffee maker, mini-fridge, microwave, toaster oven, and other plug-in appliances. Collect a stock of food that doesn’t require much prep and can be made easily with the appliances you’ve chosen. Include cooking necessities such as spices, sweeteners, cutting boards, knives and other utensils. If your home has a wet bar set up near it for easy dish washing. A bathroom sink will work too. Some homeowners opt for paper plates, plastic glasses, and silverware.

Protect the Rest of the House

Good contractors do their best to separate the rooms under construction from the rest of the house, and to limit noise and dust. Before construction begins have a conversation with your contractor about your expectations and how the company can meet them. Everything in the room being remodeled should be removed and covered, but also cover furnishings in other rooms, as construction dust and dirt can travel. Cover furniture with plastic to prevent dust and debris from ending up in cracks and crevices, and to protect wood finish. Rooms not being renovated can be separated and protected by temporary walls made of heavy plastic. Canvas tarps or carpet mask can be used to protect flooring.

Designate a Room as Family Space Only

Important to your survival of a remodel is to have a room strictly for family. It’s off limits to workers and storage of construction items, and is as far away from the noise and dust as possible. Your family can relax there, listen to music, watch television and hopefully have some privacy.
Staying home during the construction can give you an excellent opportunity to follow the progress of the work. If you see any potential problems, discuss them with your contractor immediately. It’s far better to catch problems earlier rather than later.

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