Remodeling your existing home isn’t quite the same as having a new house built from the ground up. Sure, you still feel the excitement and anticipation about having a great new living space, but since most people remain in their homes during a renovation project, there are potential stressors to consider.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and ‘put upon’ when carpenters and other tradespeople are working in your surroundings. You don’t just occasionally drop in at the work site to see how it’s going, then drive away. Your living space is the work site, which will likely be ever-changing throughout the duration of the home remodeling project.
Home Remodeling Inconvenience: This Too Shall Pass
No dishwasher? You can DO it! Think ahead and make adaptations wherever you can. People can get testy when they can’t use their normal water supply in the usual place. Doing dishes in the bathroom sink can be a pain, but it’s manageable. If you have younger children, make it into a “camping” game. Reinforce with the family that this is only temporary, and that the end result will be well worth any short-term inconvenience.
Things you took for granted before; like a fully functioning kitchen or bathroom; will become a longed for memory pretty quickly. Be prepared for the idea that much becomes makeshift during home remodeling,
and treat it like an adventure. You’ll find ways to make it all work, and pat yourself on the back for being resourceful.
Dust is a Way of Life
Dust-free? Forget about it. Dust will be a byproduct of most of the home remodeling project, and you might as well accept it. Cover with tarps anything that might get damaged by dust, and seal off any doorways that you can with thick but clear plastic sheets—they let light through but help keep construction dust at bay. Remind yourself that these are not the usual circumstances around your house, and accept it for what it is.
Plan Ahead for a Home Remodeling Project
Communicate clearly with your construction company. Knowing what to expect, and when, is paramount when you’re living in the work-site. Do speak up and let them know if you’re uncertain about how to manage any aspects of daily living while the work’s underway. An experienced home remodeling company will have solid suggestions as to how you can make life flow as normally as possible throughout the project.
Plan for and participate in a pre-construction meeting. Let your building contractor clarify procedures with you and explain more fully how the job will progress within the estimated time frame.
Good Questions to Ask and Answer at the Home Remodeling Meeting:
- What, if any, parts of your home will be off limits to workers?
- Does your house have an alarm system that you need to make sure they know about?
- Will workers need a key or will someone always be there?
- How will you that ensure your children and pets stay out of the workspace?
- Does the renovator anticipate any interruptions of utilities during the project? If so, when and for how long?
- Will you need to vacate the house at any time?
Come up with necessary contingencies for yourself and your family, and guidelines for the carpenters and other crews working on your home remodeling project, such as their hours of work, parking requirements and the potential impact on your neighbours. This way, you can let the folks living nearby know just what to expect ahead of time to keep things copacetic.
If you’re not sure whether or not to let your home remodeling company place their sign on your property, remember that these signs do help suppliers, and other trades people easily find your home.
Home Remodeling: Baby Steps to Beauty
Celebrate what you see changing and improving – one step at a time. Don’t feel you have to hold your breath till completion and not admire and feel pleased about what’s been done to date. Focus on any attractive improvements as they occur, and ignore the surrounding chaos. Zoom in on the positive.
Remember that this is beyond your control, so give yourself permission to let go of the worry. Strange as it seems, that in itself can be liberating.
And last— but certainly not least: keep your sense of humor and your eyes on the prize. Your sanity won’t be far behind.
Greg Nelson is the owner of Nelson Construction & Renovations Inc. He is a Florida State Certified Building Contractor, creating artistry in all areas of design and construction projects. He is a musician, and artist. A husband and father, Greg appreciates all the wonderful elements of family life.
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