How to Survive a Home Renovation
Sunday, July 24, 2016
A home remodeling project is exciting. It’s something you’ve patiently dreamed about for months or even years. You’ve imagined the possibilities of your new space time and time again. You can just picture yourself luxuriating in your new bathroom or entertaining friends in your new kitchen. Now that vision is finally going to be realized. But with all the excitement of the idea of transforming your home, the realities of what a renovation actually entails may be an unwelcome surprise.
Renovations are dirty, noisy, and unpredictable. You may have to temporarily adapt to life without some of the amenities you’ve become accustomed to: a proper kitchen, running water and electricity service. You’ll have workmen invading your personal space, creating noise and dust. Renovations are a means to an end. The good news is that a quality craftsman and a little planning will make sure the end is worth it. Keep these survival tips in mind as you embark on this exciting adventure:
Prepare Your Home
Your best defense is an offense. Put everything away that could get damaged by dust. All wall art, mirrors, wood furniture, upholstered furniture, electronics, and other such valuable items in your home go under wraps. Drop cloths and plastic barriers will keep them protected. Any valuable items that you won’t need during the renovation can be put into temporary storage. Clothes should be stored in plastic, and floors need to be covered. If you’re renovating your kitchen, find a place out of the fray to set up a temporary one. You’d be surprised at how resourceful you can be with a fridge, microwave and toaster. Your craftsman will tape off all ducts, doors, windows, or other gaps that will help prevent a lot of dust to distribute in the house.
Create a (Relatively) Peaceful Sanctuary Away From the Construction Zone
Choose a room in your house that is the farthest removed from the construction zone, and turn this into an all-purpose getaway room. Set up comfortable furniture, favorite toys, electronics, and maybe even a bar fridge. Repurpose a bedroom, or look for a spot in the basement. Even a garage can work, weather permitting. Remember, this is only temporary, so try and approach it with a sense of adventure. Have your renovation team take extra care to seal this room off from dust and debris, and keep the door closed as much as possible.
Make a Plan for Your Lawn and Landscaping
Unfortunately, if your remodeling and construction project has to use heavy machinery, it will likely wreak havoc on your lawn and garden landscaping. Developing a strategy up front will help ease your mind when you see the impact first-hand. Speak to your craftsman about transplanting your favorite plants, and at the end of the project, they can plan to replenish the topsoil, plant the grass seeds, lay the sod, and replant your favorite garden elements. This will add to the overall project cost, but if it’s a priority for you, it’s worth the investment.
Take Advantage of Offers From Your Friends and Family
Get away any chance you can. A small break from the chaos will help you maintain perspective. Take your friends and family up on any offers of meals, invitations, or get-togethers. Dropping little hints prior to starting your project may help get this started. Be sure to return the favor when your renovation is finished, as you will have cause to celebrate.
Be Prepared for Loss of Utilities
There will be instances when your craftsman will have to turn off the gas, water, and/or electricity. A well-organized craftsman will have a construction schedule and keep in regular touch with you so you’ll know when to expect an interruption in services. Outages are usually short in duration; however, if the outage is for an extended period, you would be wise to make alternate plans for that day.
Dealing With Project Disruptions
Even the best-laid plans can’t anticipate what Mother Nature may bring. Inclement weather is something you should be emotionally prepared for. This can prevent the craftsman from working, causing unscheduled delays in the project. Keeping this in mind can help mitigate frustration when it happens. In addition, any major change you make to the agreed-upon plan during the course of the project will impact the schedule. Some changes will have smaller impact, while others can create quite a lengthy delay. Your craftsman will communicate this to you when you’re considering a change in scope so you’ll understand the full impact of your request. You can then make an educated decision on whether the change you are requesting is important enough to warrant extra cost as well as possible delay.
Keep Contingency Funds
A home remodeling and construction project often ends up costing a little more than the estimated cost. Changes and alterations are part and parcel of the process. The best way to be prepared for this is to keep aside about 10 to 15 percent of the total cost as a contingency fund. Any changes in budget will be communicated in writing by your craftsman as they arise and before they are implemented. This keeps surprises out of the picture, and you’ll be able to keep track of how much the project is costing you.
Hire Professional Cleaners
The last thing you’re going to want to do after completing your renovation journey is clean for a week. There are some fantastic post-renovation cleaning companies that specialize in the elimination of all that dust. They’ll go over all surfaces, frames, crown molding, cabinets, and nooks and crannies you wouldn’t even think of. Some even use Q-tips to get into those small spaces. Set aside some funds, and give yourself a break. You’ll need it!
Yes, a home remodeling and construction project can be stressful and problematic at times. But once you see the finished result, it makes all the stress and problems seem inconsequential. With proper planning and the right craftsman in your corner, you’re on your way to making your home the one of your dreams.
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