Talking about what to EXPECT in a remodel is one thing…but then, it’s dangerously easy to compare the remodel of your dreams to the stuff you see on television!
PSA: Life is NOT like HGTV!
There are, in fact, some things to know before you remodel. Yes…your project is still happening—your dream WILL come true! You just want to be prepared so that day-one of demolition doesn’t kick off a harried sequence of events!!
We’ve written before about how to feel empowered during a remodel. But now we want to back up a minute, because being properly prepared FOR your remodel is the crucial first step for all our other tips to work!!
These are our 10 tips for before your remodel…for the stuff that ALWAYS seems to come up. Now, instead of revisiting sour memories with rough remodels of the past OR devoting time to sitting down and imagining the worst, you can just breeze through this list…
You’ll thank us later!
Tip 1: Don’t just plan—give yourself TIME AND SPACE to plan!
You can expect to spent at least a couple of months planning and designing your remodel, especially if it’s an updated kitchen or bath or another primary-use space.
Plan on really taking this time. Before you even contact your remodeler, factor planning time into your ideal timeline, too—then, when you talk to the remodeling company, your expectations will be more realistic and you’ll avoid disappointment.
Planning will include laying out the function of the room as well as selecting finishes and fixtures, not to mention designing ALL the details that will give your space the look and feel you’re after…
Expert tip: Working with an interior designer in this phase pays for itself in time saved! Plus, you can rest assured you’ll get the design “just right.”
Tip 2: Be realistic about your OVERALL project schedule
Remember: real life is NOT HGTV!! Don’t expect a project to be done in the time of five episodes!
Not only will you need to be realistic about your planning time (and even allow yourself to get a little excited about all that planning), you’ll want to be realistic about the overall schedule for your remodel, too.
Be cognizant of the fact that special or custom features will take more time to build and install.
And remember…if you do request changes along the way (which happens, and is totally OK), those change orders will extend the time of your project’s completion. When it’s something you really want, however, it’s totally worth it!
Tip 3: Ensure you have cost coverage
This is one of those things you might have heard before, and is worth repeating because it’s SO important to keep to-of-mind before getting into your remodel…
You will need a 10% contingency in your budget to allow for unexpected expenses.
Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll DEFINITELY use it, but in most cases homeowners have to. Unexpected things come up when you break down walls! You discover what the builder or previous homeowner did that made NO sense at all.
With a contingency budget, though, you’ll get excited about some of those change orders we just talked about, too!
To get an idea of what the return on some of these projects will be—considering that 10% and all—check out the 2020 Cost vs. Value report!
Tip 4: Prepare for inconveniences
Most homeowners continue to live in their home during a remodel, especially if it’s for one of several bathrooms in the home, or a space not used every day.
That does mean that you will have to endure certain inconveniences.
The right company (with a game plan like our Signature Process and an all-star communication policy) will be able to prepare you WELL ahead of time for any noise, dust, or things being shut off in your home while work is done.
One thing that will keep your mind far easier is if you have LESS stuff en route to the room(s) under construction. We mean all that personal clutter! Store everything away that you can—it will keep the still-livable parts of your home cleaner during the process.
You can plan a temporary kitchen if you need it, too, for those of you dreaming of that major kitchen remodel! There really are some remarkable solutions to keep you cooking and well fed…
The dust, noise and other inconveniences will definitely impact your emotional state, too, so give everyone in your household a little extra space to breathe. Our Remodel Emotional Roller Coaster says it all…
Tip 5: Trust your remodeler with the key!
No, this is NOT the key to your heart—though we DO see our clients as family and take huge pride in the trust they put in us! We love y’all!!
What we mean here, though, is that you can still go to work and live a normal life during your remodel. Once again pointing to remodelers with documented and proven processes, these companies will be able to tell you what’s happening and when so you know who will be in your home. That way, you can leave them to it to have WHOLE DAYS of work done while no one’s around!!
That’s less inconvenience for you, not to mention a faster route to the “finish line” of your project!!
Tip 6: Expect gaps in your remodel schedule
In case you didn’t know—drywall takes time to DRY.
Thanks to stuff like this, during your remodel, some days there will be no one around—and no work getting done.
Even more often, the remodeling company owners or project manager won’t be around, either.
This is NORMAL. Don’t sweat it, and don’t think your project is getting shunted to the “back-burner.”
Some folks get anxious when there’s no one around, but the truth is that scheduling certain tasks too tightly throws the schedule off way more. Sit back and trust the experts. Besides—those with all-star communication will keep you in the loop on when these “no work” days will take place and why.
Step 7: Communicate!
Speaking of communication…we have heard NIGHTMARE stories of homeowners getting irritated but then NOT talking to their contractors. If you have questions, ask! Something nagging at you? Make it known! You can totally conquer your stress and anxiety so that your remodel can be an experience built around confidence and satisfaction.
Lots of times, the answers to concerns might surprise you, anyway! There’s often a reason to something that ends up bugging you—give your contractor the chance to offer the best answers to every question you have.
Tip 8: Order products BEFORE demo
This came in ESPECIALLY handy in 2020…see, when statewide shelter-in-places started, we took the chance to order as MUCH of all the materials we needed for all the remodels we’d already signed on…we actually had thousands of dollars of material just sitting in the warehouse or at the project sites, waiting for when those materials were needed.
This isn’t just a thing of 2020, though. It also helps to pre-order products like plumbing fixtures, applicants, lighting, and even finish products before you start construction to keep things moving better later.
Some of these products have long wait times, after all, and not ordering ahead of time could just mean a delay later!
…This also leaves time for reselection if need be.
Tip 9: Protect all other parts of your home
It’s pretty natural that you’ll want to de-clutter and clean the pathway to and from the space you’re remodeling.
But how about the other spaces in your home?!
To protect your WHOLE home from damage, your contractor will work with you to take specific precautions. For example, your contractor will talk to you about which door should be used by workers. That way, the remodeler can close that area up with big sheets of plastic to guide workers to the right part of your home. Cardboard is important to put down on the floor, too, to protect existing finishes.
Removing unnecessary furniture and accessories in this path will be also important.
Tip 10: Relax!!
Your remodel will be nothing short of an adventure! And you certainly WILL be able to say it was interesting!
Select the right people to work with, and you’ll be able to rest at ease knowing that your project will be taken care of EVERY step of the way.
You can just sit back and watch the magic!
If you’re aching to get started but are still trying to figure out which remodel to start with first, try our Remodel Planner to get the answers!!