If you have never remodeled before, or this is your first taking on of a big project, you may be feeling nervous and unsure of what to expect. With all of the questions and mixed emotions of excitement, stress, and eagerness, it will be difficult not to feel a little apprehensive. But hopefully knowing what to expect will help ease your mind and allow you to be better prepared for what is headed your way.
Lots of dust. Even with the efforts to contain the dust such as elaborate ZipWalls, it will be hard to control. A fine layer of dust will gather in parts of your home far from construction. Closing off the construction area from the rest of your house if you can with a temporary wall will help. Try running air filters to pull the dust from the air on the construction-free zone of the house. If possible, block all of the heating and cooling air returns in the construction area so that you aren’t pulling the dust from that area into the rest of your home. If you do this consult with your local HVAC company to make sure that your furnace will still work effectively.
Lots of noise. It will be non-stop. So learn to love, or least tolerate, the beautiful “music” of screeching saws, dull buzz of sanders, and the relentless pounding. You may thinking “oh, it can’t be that bad”, but this is your warning. After a few days, you may start to go crazy. So, prepare yourself and plan lots of outings. Oh, and invest in a good pair of noise cancelling ear buds.
Expect to make lots of decisions. I’m sure you’ll expect some decisions, especially when it comes to design. You know what cabinets you want, you chose the flooring weeks ago, and you’ve been eyeing that subway tile backsplash, but there will be questions asked that you may not have even thought about. How high do you want the showerhead? Chrome, brushed nickel, satin nickel, or oil-rubbed bronze? Where do you want the outlets in this room? Though you may not be able to plan everything ahead and predict every question, just be prepared to make a lot of decisions.
Cost anxiety. Even if you are right on budget, coming to terms with the amount you may have to spend in order to get your dream kitchen can be stressful and challenging, to say the least. Most of us aren’t used to writing four to five to six digit checks on a regular basis, so try wrapping your mind around the idea of having to hand over checks worth large wads of cash. To help alleviate the stress of going over budget, try setting aside an additional 10 percent above contract for contingencies. Don’t spend this money unless you absolutely have to, but having it set aside for that purpose should help ease your mind.
Expect the unexpected. Remember that contingency fund I was talking about? This will come in handy when you run into asbestos, poor framing, hazardous wiring, leaky pipes and any other discoveries that were not part of the original budget. You won’t be laughing, but at least you’ll be able to breath.
Change orders are bound to happen. Change orders can happen in an effort to reduce costs, resolve allowances, or when you have decided to add, omit, or change something.
Delays. Inclement weather, illness, and products not arriving on time can always cause delays. Expect your contractor to give you a realistic time line, but when construction goes a week longer than expected, don’t breathe fire down his neck just yet. Often there are issues beyond his control that cause delays.
Highs and lows. Watching that hideous linoleum being ripped off of the floors in the kitchen may bring you much more joy than you ever thought. And then you will find yourself tired of having so many people in your house, over the added stress, and wanting to close off access to your bank account. But hang in there. Living in your newly remodeled home will make it all worth it.
Article by Amber Burkhart
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