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  • Jeff Russell

7 things to expect during your home remodel

The inspirational photos are chosen, the plans are drawn, and the renovation contract is signed-- you’re finally ready for your remodel.

And, while your home will soon look fresh and updated, the next several weeks may hold some unexpected surprises for you. Setting a framework is always helpful to reach an understanding of what to anticipate.

Our goal? To eliminate any nasty surprises that may come as a shock as we’re working on your home.

So, 7 things to watch out for below:

1. Initial scheduling may take longer than you think.

In general, scheduling a project with a large scope of delivery is both a dynamic and complex task. Speaking as a generalization, the building components included in projects are oftentimes no less than a dozen. Additionally, there are often a large number of team members (both contracted and employee) required to complete projects. It’s important to note that home renovation companies (both in general and for us specifically) do not hold control over the schedules of any sub-contractors, nor does the business have control over the availability of materials from suppliers. What we can promise you, however, is that we work very hard to communicate good expectations with the subs and suppliers (when ordering and scheduling) so that everything goes as smoothly as possible once the project begins.

2. Schedules will be made in advance, but are usually tweaked as the project progresses.

We do our best to put together a project schedule that is both aggressive and realistic. We will communicate this schedule to you (via a platform that we use called BuilderTrend) and to all of our vendors and trade partners -- and then work to manage that schedule. Because of city permitting and other variables, we often do not post a project schedule until a day or two prior to start.

3. Flexibility is required.

Even when the schedule is set and posted, there are many variables that can (and will) cause that schedule to ebb and flow. These are a normal part of a construction business and we aim to handle them with grace and professionalism while also working to keep good communication with our homeowners, vendors, trade partners, and team members. Hidden issues may come to light, trade partners may have problems on other projects that change their schedule, or weather may play a part. The best way to get through your renovation is to roll with it.

4. Some days you may have crews working for 12 hours. Some days you will have no one in your home.

The strategy we use to keep projects on schedule is to build space into the plan; days when it will look like nothing is happening because no one is working at your home. This is completely normal and expected for all projects, especially ones that are particularly large. A few reasons for this intentional scheduling slack include:

  • City building departments can take 3 days to 2-1/2 weeks to approve a permit.

  • We usually schedule only one trade partner per day to be working in your home. This gives them the room and time to do their task efficiently without disrupting the work of others. More often than not, this means part of a day is left open.

  • Drywall will always have schedule gaps. Installation is quick, but the finishing process requires dry time between each coat (sometimes this is longer in the summer because of humidity).

  • Time between the measure and install of stone, countertops, and glass can take 2-3 weeks, and we have no control over the vendor’s schedule.

  • Tile and stone often require steps with needed dry time, and may require only parts of each day over the course of a few days to install.

  • Weather delays can be an issue even on interior remodels. For example, an electrician is required to stay long at another job to beat the rain and so is late to our project.

  • Lastly, intentional space is left in the schedule so that we have room to flex with the schedule of our trade partners or suppliers if needed.

5. It will be dirty.

This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget that remodels create dust, wood residue, dirt, and everything in between. We often use air filters and plastic barriers. Even with carefully installed barriers sealing off the area(s) in your home that are being remodeled, dust will still occasionally get through.

6. There will be noise.

On the days work is being done in your home, it may be loud, which will make it difficult if you need to work, or be on the phone. You may choose to leave during this time. Some people even go on vacation to escape the remodel period. You are welcome to be around during construction (and in some cases, your presence will be needed), but it will likely be difficult to concentrate on tasks.

7. It may cost more than what you anticipated.

We always try our best to anticipate the unexpected and keep you on budget, but even the best of planning cannot anticipate all hidden conditions. There is also the possibility that you may want to add a new item while we are renovating. Oftentimes, homeowners trim items from the budget during planning, and then decide once the project is started to put them back in. And there is always a chance there may be a few “while you are here…” small projects that need to be done. It is wise to plan for something extra that may come up.

We promise, it will be worth the long weeks of waiting when you walk back into your freshly remodeled home. We do our best to go over all of these details with you during the planning and implementation phases of the project, but are always here to answer questions or concerns.

What did you find most surprising? Let us know in the comments below!

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