May is National Home Improvement Month, so throughout the past few weeks, we posted remodeling tips everyday (every weekday and non-holiday, that is). Here is a compilation of “must-knows” from the experts here at Bartelt.
Be patient and understand that the design process is just that, a process. It can often take several iterations before you land on the perfect design solution for your home and lifestyle. Sometimes, on large remodels, the design time can take almost as long as the construction phase. In the end, you’ll have a design that fulfills your objectives.
Our architectural renderings allow homeowners to visualize the possibilities for their remodel and work with designers to tweak elements.
Make sure the construction phase kicks off with an on-site meeting with all pertinent parties – you, the designer, the lead carpenter, and the production manager (or expeditor). At Bartelt, Rick Bartelt also attends this meeting as well as the ongoing weekly meetings. This gathering is the perfect opportunity to set ground rules, including start times; dumpster, lumber, and port-o-let placement; dust control; flooring coverings; and other expectations. Also, let the contractor know if you have any pets and what measures need to be taken to ensure their safety.
Be prepared for the ups and downs in your project’s progress. The first part of any remodel takes off quickly, normally without major issues or challenges. Once the rough work is completed, things can often slow down. This is due to many factors – waiting on inspections, scheduling cabinet measuring and templating, choosing selections, and other elements.
If the process was on a graph, it would climb rapidly during the first phase then level off until the drywall was complete. Once finish items started being installed, the graph line would continue on a steep incline.
Constant and meaningful communication from the contractor greatly helps during plateaus.
Here’s a quick sketch (not to scale) of the ups, downs, and plateaus of the remodeling process.
It’s okay to make changes during the process. We often have homeowners add something or a number of things to their remodel during the progression of the project. Once they see the space coming together, many customers want to make updates to adjacent spaces or tweak some of the elements in that room. Just know that this can add time to the project.
Be prepared for inconvenience. Once the remodel begins, your home becomes a worksite. Remodeling can turn your daily routines upside down (although we take the measures to ensure the experience is as comfortable as possible). A kitchen remodel, for example, will definitely affect meal planning. Many homeowners set up temporary cooking areas in this situation. Make sure you have a place to unwind and escape the chaos. In the end, it will all be worth it!
Remodel for you and your family, not for the next owners. If you plan to stay in your home, think about your lifestyle and preferences. It’s important that you enjoy your remodeled space. Keep in mind, however, that the more your selections stray from the norm, the less likely you are to get maximum return on your improvement.
Take before and progress photos. They will help you realize how far you’ve come, and they’re a fun opportunity to showcase your home’s transition to family and friends once the project is complete.
Here’s a kitchen before and after (just for fun)!
Make sure you have adequate storage space for belongings that need to be removed from the construction area – furniture, décor, etc. For larger projects, many homeowners rent PODS or take things to a storage facility. Fragile items should also be removed from neighboring walls to eliminate potential accidents.
Now that a communication plan has been established, don’t hesitate to ask questions or express concerns during the process. Things may come up, and it’s best to address them immediately to ensure satisfaction with the end product.
Enjoy the process! Have fun with the design and selections stages. Use your remodel as an excuse to get away for the weekend or go on vacation. Treat yourself to a night out to recharge your batteries.
As the remodel nears completion, make sure the contractor walks through the project with you and forms a “punch list” of items that need to be addressed before they leave the site. It’s also a great opportunity to ask questions.
Now, it’s time to enjoy your new space!