You’re ready to remodel your [insert project here]! Congrats! Once you’ve made the decision to remodel your kitchen or bathroom, or redoing your flooring or deck, or replacing your windows, it can seem like the end of long road. After all, you’ve been waiting forever to get it done. The truth is that the road has just begun with decisions, remodeling dust, and all the other parts of a major remodel—all of which can make you feel a little crazy if you don’t use these tips.
Choose your contractor carefully
Your contractor plays such a vital role in your remodel (and your remodeling sanity), that it makes sense to screen your contractors. Ask your contractor questions about all the important issues: references, permits, payments, timeline, and, most importantly, how to get in touch with them. Be concerned if your contractor asks for a large down payment up front or avoids the issue of permits. When you contact your potential contractor’s references, make sure you ask not only about the quality of their work but how clean they kept the job site—it will make the process a whole lot easier (and you saner!) if your home doesn’t always look like a dirty demolition site.
Have a plan B during the remodeling
Want to keep sane during your remodel? Don’t wait until the last minute to make a plan of survival for the duration of your remodel. How are you going to wash your dishes during your kitchen remodel? How are you going to make your dinner? How are you going to take a shower? Decide on a plan while your kitchen or bathroom is out of commission, such as making a cooking station in your garage or stocking up on paper plates. Plan on using your makeshift bathroom or kitchen for the duration of your remodel; as nice as it would be for your contractor to get done early, plan for it not happening (just in case!).
Surprises are a natural part of the remodel process; be realistic when about the actual time your remodel is going to take—and don’t think it’s going to take any less time than your contractor estimates. Take cleanliness into consideration too. Even the most-conscious contractor is going to cause some dust and mess; the best (and cleanest) contractors take special steps to clean up the dust, such as with air quality machines, tarps, frequent vacuuming, and floor covers.
Be clear about your expectations.
Be open and honest with your contractor. Clear communication is essential to a good relationship with your contractor throughout the remodeling process. If you have pets, let your contractor know. A good contractor is willing to accommodate your pets, and keep the rest of your home as clean as possible during the project.