What to Expect When You’re Remodeling

Remodeling does not happen in a vacuum and the world is not a perfect place.  Keep this in mind as you begin your remodeling journey.  There are a few guarantees when it comes to making major changes to your home, but here are a few guidelines to help prepare you for what you may encounter during along the way.

Line Graph Showing Remodeling Stages

This chart shows a homeowner’s level of enthusiasm over the duration of a remodeling project. There will be highs and lows throughout, but knowing what to expect will keep you from getting too low.


The Design Process

It will probably take longer than you hope.  Once you settle on a concept you want to develop you’ll be hoping to see the final drawings as soon as possible.  Take a deep breath and spend the time to make all of your major design decisions while it’s still just lines on paper.  Selecting all of your fixtures and  finishes will take some time, but making these choices during the design phase will pay major dividends down the road.  Knowing what products you will be using prior to demolition & construction will better control your budget and schedule.

Once these selections are made and the design has been finalized, the project can be bid.  The cost of the project will not be as low as you hope it will be.  Remember that this is a major investment and you only want to make it once – you get what you pay for.

The Construction Process

Things are going to get worse before they get better.  The day that demolition begins will be a very exciting day, but it will also be the day when the dust begins and the noise starts.  Those things will last for the duration of the project.  Progress will seem to happen quickly for the first couple of days or weeks, as there will be noticeable changes on a daily basis.  During this time you will be eager to see how everything comes back together.

Then the “behind the scenes” work will begin and the progress will appear to slow, but rest assured that the project is moving forward.  This is also usually the time that the “unforeseen conditions” appear.  Every remodeling project will run into something that was not expected, for this reason it is a good idea to set aside a contingency fund (something equal to 10% of the project cost is a good place to start).

Once the utility and service items are in place the detail work can begin.  This will seem to go slower yet, but this will also be everything that you will see everyday after the project is complete, so remember that this is time well spent.  Then the clean-up will begin and the blue skies will return.  The contractors will leave and the house will be yours again, and you’ll be ready to show off your newly remodeled space.

Knowing what is ahead can be a little scary, but it will allow you to prepare and recognize where you are along the path.  Most importantly, remember that you are not the first to go through this and working with a good designer and contractor will help to ease any anxiety as they guide you through the remodeling process.

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