With the overwhelming amount of DIY magazines, television shows, websites, and Pinterest boards, at some point you’ve probably decided that at least one room in your house needs remodeling. It’s hard not to get inspired by some of the unique and beautiful designs that you see, not to mention the improved functionality or space that you might gain. But what you don’t see behind the magazine pages or edited from the tv episode is what REALLY to expect from a home remodel. Remember, no matter how amazing the finished product looks or how much value is added to your home – you still have to live through the remodeling process – which for some may be daunting!
I’m sure if you asked someone currently in the middle of a home remodel for some advice, it would be “Don’t do it!”, but a few months later they can’t stop talking about how much they LOVE their new space and how it was “so worth it”. So, we’ve compiled a few tips on what to expect during a home remodel.
- It will be loud. Hammers, compressors, and power tools are just part of the ambiance and incessant noise that you will likely experience daily during a home remodel. This could be problematic if you have small children in the home who take naps during the day or if you work out of a home office. You may need to adjust your schedule or make other arrangements when contractors will be on-site.
- Be prepared to clean – a lot. It will be messy and dusty and there is no way to stop it. You can try to contain some of the dust and dirt by hanging plastic sheets over doorways leading to the construction site, but dust will infiltrate other areas of your home.
- Things will get broken. When your home becomes a construction site, even items that are in non-construction area may get damaged. Assume everything on your property is potentially in harm’s way – vibrations on the walls could cause picture frames to fall, glass to vibrate, etc. Move anything that is valuable out of harm’s way or if possible, store it with a family member or friend.
- You may not have plumbing or electricity for periods of time. Depending on the upgrades you are making, you may be without electricity or running water for several hours at a time. Be prepared and have a backup plan in case you need access to a shower or to charge a cell phone. Ideally, if you can plan a kitchen remodel for summer months it would allow access to outdoor space for grilling and dining!
- Have a contingency fund for the unexpected. Even though you received estimates before any work started, surprises will come up. Dry rotted framing, electrical wires not to code, a leaking pipe, etc., etc. A contractor can’t predict what they will find once they start uncovering what lies beneath the surface. Have a safety net of funds available in case you find something that wasn’t budgeted and must be fixed. The older the house, the more surprises you may find.
- It may take longer than planned. Most contractors don’t add on time to account for bad weather, delays in materials, or getting sick when they give you a timeframe for completion of the project. A good rule of thumb is to add 15% to the timeline for these potential hiccups!
Each of these can be frustrating when trying to live in your home during a remodel but being aware of them ahead of time can make it much easier to cope and plan ahead. It’s certainly a challenge trying to live in a construction zone, but it can be done, and it’s important to focus on the result.
If you’ve been considering making some updates to your current home, check out our Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit. You’ll have enough on your plate with the construction process, let us make the financing easy!
Vice President, Senior Mortgage Lender
NMLS MLO ID: 532621