Keep Calm and Remodel On


So you’ve decided to remodel your home. Should you stay or should you go?

Some people choose to flee before the inevitable chaos commences. Choosing to stay in a hotel or a temporary apartment for the allotted time seems worth the extra cost. It may allow for the project to be finished sooner, and you won’t have to deal with problems like dirt, interacting with strangers in your home, or worrying about all the mess that comes before the finished product.

However, many families bite the bullet and hunker down in familiar territory until the war on remodeling is over. Money is typically the main motivation for staying, but sometimes it’s as simple as not wanting to uproot everyone from their routine.

If you decide to stay on the frontlines of your remodel, you will need a battle plan. Renovation is a messy business, but with preparation and key strategies, you will successfully accomplish your mission.

Give the orders.

Depending on the complexity of your project, a countless number of workers from several companies will be traipsing through your home on a daily basis. Sit down with your project manager before one nail is hammered. Give the orders and set the ground rules for the workers. He or she is responsible for passing on this information to each subcontractor or posting it in a place where everyone can clearly see.

Consider including the following in your rules:

  • Earliest and latest hours for working. Typically, this is from dawn till dusk unless otherwise specified.
  • Designated smoking spaces. Many crew members will smoke. Give them a place to do it.
  • You most likely will not be there every minute of every day. The project manager should be in charge of the keys so crews can gain access to the home even in your absence. DO NOT give your keys to any other workman without first discussing it with your project manager.
  • Off limits areas. Make it clear that no crew members should be in any area of your home aside from where the remodel is taking place. Report unauthorized personnel to the project manager immediately.

Adapt to the Environment.

Life will not be normal for a while. Many remodels include little to no use of the kitchen, bathrooms or even entire floors of your home. If this happens, switch to survival mode.

Set up a makeshift kitchen in another area of the house, relocating your microwave and refrigerator if possible. Investing in a mini-fridge may come in handy if moving the main one is unreasonable. Stock up on disposable plates, cups and utensils to avoid washing dishes in the bathtub.

Pack up the essentials and bring them with you. To avoid disrupting any work, take whatever you need from the area being remodeled and keep it close. Unnecessary items should be removed and stored somewhere else until the project is complete.

Trust your team.

The crews entering your home are as mission-minded as you when it comes to finishing the job quickly and properly. They are trained professionals who are skilled in tasks you don’t even realize need to be done. Trust them. Their reputation and livelihoods are as much on the line as your hopes and dreams for your remodel.

Show them respect by keeping children and pets out of the working area, and avoiding time-consuming conversations that could distract from the job at hand.

Keep your eye on the target.

While living in a beautiful disaster, a flurry of emotions will try to take over your logic and reason. There will be days when you will want to retreat. Your initial excitement will give way to fear, stress and concern that you’ve made the wrong decision. Do not give in. Keep your eye on the target, and remember why you started the project in the first place.

Get out of the house for a few hours or even a few days to gain a fresh perspective. Another option is to give the crews a day off. When planned with the project manager, a day or two of peace may be just the break you need to regain your focus.

Stay on mission, keep moving forward and you’ll not only survive your remodel but receive the reward you’ve been waiting for in the end.