Remodeling Process: What to Expect
1. Dust. There are a few ways to control it. If you can, close off the construction area from the rest of your house with a compression-fit temporary wall. Running air filtering systems called air handlers can also pull the dust from the air on the nonconstruction side of the house. Heat the house without your furnace if possible, or completely block the warm-air and cold-air returns in the construction area. 2. Noise. Find another place to nap and don’t count on working from home unless your home office is far away from the construction zone.
3. Triumphant highs. For you it may be the demolition of the ugly vinyl floors in your kitchen. For others it may be the installation of the carefully selected backsplash tile. Others still may feel elated only when their project is completely done. 4. Multiple sighs. Hang in there — remodeling fatigue will be short lived when you get to move back into your newly remodeled space.
5. Change orders. The unexpected’s cousin is the change order, by which any new and changed work is documented, along with added or reduced cost. Change orders can also be used to resolve allowances, which are placeholders in the budget for particular items.
6. Delays. Snow falls, people get sick, cars break down and sometimes faucets ordered from the factory take 10 weeks instead of six. It’s not, and knowing that will allow you to be resilient when your schedule shifts a bit. 7. Decisions. Count on hundreds of questions that you'll need to answer as your project proceeds, or select your architect as your proxy. Just know that your selection of a contractor is the first of many you will make.
8. Cash concerns. Even if your project is right on budget, the sheer amount of money you are spending may cause a bit of a freakout. Having cash on hand that's a bare minimum of 10-20 percent above contract for contingencies will help alleviate that stress.
9. Outliers. At the end of your project, expect one or two punch-list items that will take longer to resolve than anything else.
10. The unexpected. Asbestos, irregular framing, jerry-rigged wiring, funny plumbing and more unexpected surprises are bound to arise. Count on finding something no one could have anticipated in your budget and your time frame, and you will be well prepared when it happens.