14 Sep

Remodeling your home can be an exciting, but stressful, endeavor. While an experienced contractor can and will walk you through the process, it's much less stressful if the homeowner is prepared for what the process of a remodel actually looks like.

In order to create Pinterest-worthy, bright, open spaces, often times the remodeling process will involve removing interior walls, plumbing, flooring, and drywall. The below is an example of a large kitchen and living room project a few days into our remodel. 

Here are a few things a homeowner can do to prepare themselves for the challenge of living through a home renovation project:

1.  Decide what exactly you want - while contractors can make suggestions regarding what to do with your space, it's ultimately the homeowner's decision on what they want in their space. Do you want an open kitchen? New cabinets? Hardwood or vinyl floor? Getting a general idea of what you want the space to look like when it's finished will help move the process along.  

2.  Find a reputable contractor, and receive multiple bids - It's important to find a contractor that specializes in the projects you're wanting to have completed, especially if they are high-budget or challenging remodels. Always get more than one estimate. Check references, look at a contractor's portfolio, and meet with them in person to see if they're a good fit for what you're looking for. A great portfolio is NOT enough - do they return calls promptly? Are they friendly and trustworthy? Are they available to answer questions? If the answer to those questions are no, they probably are not the right fit for your project.  

3. Get mentally prepared and have a game plan - This is important, especially if you're remodeling an integral part of your home (like the kitchen or a bathroom). If you aren't going to have a kitchen for two months, how will you prepare breakfasts and dinners? Are you planning on eating out a lot? Can a makeshift kitchen be set up elsewhere in the house to ease the strain?  

Another thing to think about is the time of year you'd like the remodel to begin. Would you rather remodel your children's bathroom while they're in school or out of school in the summer? Would it be easier to handle a basement remodel in the summer when everyone is outside, anyways? 

4. Have reasonable expectations - Quality home remodels take time. The total time to complete a project will vary greatly depending on what's being done, how large the space is, and the qualify of the materials you're using (for example, crown molding is gorgeous - but it takes a skilled hand and a lot of time to install correctly). What you see on HGTV is not realistic. A quality, well-managed remodel of a kitchen, for example, can take up to 10 weeks. It's important to stay in constant communication with your contractor regarding deadlines, but also understand that quality takes time. It's as simple as that. 

Home remodels will also be messy and noisy. While a reputable contractor will clean and be as quiet as possible, some things cannot be avoided. Drywall installation is messy. Solid surface counter installation is messy. Installing flooring is loud. Just prepare yourself for a little disarray for a few weeks! 

5. Enjoy the finished project -While home remodeling projects can be stressful, they're always worth it in the end. Having a space that is not only beautiful but functional for your family can improve the quality of your life ten-fold. 

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