Remodeling can be a very fun and rewarding experience, especially if the project has been a long time coming. However, the loud noises, lack of privacy, and overall messiness that comes with living through renovations is enough to drive even the most mellow homeowners batty! In many cases, dealing with home contractors is enough of a hassle that temporarily moving out is well worth the trouble; however, if you can find a way to keep some semblance of normalcy throughout your project, there is little need to vacate. Here are some tips to help you deal with remodeling contractors, and a little advice that every homeowner should hear when living through renovations.
Dealing with Home Contractors During Major Remodels
While most of us have no trouble handling a plumber or electrician’s visit that lasts an hour or two, dealing with home contractors that will be on hand for weeks (even months) at a time is a far different story. The constant mess, frequent noise, and never-ending entering and exiting of crew members can be quite a bother, but, as with any relationship, good communication is the most effective tool when living through renovations.
Dealing with contractors starts well before any service provider ever enters your house, by finding a company you feel comfortable with. Always make sure to talk to and get estimates from at least three (but ideally four or five) companies before you settle on one. If you find a company that you feel comfortable with from the start, it will be much easier to lay down your ground rules and far less difficult to respectfully voice any complaints you have about the work going on, the conduct of your crew, or any other facet of the job that concerns you.
Of course, dealing with home contractors is not only about raising complaints! In most cases, the best homeowner-contractor relationships are a combination of courtesy and mutual respect. If a crew is going to be working in your home for 8 hours a day, they will have certain needs. Designate a spot for lunch and provide information on nearby restaurants; if they don’t bring a port-a-john to the jobsite, allow your crew use of your bathroom. Remember, an ounce of good will goes a long way! If you really want to make your crew’s day, start it off once a week with hot coffee and doughnuts; you may be surprised at how much good will that kind of small courtesy returns.
When Living Through Renovations Is Not an Option
Any contractor that has experience in major renovations knows that the mess and noise his or her crew creates coupled with certain areas of the house being off-limits for long periods of time can add up to a very uncomfortable situation for the homeowner. There is certainly nothing wrong with staying in a hotel or living with family until the project is completed; in fact, it may make the renovations go more smoothly. Before your job begins, talk to your contractor about what you and your family can expect over the duration of the project and whether or not it would be more efficient for you to be away for certain phases.
Of course, some optimistic homeowners view major renovations as the perfect time for a family getaway. A trip to grandma’s house or a vacation spot of your choosing can mean the difference between a week you’re happy to remember and one you can’t wait to forget. As long as you are dealing with a contractor you can trust, you can rest assured that progress will be made while you are gone, and the results will speak for themselves upon your return!
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