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Living Through a Remodel

If you’re thinking about remodeling or are about to embark on your first renovation, odds are you probably know a bit about how the project is going to go. After all, you’ve watched a few TV shows, your cousin’s husband is a general contractor and your bestie at work tells you every detail of how her kitchen reno is coming together. So you pretty much know all there is to know, right? Not so fast. As much as you may be able to gather from family and close friends, articles and TV, there’s no experience quite like personally getting down into the dirt (more on this later) of a remodel. And what you don’t often hear about are the harsh truths of wading through such a detailed, often stressful project. And that’s why understanding a few of the common negative things that happen during EVERY remodel is a vital component of being prepared.

It will upset your daily schedule...

For example, every day before you leave for work you like to brew a cup of coffee or tea, settle in with your tablet at your breakfast nook  and prepare for the day by going through your emails. Now picture this exact routine while your kitchen is under construction. The peace and tranquility (and cleanliness!) of your morning retreat is no more. You may have to alter your daily routine a bit by finding a coffee shop near your house where you can relax, or by relocating to your bedroom for your beloved cup of jo. Creatures of habit, be warned: You may have to (take a deep breath here) change a couple of your habits while your remodel is going on. Contractors often like to take up shop (if permitted) in garages, as they are often places where they can make a bit more of a mess and noise while remaining close to the job site. If you want certain parts of your home, yard or garage to remain sacred, talk with your contractor about areas where work can and cannot occur.

There will be dust...

This one may be a no-brainer to some and a shock to others (again, take a deep breath). Some contractors will give hints that the project will get dusty. But no matter how many protective products are put up, there are certain stages of construction that can get intense, for example, sanding down drywall. Not only does dust get thrown into the air while work is going on, but it stays floating around in the air for a while afterward. And floating dust regrettably travels. It may travel to different areas of the house, settling into your dog’s bed, onto your kitchen counters and even into your lungs. Remodeling dust can be made of not-so-nice things such as chemicals found in paint, fiberglass insulation  or cement. Have a conversation with your contractor to see whether they plan on using an air scrubber during your remodel as well as dust barriers and traditional cleaning. While most contractors genuinely work to keep your home clean, safe and comfortable during a remodel, like we do at Total Home Solution, sometimes dust control isn’t a top priority. It will quickly become front and center in your home, if it isn’t properly managed from the start.

It can be an emotional roller coaster...

Every person handles stress and emotions differently, but the fact is that having  a bunch of unfamiliar faces tear your house apart before your very eyes is stressful. That may sound like an exaggeration, but when you’re actually living through a remodel, that’s exactly how it feels. It can be tough to keep your head on straight when you’re trying to make selections for tile and lighting fixtures that suit your budget while simultaneously worrying about whether the project will end on time. Add family and work life to that? Yikes. Now that you’ve heard the bad, here is some peace of mind: Contractors know what they are doing. Most times they will do everything they can to make sure you are happy with your home and the job is completed in a timely manner. Accept that you will feel some stress and some emotions, and allow yourself to be OK with that. It’s a part of the process.

The big takeaway? Remodeling is not all bad. So, yes, there will be dust, and yes, you might get tired of seeing your project manager every day, but there will be days when you come home after work and see new countertops being installed, and it will stop you dead in your tracks because — whoa — those look great!

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