Renovations can be stressful or rewarding, or both! Solution Based wants to educate you on what to expect as a plan to reduce your stress beforehand. We want to clearly communicate with you, respect your home, and provide superior service during your project. We feel that the following information will be of much help to you.
First and foremost, it’s all about mindset.
Two principles above all else will definitely help:
Positivity – Focus on the progress points during your renovation. Celebrate them as they happen!
Patience – There IS a light at the end of the tunnel. You planned this, you can do this, and there is a reward!
How Your Living Space is Affected
You will probably need to relocate items you wish to be out of the way of the space to be improved. We respect the contents of your home but will ask for a space to set up tools. Workmen may be passing in and out of your home with equipment and materials for weeks, depending on the size of your project. If you choose to remain in your home during the renovation process, you will definitely have to put thought into what you and your family will do to live around these circumstances, as you may have to set up a temporary kitchen or use an alternate bathroom. This change could be uncomfortable, so please consider how much you and your family can tolerate in that respect.
There will be lots, especially during demolition. And framing. And tile cutting. If you or your family and pets are sensitive to noise, it might be wise to have somewhere else you can get away for a bit. Or, you could invest in earplugs!
If you decide to stay in your home during renovation, please excuse the dust! Protective plastic walls and coverings may be placed between the workspace and the rest of the home. A machine called an air scrubber may need to run to eliminate the dust even more. Certain doors may be kept closed, but items not in even the direct workspace may be affected. Some portions of your project – like demolition and drywall – make more dust than others. At the end of each workday we make sure our workspace is tidy, broom swept and in some cases Shopvac vacuumed. You’ll need to hire a professional post-construction cleaning service to clean the entire house after project completion if you do not wish to do it yourself.
The best thing to do if you choose to remain at home with your pet is to provide them with a room they will stay in, preferably far away from any noise. Their beds, toys, blankets, water and food bowls, as well as your attention, will help them to be comfortable inside their temporary place. Prepping them before the project starts is a great idea to get them used to the change in routine. If there will be noise heard from their room, perhaps some soothing radio or a television will drown out some of the noises they hear. Although some pets are very personable, it’s wise to keep them leashed when they need to go outside when your construction crew will be there. Some pets may do better at the kennel or with one of your family members.
You may want to write a note to neighbors explaining what will be happening for the next few weeks or months, as your properties may be close to each other. Notifying them that trucks will be parking nearby or the likelihood of power tool noises during the day would be wise. If your Contractor must travel through your neighbor’s property or alter it by any means, written notification and consent is absolutely in order.
Weather, material backorders and flat tires do happen.
Most of the decisions should be made up front. Making decisions in the middle of the project may be costly and add more time. You may need to wait to start your project until all of the contractors and subs can put you in their schedule for a timely completion. Most or all of your material, fixture, style and color selections should be decided in advance so that ordering can take place before the installation dates. If anything arrives broken and needs to be replaced or an order comes up short by just one drawer pull, then there will be enough time to address those things in a timely fashion.
Near the end of your project, there may be some buttoning up to do. A tile may have broken and needs to be replaced or there was a missing robe hook that needs to be installed. You and your contractor will walk through the area and make a list of what left is needed, if anything, before closing out the job.
In addition to the emailing and calling we will be doing with you to keep your project running, we have found that a special area for us to exchange notes and change orders is helpful.
Options could denote an upgrade, or they could present a choice. Sometimes an option will be recommended if it is more cost effective to take advantage of it during your project than to receive it as a stand-alone service. In any case, you will have to make decisions before and sometimes during a project to get the end result you are looking for.
Many projects will have set “allowances” for items such as cabinetry, shower doors, tile, flooring, fixtures and more. You may be presented with or find several items you like that fall within this budget, or decide that you’d like to spend more. If the latter is the case, an adjustment will be made to the total cost of your project.
Allowances, add-ons, and modifications all require change orders if they involve any change made to the original contract. If during demo it is discovered that rotten framing needs to be replaced, you’ll need to OK the change in work and cost before the project resumes. If you want to add niches to your shower mid-project, you’ll need to sign the change order. They can add up in cost and time, so it’s best to hammer out what you know you want before the start date and save change orders for the unforeseen circumstances like asbestos or faulty electrical wiring.
We do our very best to lay out in contract the entire scope of work based on what is seen and known about your property. However, we have found unforeseen conditions before and we are sure to see them again. For instance: We assume that the existing plumbing inside the walls of a home is installed properly. If during demolition we find a violation of code, we must address that via change order. There was no way to see the faulty plumbing during the estimate, so it’s definitely a surprise to say the least!