Transforming your home into the space you’ve always dreamed of is exciting, and something that requires a great deal of planning. Having a good plan, transparent communication and setting realistic goals and expectations is a big step in ensuring a smooth and successful renovation project. That’s where an experienced contractor can help. We can help you can plan ahead for the construction process, and outline the items you might not have thought about, or that you’ve never heard other contractors (or home improvement shows) talk about. This is important because many of these items cost money and can create problems, especially if you haven’t anticipated them on the front end. Following are some of the most common things we discuss with our clients before their projects begin that a contractor with less experience might not include:
- Care for your Pets: Pet care is something many people don’t consider when it comes to a home remodel. Furry friends can be easily frightened by new people and loud noises and you don’t want to risk them getting scared and running away or sneaking out the door. We often hear people say, “oh, don’t worry, Fido is friendly!” We’re not worried about if they’re friendly or not, we don’t want them to get hurt. We’ve had dogs who are just curious and want to see what we’re doing, but we don’t want them to get hurt or injured by any of the equipment! Consider where you will keep them during the remodel to keep them safe and contained.
- Utilities: During a remodel, your utility bills WILL You will have higher electric and gas bills with the doors opening and closing, and if you are replacing windows or the roof, etc., you are letting out the cold, or hot, air. Therefore, your home is not energy efficient and the bills will add up. This is something to budget into your overall remodel costs and be prepared for.
- Time is money: We all know the saying, but it becomes especially true during a remodel. You may need to find time to meet with the contractor, designer, landscaper, or anyone else you may have hired to help work on your home. This could mean taking some time off work or cutting in to your personal time. Be prepared to invest your time as well as your money during a remodel. Also, if a contractor has a long construction timeline, this could cost you more money than you had originally anticipated. (Think more meals out, time away from the home, more time your home is exposed to the elements, etc.)
- Yard maintenance: Another potential cost to keep in mind during a remodel is landscaping. If you have any valuable items in your yard you want to protect, be sure to point them out to your contractor. For example, you might have a rose plant that a family member gave you and blooms year after year. This is an important keepsake that we would want to know about to ensure its safety and beauty. Also, ask your contractor what will be done to help protect your lawn. At Riggs, we will lay down plywood and tell you where it will be so you are aware. After the remodel is completed, we’ll also recommend that you consider getting your yard aerated to bring the lawn back to its original state.
- Seasonal Considerations: During certain times of year, like rainy and snowy seasons, splashes from puddles might get on the house. Ask you contractor if they plan to take care of this for you (many do not). After Riggs has completed your remodel, we will power wash and clean any spills to make sure the house is in tip-top condition.
- Dumpsters: Something that we do that many other contractors might not, is put down Tyvek under the dumpsters to protect the asphalt or concrete. Depending on the length of the project, the dumpster could rust the concrete or make the asphalt sink, which would cost you more money. We of course want to avoid this and look to save you money!
- The Unforeseens: Even if we have the original blueprints for your house, we cannot guarantee how it was built in the past, especially when it comes to older homes in the Kirkwood and Webster Groves area. Sometimes the contractors had to improvise on the jobsite due to material avaialability or other challenges they ran across while construction was taking place. We might think a pipe is in a certain place, but once take down the wall, we see that it’s not where it was marked on the blueprint! This can be a bit of a setback, but don’t be alarmed. This is just one reason why hiring a professional is so important. We know how to manage things like this when they arise on a jobsite, and will promptly communicate the best solutions.
Don’t let these unforeseen circumstances scare you. Knowing these items and circumstances, you can be better prepared and know what to expect leading up to the remodel project. And if you ever have a question or concern, be sure to speak up! A professional contractor is happy to answer any and all of your questions to ensure that you feel comfortable and are well-informed. Now you can enjoy the home remodeling experience!