This entry is part of our Houston Home Renovation series brought to Houston by Cass McNinch and Aberdeen Building Group, a Houston based contractor and builder serving Houston's Timbergrove, Houston Heights, and the Inner Loop.
So, you’ve finally got the ball rolling on that renovation you have been dreaming about for years. Plans. Check. Contractor. Check. Colors and selections. Check. What now?
plan. plan. plan. This is the first key to surviving a renovation project. As much as you can do on the front end of your project, the better off you will be. Now, you can’t plan for everything, but you do the best that you can. What types of plans should you make, you ask?
• storage. You will need to figure out where to store furniture, kitchen items or other objects that need to be removed for the duration of construction. Perhaps they can be stored in your garage or in another part of the house. Or, for major renovations you may need to move everything to off-site storage. Figure any costs related to storage into your budget numbers.
• living arrangements. If you are staying in your home during the construction, how will that affect your day to day activities and what adjustments will you need to make? For example, if renovating your kitchen, where will you put your refrigerator? How will you cook? Where will you wash dishes? What type of utility interruptions will you experience? If you are not staying in your home, will you rent a place or do you have someone else you can stay with temporarily? Certainly any decision you make regarding living arrangements will be dependent on the length of the project. Knowing the construction schedule will be vital.
• dust. dust. more dust. It’s no surprise that construction is messy. No matter how much we warn clients, they will still tell us they could not have imagined the amount of dust. We do everything we can to minimize it, including sealing off the work area and establishing only one entrance to it. Also, not running the a/c during the most dust-producing times of the project can help. Construction dust has a way of reaching the corners furthest from the action. We can only minimize it, not eliminate it. You may consider covering book cases, beds (when you are not in them, of course!) and other items to help minimize the time you will have to clean.
flexibility. The second key to survival is to be flexible when your first plan doesn’t play out exactly as you thought. Think about delays due to weather or the time spent to repair an unexpected problem. To the first, we like to think we can control a lot of things, but weather is not one of them. And, to the second, some problems will only become apparent once the demolition process has occurred. Together with your contractor, you will figure out the best course of action. And, however inconvenient delays may be to both yourself and your contractor, none of the delays are the end of the world. It’s all part of the process and communication will be the key to getting through it.
enjoy. In the end, all of the inconvenience, time, dust and cost will be worth it because you will have a beautiful, newly updated space to enjoy with your personal stamp on it.