Contractor Lead Times
The Corvallis home remodeling contractor you’re interested in hiring may have a long lead time, meaning they won’t be able to start construction for six or more months. This likely means they’re in high demand, which is a great sign. If a contractor is ready to work as soon as possible, this could reflect on their skill level or limited experience.
The good news is that during the time between hiring them for your remodel and the beginning of construction, there is still plenty to do to prepare for your remodel. You will be in the discovery phase, the design phase, and the pre-construction phase for a few months as it is, so the wait time before construction won’t seem as long as you may think.
Know When to Compromise
If you’re thinking about a home remodel, you’ve likely scoured the internet for design ideas, tile trends, flooring examples, and the like. When you’re researching materials and features, however, keep in mind that you can have the Carrera marble countertops as long as you’re willing to compromise on the hardwood floors. By ranking your finishes by must-haves to it-would-be-nice, you’ll know which materials are worth compromising for and which will be compromised on to get the design you want.
Your designer will help you come up with alternatives for the materials you like but could also forgo choosing the high-end version. This is especially true when you work with a design-build team rather than a designer or architect alone. Your builder will be able to inform your designer about current industry costs, which also include labor, to best determine if a certain finish is within your budget or if you’ll need to choose an alternative.
Remodeling a home involves a lot of decision making. It will feel exciting for a while, then you may be wondering if it will ever end, especially for more complex rooms like the kitchen and bathroom. There are two ways to avoid decision fatigue: do your homework, and hire a team that has experience with the style you want.
Doing your homework means taking time to look around online for overall design ideas, flipping through magazines, or making inspiration boards on Pinterest or Houzz. Once you get a sense of the overall room style, you can begin to zero in on the specific attributes of that space. Take note of the color palette you like, the tile shapes, textures, hardware tones, and any other detail. Does the living room you’re fawning over feel cozy because of the built-ins and fireplace, or is it the wall color and coffered ceiling? Maybe all of the above?
When you hire a design-build team that has experience in the style you’re after, you’re more likely to get it with less effort than hiring a team that’s well-versed in traditional styles when you prefer a contemporary aesthetic. Hire a team for the style they’re great at delivering and you’ll reap the benefits.
Decide Whether You’ll Stay or Go
With some remodels, staying in your home could be an option, but you’ll also have to consider your specific circumstances. Do you have a baby or small child? Do you work from home? Which room are you remodeling and can you live without it for several weeks?
Consider where you would stay and how much it would cost. Subtract that amount from your overall budget, unless you can pay for alternative living arrangements out of pocket. It will be worth the expense for access to a kitchen, bathrooms, to maintain your privacy, to avoid living with the noise, and to avoid the temptation to hover over the crew.
The construction team you hire may be the best in the business when it comes to containing the mess that can come from a remodel, but there will always be some amount of dust that makes its way into the rest of your home. Construction dust particles are incredibly fine. Even with the best equipment, like ZipWalls and blocking the air registers, some dust can make it through. To avoid having to deep clean all of your furniture, be sure to use plastic sheeting to cover the furniture that’s nearest the area being remodeled. After your project is complete, hire a cleaning service to give your entire home a good deep clean to be sure the dust has been cleared away.
If you do decide to stay in your home during a remodel, prepare yourself for lots of noise for hours at a time. If you don’t work at home, this might not be a dealbreaker. If you do, as mentioned, you may want to move out temporarily–at least until the demolition and structural construction steps are complete. Otherwise, expect to hear nail guns, compressors, sanders, saws, and more throughout your home.
Expect the Unexpected
During any remodeling project, there could be an unforeseen issue. This could be severe weather that causes a delay, a late shipment, finding DIY work in the walls that isn’t up to code, discovering water damage in the subflooring, or insect damage in the beams.
Experienced contractors will build an allowance of both time and money into your remodel for just these occasions; but until an issue comes to the surface, there’s no way to know how much time or budget it will take to mitigate it. If you keep an air of flexibility and come-what-may attitude, you’ll help yourself and your family stave off stress if–or when–an obstacle reveals itself.
A change order is initiated when there’s a proposed change to the scope of work. If you change your mind about a type of tile or adding a window, this will change the cost of labor and could increase or decrease your final cost. If it’s an increase, it could come out of the budget allowance, if it hasn’t already been used for an unforeseen issue. Discuss the change in cost before initiating a change order and decide if the change in design is worth it.
The Punch List
Ideally, your project will be handed over and it will be absolutely perfect. More often than not, however, you will find something that’s amiss. This is completely common. It could be a scuff in the paint, a cracked corner of a piece of tile on the backsplash, or the wrong shade of white on one of the outlet covers. You’ll walk through your nearly-finished project with the project manager, contractor, or both to create the punch list. Take your time and inspect the details. Your construction crew will address the issues, and then your home will finally be complete.
Want to Know More?
This list of what to expect is a great intro that probably answered a lot of questions before you embark on the remodeling journey. It probably also inspired even more questions! Corvallis Custom Kitchens & Baths is here for you. With all of the services you could need under one roof, your design and construction will be completed with care, collaboration, acute attention to detail, and impeccable style. Contact us to schedule a consultation and we’d be more than happy to discuss your project goals and answer your questions.