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The walls came down: Living with and through a remodel

What’s your favorite part of watching home remodeling shows? Is it the demolition when the walls come down? The reveal at the end? Quite often, you don’t see all the work that comes in between those stages. As you prepare to experience the benefits of home remodeling, Kettler Forlines HomesDesign, Build, Renovate team has some tips for living with and through a remodeling project in your home. 

“I can’t look.”

For some homeowners, watching walls, cabinets, and floors torn up can be a heart-wrenching experience. There are memories here!

Our home remodelers recommend that if you don’t have the stomach to witness demolition, treat yourself to something outside the home. Demolition doesn’t take long. A professional crew efficiently takes care of everything from the tear-down to the clean-up. 

But…like homeowners often do in those home makeover shows, you might have the opportunity to swing a sledge hammer or tear up some carpet, if you like. It can be very therapeutic.

“What’s going on?”

Communication is essential before and during a remodel. You need to understand what’s happening in your own home. As you prepare for home remodeling, talk to your contractor about who is coming and going. Get a schedule with the steps and timeline clearly detailed. You should also have easy access to a person in charge when you have a question or problem. 

From the outset, be clear with your remodeling contractor on your expectations and needs. Let them know about pets in the home (but do your best to keep your furry family members outside the remodeling zone, for their own safety). Discuss areas of your home that are available to the remodeling crew (bathroom, kitchen, entry) and those that are off limits.

“Are we on schedule?”

Some manufacturers are having difficulty keeping up with the unprecedented demand for home remodeling and new home construction, so it’s realistic that delays could happen. Your remodeling contractor should keep you apprised of any changes to the schedule. If you have questions or feel that the process is taking longer than you expected, ask! 

“I’m not a control freak, but….”

If you start a sentence claiming not to be a control freak, you probably are one. Assuming you’ve carefully screened them, checked references, and been clear about your needs, you should trust your remodeler. The more you intervene, the longer the project will take. Try standing back and letting them do the job you hired them to do. 

“My dad is really handy.”

Nope. It doesn’t matter how skilled your dad, friend, partner, or hairdresser’s neighbor is with power tools. Letting someone outside the contractor’s crew jump in is a recipe for disaster. Just like a sports team has their own rhythm with one another, an experienced group of tradesmen works collaboratively. They know each other’s moves, what to do when, and what NOT to do. Bringing in an amateur will not be welcomed. 

“Can I make one teeny change?”

Before you sign the contract for your home remodeling project, commit to the details. Changes are costly.

If you want to change the countertops and they’ve already been ordered, that’s a big deal. If the walls have been dry-walled and you want to move the plumbing, the request falls well outside the “teeny” category. Talk to your remodeling contractor about your thoughts and discuss what the change will do to your schedule and budget. 

“Where’s the inspector?”

Certain aspects of a home remodel will require an inspection before proceeding to the next step. Plumbing, electrical, and building inspections must be done by a town or city inspector. Unfortunately, with the increase in construction, the demand for inspectors has created some backlog in their schedule. Don’t blame your contractor or crew, and don’t ask them to skirt the process by doing something else just so you can see progress. There’s a process to remodeling that MUST be followed!

“I’m ready!”

Kettler Forlines Homes has been building outstanding homes throughout the DC Metro area for more than 40 years. We use this same expertise to remodel and renovate homes—whether it’s adding a deck, finishing a basement, making over a kitchen, or a complete remodel. We’ll guide you through design through construction and completion with personal attention that has given so many homeowners a happy remodeling experience. Talk to us about your ideas and let’s remake your home together.