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Saving your sanity during remodeling

Author: Marv Shidler
Last updated: June 3, 2009

Remodeling fever can strike anyone in the middle of a renovation project. Symptoms include severe aggravation at every additional speck of construction dust and a strong desire to find fault with everything the contractor is doing. With the proper precautions, this condition can be avoided. Here's how:

Before the job ever starts, settle the following issues:

Bathroom access - Will you allow workers to use yours? If the job is a prolonged one the contractor should be willing to rent a portable toilet.

Handling of debris - Make sure the contractor has in writing that he will remove trash created during the job, rent a dumpster if necessary and locate it as inconspicuously as possible.

Storage of materials - Let the contractor know if a driveway full of lumber will bother you.

Starting and quitting time - Establish a reasonable time that meets your needs and contractor's needs as closely as possible. Remember you need to be flexible during the upheaval of remodeling.

Prepare family and neighbors with these steps:

Warn neighbors ahead of time that there will be extra noise, extra vehicles, and extra mess during the coming job. Ask them what their concerns are, for example the safety of their children.

Prepare your family and yourself for the mess. It is impossible to keep a house as neat as normal during construction. You may not be able to function as normal if your kitchen or bathroom are torn up.

Be prepared for surprises such as delayed completion or unexpected expenses. Remember that remodeling is not an exact science.

Don't tempt fate. Store valuables in another location besides your home and move breakable items where they will be safe from damage.

Remodeling fever is inevitable. But the fresh, new living area you will have at the end of the project will make all the hassles worthwhile.