Issues to Consider When Remodeling

Homefinder Section: Insider Perspective

By Rick Goldstein, registered architect and co-owner, MOSAIC Group [Architects and Remodelers], an Atlanta-based design/build company with Indoor and Outdoor Living Divisions, www.MosaicGroupAtlanta.com

Remodeling your home enables you to personalize it for the way your family lives. Whether you’re adding or reconfiguring space, it’s important to minimize the stress you might encounter during the project’s various stages.

The best way to do that is by talking with your remodeler ahead of time, planning appropriately and setting realistic expectations for everyone involved.

A remodeling project has its own life cycle, so unless it’s a gift, no one likes surprises.

Each phase will run smoother if you know what to expect.

Here are some issues to think about.

1. Will you be displaced from areas you normally use? This might be the basement or garage. If your deck is ripped off, how will you get the dog outside?

2. Where will you place the port-a-potty to minimize odors?

3. What type of Dumpster is planned? Will it damage your driveway?

4. How will the dust be contained? Will there be some sort of “zipper door” to help keep dust out of the house? Will the affected floors be covered to protect them from mud or dirt?

5. How will workers get into the house? Will they enter through the front door or via a temporary entrance through a new addition?

6. Since vibrations will occur, where will you store your pictures, artwork or breakables to prevent damage? You’ll want to pack up personal items.

7. If you don’t have a kitchen for several months, where will you eat? Is there another area where you can set up a temporary kitchen with a microwave?

8. What steps can you take to ensure that your lifestyle will be impacted as little as possible? Keep in mind, however, that the work needs to be done quickly and efficiently.

9. Think about the work schedule. How early will people arrive, and how late will they depart?

10. How do you address the banging and noise? Can you take your small children to a friend’s house for nap time?

11. How can you help keep the job site and the grounds safe?

12. Have you notified your insurance company about the value of your remodeling project? You need to insure your house as the project progresses. Remodeling is different from new construction. You own it as it’s installed or delivered to your property.

Remodeling can be a great opportunity to get the home best suited for your family’s lifestyle when you handle these issues up front with your remodeler.