As you prepare to start your home remodel, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of having the project finished and being able to enjoy your new space. However, getting from Point A to Point B requires a process that can last weeks or months, depending on the scope of your project.
While your Northern Virginia house is being remodeled, you can expect there to be quite a bit of noise, activity and debris, not to mention decreased privacy. You may decide to remain in your house and work around these disruptions, or in some cases, you may be better off making other arrangements for the bulk of the project.
Faced with this remodeling dilemma — temporarily move out or stay? — your decision may be heavily influenced by the type of project you’re undertaking, the overall size of your house and your family dynamic. If you’re remodeling a bathroom, but you have another one or two that you all can use during construction, there’s not a compelling reason to move out for the month or so required for the project. If a majority of your house in Northern Virginia is going to be demoed and reconfigured, that could be a major inconvenience and source of stress for you and other household members.
Some advantages of remaining at home include being able to oversee the daily progress of your remodeling project and having direct communication with your general contractor. You are close by if requests come up and can easily ask questions before they start. Having that sort of presence gives you greater capacity to ensure your home remodel stays on budget and on schedule, ultimately saving you time and money.
Also, by choosing to stay in your home, you avoid the added expense of finding alternative lodging. The significance of this extra cost is often seen as the biggest deterrent to temporarily moving out. Unless you have a friend that you can stay with for a few weeks, you must find a temporary rental or go stay at a hotel. While you may have an estimated timeframe for the construction portion of your renovation, you never know what can happen. Two to four months could turn into half a year, or longer. Suddenly, you have a huge addition to your remodeling budget that you weren’t expecting. Also, relocating to different surroundings may be just as uncomfortable and inconvenient as living at home through the remodel, especially if you have children or other family members to care for.
On the downside, there is a considerable amount of noise and dust, which is especially detrimental to anyone in your family with a preexisting respiratory issue. You will undoubtedly find it difficult dealing with the commotion if you’re trying to work in a home office space. Plus, your crew often may work more quickly and efficiently in an unoccupied home. The money you save by having a truncated schedule may cushion your renovation budget and help offset the cost of paying for a temporary rental.
If you do decide to remain in your house for the duration of your remodel in Northern Virginia, thinking ahead and setting realistic expectations can lay the foundation for a smoother and more efficient process. Here are a few ideas and tips to help you prepare for and deal with the impending disturbances that accompany residential construction:
If it’s possible, given the scope of your home remodel, ask your contractor to set up a sealed-off, construction-free zone where you can go to get away from the chaos, relax for a bit, take a phone call for work, or simply enjoy complete privacy. When you’re doing a kitchen remodel, you may also want to discuss setting up a temporary kitchen in your basement or garage.
The last thing you want is to be stuck inside for hours on end with hammers banging and other people coming and going into your space. If you plan the actual construction part of your project to take place during late spring, summer or early fall, you can spend more time outside and away from the commotion. This is especially important if you have young kids who are likely to go stir-crazy during the winter weather anyway.
You may want to set these parameters one way or another, but if you’re living at your home during your remodel, it’s critical to determine a rigid schedule of when the crew can come onsite and when you need space. All of this should be established ahead of time with your remodeler in Virginia, giving you a chance to talk with your family and readjust your schedule as necessary.
A crucial part of preparing for a home remodel is laying down tarps, sealing off your ventilation system and protecting the areas that aren’t being remodeled, as well as your personal belongings. To minimize health-related problems from the dust and debris, pack up and store any clothes, curtains, bedding and other linens you don’t need for the next few months. Turn off your AC or heating during the day to prevent air from circulating in your house.
Even if you want to save money and stay in your house for a majority of the project, it doesn’t hurt to plan at least one or two weekend getaways or small vacations to truly escape the construction zone for a few days and reset as a family. Also, try to line up a couple friends or family members to visit for dinner or to have as backup if you find yourself getting overwhelmed with the noise and mess.
Whether you decide to stay put during your renovation or take up temporary residence elsewhere, there is great joy in knowing that, when all is said and done, you’ll be left with a home that is all the more beautiful, comfortable and functional. One of the most important things is having an honest and transparent general contractor who will give you the information you need to make a decision. At Denny + Gardner, we want your remodeling experience in Northern Virginia or Washington, D.C., to be a positive one. We can discuss your estimated timeline and what work will be done when, so you can establish realistic expectations and properly plan ahead.