My husband and I were in love with our home the moment we stepped through the front door at the open house. The newly refinished hardwoods and the Azul Aran granite kitchen countertops (to die for!) won us over completely. We rushed to make an offer and won the bid!
While there was so much to love about our new place, we knew there was work to be done right off the bat. Our cute Cape Cod needed a bathroom! The house had a closet of a full bathroom on the main floor, and another tucked behind the laundry room in the unfinished basement (Brrrr!). However, there was no bathroom on the second floor near the master bedroom. So we quickly set to work and hired a contractor to remedy the issue.
Here is what I learned along the way.
1.Expect to clean … a lot!
You can put up plastic sheeting until your home looks like the site of a Hazmat disaster, but dust and dirt will still get tracked through your home. Construction dust is so fine and manages to find its way to places you never expected.
Tip: To minimize damage to our furniture and reduce our cleaning, we placed throw sheets over everything closest to the remodel zone. We also vacuumed every evening to keep dust from being tracked around by our two four-legged friends.
2. Expect to live in a smaller footprint
This was huge for us! Our project was very large and involved cutting a hole in our roof, so we lost the use of an entire floor of our house. At some points during the project we even lost most of the living room as plumbing and HVAC were installed.
Tip: We coped with the close quarters by finding things to do outside of the house. We enjoyed lots of family dinners, took friends up on every offer to hang out at their place, and got a lot of exercise with our pups.
3. Expect to double check the work done each day
I cannot stress this one enough. My husband was diligent about this and as a result he caught a couple of things early in the process that were not correct. The biggest thing he caught was a cold air return vent being placed in the middle of a wall. Because of this, we were able to get them fixed before the point of no return. Many of our friends and family were not so lucky and are now stuck with something they did not want.
Tip: We did this in the evening after the crew had left. When you are living in close quarters, and are ready for a project to be done, it is not uncommon to find yourself getting a little hot headed. It is important to be cool and calm when discussing your concerns and changes with your contractor.
Like so many home remodel projects before us, we had the usual bumps and snags with timelines (ours was two months over) and unexpected issues (looking at you, cold air return). Surviving it all relies on staying focused on the finished product. It has been nearly three years now and we still walk into our finished bathroom and comment on how happy we are with it.