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The main reason why many homeowners hesitate to remodel their kitchen or bathroom is because they’re afraid that it will cost too much. But the second biggest reason is that they’re afraid it will take too long. They envision themselves taking showers at the neighbor’s house for weeks on end or cooking dinner in a microwave in a garage or a bedroom.

They’re right to be concerned; it almost always takes longer to remodel your house than you are expecting it to take. But having been involved in hundreds of remodels in my lifetime, I know the secrets to getting jobs done on time. On the other hand it will take some doing on your part as well. I’m not promising a miracle, of course; pipes can break and leak, and hidden problems may surface. There could be lots of bumps along the road to renovation.

Kitchen Waiting For Things To Go In

Of course, you want to take enough time to thoroughly investigate the background of the contractor and what your job will cost. But once you’ve signed all the papers and made a deposit and decided to move ahead, following these common-sense rules can generally keep your project from turning into a quagmire of delays:

1 | Have All Materials on Hand.

Do not start the project or even the demolition until all the materials have been delivered: including light fixtures, cabinets, faucets, toilets, tile, bath tubs – whatever your job will entail.

2 | Know the Whole Schedule.

Make sure that the contractor gives you a firm schedule. That way you can keep track of whatever is going to happen day-by-day.

3 | Have all Necessary Permits.

Make sure that you or the contractor has pulled all the necessary permits needed for your job including: changes in plumbing, heating and electrical work.  Ideally all of the permits should be pulled and approved prior to begining any of your remodeling project. This not only helps ensure the project stays on their schedule, but also, it protects against potential scope changes that may come about.

4 | Mid-Project Changes Will Have an Impact.

Understand that if you change your mind about some part of the project or add onto it, you could increase the project time and even budget. With multiple changes, like ripping down another wall or moving the sinks, there can be a domino effect that can prove catastrophic for the remodeling schedule.

5 | Make Temporary Arrangements.

With your contractor’s help, determine how to provide a temporary “kitchen”. Possibly in a laundry room or a garage. Hopefully, it’s an area with a sink close-by. It’s also possible that you might have to temporarily use the home of a neighbor or relative for some facilities.

6 | Pets are often a problem.

Sequester them if possible. Keep children out of hazardous areas particularly when workers are on the scene.

7 | Beware of Friends Helping You to Save Money.

If you want some relative or friend to help with the job, possibly to save money, you could be asking for trouble. Contractors tend to discourage that. It might be hard to get that friend or relative on the job at the right time and to provide the level of quality you deserve.  Also be aware that the contractor has no warranty responsibility for labor or the materials you may provide – and their insurance won’t cover any on-the-job accidents that may happen to your friend. Those responsibilities would likely fall your shoulders.

So those are the secrets for helping your job move along; if you’ve ever remodeled before, you may know all about them. May all your renovations succeed and move along as speedily as possible.


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