How to Survive a Major Remodel

Managing Relationships During a Major Remodel
Good communication during a major remodel will ensure that everybody's happy.
Good communication during a major remodel will ensure that everybody's happy.
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A great working relationship with your contractor and home remodeling crew is vital to the process. You can help things go more smoothly by setting up clear expectations before the first tool belt ever crosses the threshold.

Work hours. Will construction start at 7 a.m. or extend past 6 p.m.? Will the crew work weekends? And if the job gets behind schedule, will you be willing to adjust the work hours? Try to strike a balance between the crew's missive to get the work done and your wish to have a semblance of a normal life.

Access. How will workers get into your home? Realistically, you won't be home to offer access all the time, but there are other options. Consider using a lock box that uses a code or infrared sensor to release a key. You can remove the lock box when you want to prevent access. Alternatively, you could have a temporary lock installed and put the project manager in charge of the key.

Material storage. Imagine your surprise at opening the garage door on Monday morning to start your daily commute, only to realize a stack of lumber blocks the exit. Determine whether material will be delivered to the driveway or street, and where it will be stored in case of inclement weather.

Restroom access. Major remodels are lengthy. But even if your project only lasted a single day, workers would still need somewhere to use the restroom. Either designate a crew restroom or ask for a portable toilet to be provided.

Contractor and crew relationships aren't the only ones to manage during remodeling. Give your neighbors a heads-up that your home will be undergoing a major renovation, especially if you live in a neighborhood or building bound by homeowners' association covenants. It's not usually in the best interest of neighborly relations to surprise anyone. And promising to invite your neighbors to a post-project celebration could help grease the wheels, too [source: Beck Design Group, Hawaii Home Remodeling].

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