Undoubtedly if we asked well-known columnist, Erma Bombeck, for her tip on this subject, she would probably suggest an extended vacation in the islands for the duration of the remodeling!
Since most of us are not in a position to do this, we'd like to share some ideas that may help reduce the stress and keep things running as smoothly as possible. Actually, with careful planning and cooperation, we can reduce the amount of time you might be inconvenienced.
Remodeling Requires Team Effort
Your input is extremely important in ensuring a successfully completed project that will meet your requirements. When talking to us, be specific about the changes you want to make. Clearly define your likes and dislike concerning materials and styling. One easy way to do this is to gather ideas that you like from magazines. Take time to arrive at a realistic budget figure and be candid with us. For instance, it's futile to design a $50,000.00 kitchen or room when the client's budget is $10,000.00. We're Happy to help with alternative ideas to achieve similar effects, and try to keep your mind open to all options.
During The Course of Construction
For your safety and, in the interest of efficiency, please keep interruptions during the workday to a minimum. The best time to visit us is in the morning when we are setting up, or when we are cleaning up at the end of the day.
You should expect a great deal of disruption. When you return from work to find the clean and tidy home you are accustomed to is a construction zone, you may understandably feel agitated (even though you have been preparing yourself and your family for this event). Somehow, in all of the excitement over the planning of the project, you never really thought it would be like this.
By selecting us as your contractor, you have chosen to put faith and trust in our abilities to professionally execute the described work. We do not expect or assume blind trust; we are willing to demonstrate that we are worthy of it by being attentive to you, your home, and your family. We go to great lengths to employ only the most professional, courteous, and knowledgeable people in the field. R.J. ALDRIEDGE COMPANIES has built a reputation for providing superior service and quality construction to our clients. We take pride in our work and will make every effort to assure your satisfaction. But please keep in mind that by its very nature, remodeling is an adventure and that ups and downs are inevitable.
About The Construction Process
Our workday in your home usually starts at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 5:30 or 6:00. Make arrangements in advance with your contractor to provide access to the house if you will not be there. Time delays while workmen wait for doors to be opened can be costly.
The craftsmen on the project will be using power tools, which create noise and dust. The majority of this disruption will be combined to the work area, and will be protected with barriers of plastic or temporary walls, but it is virtually impossible to isolate all areas from dust migration.
Take a few minutes to go through the rooms which workers might use, and remove things like plants, wall decorations or art objects that might accidentally be damaged while materials are being moved about. In other words, give the crew room to work without risking damage to your belongings. To have your once secure and stable home environment invaded by strangers with tools and materials can be quite a traumatic experience, but we will make every attempt to minimize the chaos.
Children And Pets
Many remodeling efforts are to expand or improve space in a growing household, and we know kids are naturally curious about what is going on. For their safety, please be firm in enforcing a few rules of common sense:
■ Stay clear of the work area at all times during the day.
■ Never touch any power tools or extension cords.
■ Do not climb on ladders, piles of lumber, or equipment.
■ Do not play in dumpster or around trash piles.
■ If weather permits you may want to leave your pet outdoors as much as possible.
The Job Site Sign
We will have an ALDRIEDGE BUILDERS sign in your yard for the duration of the project, mainly to help direct trade contractors and suppliers to the proper address. Of course, we are also proud of our work, and we want your neighbors to know that you have hired the very best!
A construction dumpster or trailer may be placed on your property during the project to facilitate trash removal. If you've been planning to clean out your garage, attic, or yard, or if you have trash from work not contracted by us, please ask the project manager before dumping anything into the dumpster. Please make your own plans to dispose of items such as furniture, appliances, or recyclables. Do not put food or other household rubbish in our dumpsters.
No other room in the house creates more anxiety in remodeling than the kitchen. Everyone recognizes that a major kitchen renovation (removing old and installing new cabinets, appliances, etc.) takes time. On the other hand, no one wants to have the inconvenience of being without a kitchen sink, or being able to at lest prepare simple family meals during this period. One of the best ways in which we found this can be accomplished, is for the contractor to order all materials, cabinets, etc. for the kitchen, and then to hold off tearing out the old equipment until the new materials have been delivered. In this way, you may only be without a kitchen sink for a day or so. In fact, sometimes you may only be inconvenienced for a short time. Obviously, the completed kitchen renovation takes more time, but at least the kitchen is usable during this time.
Ideas From Families Who Have Successfully SURVIVED A Kitchen Remodeling:
1.Give some thought to the temporary storage of the items which are in the kitchen cabinets, cupboards and drawers. One of the easiest ways to solve this is to pick up some cardboard cartons and pack these items as if you were moving. (You probably won't have to be quite as careful to wrap each item so securely, however.) Label each box and put them in a room that is relatively free from traffic. Remember to keep out several pots, pans and those small appliances which you use frequently. Also, if you cannot tolerate using paper plates, you might want to keep out enough place settings for family members. Remember to keep out a few basic spices and seasonings. While you're packing, you might find that this is an excellent opportunity to 'weed out' a lot of items you've been meaning to put in a garage sale or give to charity.
2.Plan on simple meals such as casseroles, stir-fry, or one-dish oven recipes.
3.Make it easy on yourself - use paper plates and napkins whenever possible.
4.If weather permits, why not eat outdoors? In cooler weather consider setting up a table near the fireplace or near a window with a view. Pretty placements and a few flowers on the table can turn the meal into a special occasion.
5.Why not think about asking a friend or neighbor to host a dinner for both your family and theirs? and you provide the food for all. Plan on a simple menu that you can cook together in a reasonable amount of time.
6.To make breakfast, lunch or snack time a little easier, set up a card table, or an aluminum folding picnic table in a room away from the remodeling area, and arrange your toaster, or toaster oven, coffee pot or other small appliances you might need to fix quick meals. In this way, you won't have to even get involved in the kitchen mess for most of the day.
7.Another suggestion you might find useful - move the refrigerator out of the kitchen into an adjacent room. This is one large appliance that doesn't usually require special installation (unless you have an automatic ice maker or cold water dispenser). This will probably help keep the children out of the kitchen during construction also.
8.Above all, don't wear yourself out trying to thoroughly clean up the house each day. Relax, do a minimum of sweeping and dusting until the job is completed, and you can enjoy putting everything back in tip-top condition.
9.Very important - even an 'in progress' remodeling project adds value to you home, so you'll want to talk to your insurance agent about updating you insurance accordingly.
Most items 'left over' at the end of a project belong to us. We usually order extra as to not risk running short. Products like nails, screws, caulk, or adhesives are often purchased in bulk. Our price does not reflect time for a carpenter to drive around looking for things when he should be finishing up. Prudent conversation of valuable resources allows us to provide you with the best possible product at the best possible price.
Changes Cost More
This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Creative ideas occur to all of us as a project moves into full swing. We see changes as opportunities to get more out of a project by making insightful decisions that might make a dramatic difference. And we always balance cost and value in the decision-making process.
We also try to nail down as many details as we can before a project starts to ensure efficient job flow. Although it is very time-consuming for a carpenter or production manager to discuss possible alternatives with a client, our staff wants to help you get most out of you home. Sometimes extras are the result of hidden conditions that we could not reasonably expect to predict.
We bid a project to be performed for a set contract price, rather than an 'estimate'. And while we pride ourselves on the thoroughness of our pre-proposal investigations, we don't have x-ray vision!
If you are unhappy or upset about something, please let us know right away, we are always on call at 817-633-6559.
If you are happy with our work, please say so. We proudly depend on qualified referrals to keep our company strong. Although we are a professional, innovative remodeling firm, the majority of our business comes to us the old-fashioned way - word of mouth from the hundreds of satisfied clients we have served. If your friends and neighbors are curious and you want to show them around, please fell free. We'd love to be introduced to them!
To Sum It All Up
Your attitude can make a big difference in how well you and your family manage during a remodeling. Your contractor will make every effort to minimize the inconvenience during this process.
About half-way through the job, you can expect to experience the feeling of "Why did we ever start this project"? It's normal, and just about everyone who has remodeled has felt it, but keep in mind that once the construction is completed, and you're enjoying the convenience and satisfaction of your new home, you'll probably wonder how you ever lived in the house as it was before!