Remodel Design Guide: Preconstruction Meeting

After an extensive design process, you signed a remodel construction contract to transform your current home into your dream home. Then, you waited several weeks for permit approval as your design-build team has been hard at work planning and scheduling every step of the remodeling process. Now, it’s almost time to begin the construction phase of your remodel. But before a team of professional remodelers can come in and start transforming your home, there’s one final step. It’s time for the preconstruction meeting.

At Lamont Bros., we know that remodeling your home can often feel like a daunting task. With so many things to change and so many moving pieces, it’s important to have clearly defined steps to help guide you through the process. The preconstruction meeting is the step designed to prepare you and your team for the weeks of construction that lie ahead.

This article will cover everything you need to know in preparation for your preconstruction meeting. Once you’ve read it, you’ll know exactly what to expect and how you can make sure your remodel gets off on the right foot. The specific topics we’ll discuss include:

What is a Preconstruction Meeting?

As the name suggests, the preconstruction meeting is a meeting that takes place in your home shortly before construction begins. When working with a design-build firm like Lamont Bros., this meeting will include you, your project manager, your superintendent, and your design consultant.

The purpose of the preconstruction meeting is to help you and your build team navigate the challenges of remodeling together. Remodeling is often an invasive process, and the sights and sounds of construction can interrupt the flow of daily life. You’ll have remodel carpenters in and out of your home throughout the day, and you’ll lose use of the areas that are under construction.

It’s important to address common concerns upfront to make your remodeing experience as efficient and painless as possible. The preconstruction meeting will cover the basics of the construction process and make sure you and your team are on the same page for the weeks that lie ahead.

What Happens During A Preconstruction Meeting?

Your preconstruction meeting will take place 1-2 weeks before your project begins construction. During the meeting, your team will likely discuss the following topics with you.

Review Construction Documents

Now that the design plans, project schedule, and permits have been finalized, your team will go over these main documents with you one last time. Although it may feel redundant to review the design plans, this is a major project and you’re investing a lot of time and money into it. Your team wants to make sure that the final result is exactly as you want it to be.

This will also be the first time your superintendent, project manager, and design consultant are all in the home together. It’s important for them to be able to talk through the plans with you in the space where the remodel will take place so they can ask you any questions about the home as they review. It ensures that all parties understand what needs to be done in order to turn your current home into the one in the plan set.

You’ll review your design plans as part of the preconstruction meeting.

Discuss Access to the Space

Throughout the project, your team will need access to various spaces and items in your home. Here are a few conversations related to access that you might have at your preconstruction meeting.

Site Access

One important issue you’ll discuss at your pre-construction meeting is site access. Throughout the remodeling process, you’ll have remodeling professionals in and out of the house on a daily basis. As they build your remodel, they’ll bring tools, machinery, materials, and other subcontractors onto the site.

It usually makes the most sense for your team to have a separate access point to the home. That way, they won’t be intruding on your day-to-day life as you figure out how to live through a remodel. Depending on where the construction site is located in relation to the rest of the home, a garage or side door are usually excellent access points for your team.

Bathroom Access

Your team will also want to discuss bathroom access during this time. For your sake, your construction team should have their own separate bathroom space to use while working in your home. Many remodeling contractors will rent a portable bathroom and place it in the yard of the home. However, some homeowners choose to offer up a spare bathroom in the home rather than have a porta-potty on their front lawn.

Utility Access

During the remodel, your team will also need utility access to the controls for your electrical, water, and fire suppression systems. It’s important that you provide your team with access to the main electrical panel and water shut-off valves, especially in a project with heavy plumbing or electrical work. This will allow your team to turn the utility systems off and on as necessary while working on the home.

Finalize a Protection Plan

Unless you’re remodeling your whole home and yard, there are some things that should look the same at the end of the remodel. A site protection plan ensures that the areas of your home not under construction remain undamaged during the remodel.

Indoors, the goal of a protection plan is to protect finished surfaces like flooring, walls, and appliances. Outside, the protection plan aims to maintain the landscaping of the yard and prevent it from being damaged by foot traffic and heavy machinery.

Your team will use a variety of methods to protect your home depending on the specific situation and needs of the space. For a more in-depth look at the process of protecting your home during a remodel, read our article, “What is a Remodel Site Protection Plan?

Jobsite protection

Establish General Procedures & Expectations

At the preconstruction meeting, your team will work with you to identify specific procedures and expectations that you have for the remodeling process. They’ll ask you several questions to make sure that as the team remodels your home, they respect you and your lifestyle.

One major topic of discussion will be working hours — most remodeling crews prefer to begin their day between 6:00 and 7:00 am. For some homeowners, this is perfectly acceptable. For others, especially those with younger children, it’s perfectly fine to ask for a later start time.

There’s also the issue of pets in the home. It’s important to protect your furry friends as your home is under construction. If not contained, curious dogs or cats may wander into the construction zone and injure themselves. If you have pets in the home, remember to notify your build team what type of pet and when you plan to let them in/out of the house.

How Can You Prepare for Your Preconstruction Meeting?

In order to make sure that your preconstruction meeting runs smoothly and enhances your remodel experience, here are a few things you can do in preparation beforehand.

Begin Cleaning Out the Construction Space

The preconstruction meeting will include a site walkthrough with your team. While it’s not necessary to have the entire space spotless, you’ll do yourself and your team a huge favor by beginning to move your stuff out now.

During the remodel, the space should be totally empty except for what the builders bring in. It can take several days or even weeks to clean a room out to preconstruction standards. Start now by moving what you can on your own. If they need to, your team may be able to help you move larger items before beginning the work.

Formulate a Plan for Living Through a Remodel

While a remodeled home is worth it in the end, living through a remodel can present several challenges. You’ll want to begin planning for the construction phase long before it arrives.

The first thing you’ll want to plan is how to make up for the space that is under construction. Losing use of part of your home can be burdensome if it’s an area that gets used frequently. If planning for a bathroom remodel, such a plan might look like scheduling bathroom times for family members who have to share the remaining bathrooms. Or, in a kitchen remodel, you might set up a temporary kitchen in the home to hold you over.

Also, consider how much noise will be in the home during working hours. If you work from home or are a stay-at-home parent, loud noises and the sounds of people working can be distracting or disruptive. Think about what you can do to isolate yourself from the noise or perhaps even find a different place to work.

Notify Your Neighbors of Construction Work

Although your home is the one getting remodeled, the remodeling process will affect your neighborhood, too. Some neighbors may notice strange vehicles or people hanging around your home more. The noise coming from the power tools in your home may be disruptive to their lifestyle.

In any case, it’s important that you forewarn your neighbors of the construction activities in their neighborhood. That way, if there are any concerns or objections to the way the project is proceeding, they can contact the project manager directly to resolve the issue without the homeowner having to deal with it.

Many remodeling companies will provide letters to your neighbors to notify them of the work being done in the neighborhood. Below is a sample copy of what this letter might look like.

Want to learn more about the remodeling process?

Now that you have a better understanding of what to expect during your preconstruction meeting, continue your research. Take the next step by reading about the Design-Build Process and how a company like Lamont Bros. can help you turn your current home into your dream home.

Ready to meet with a professional designer? Click the link below to schedule a free design consultation with a member of our team. With Lamont Bros., you’ll never face the challenges of remodeling alone.