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What to expect during a home remodel

The time has finally come. You’ve spent weeks, maybe even months, getting everything in order for your home remodel. Now, you get to sit back and watch the magic happen.  

Saws buzzing, hammers pounding, plastic barriers everywhere, water and electricity getting shut off randomly, and workers coming in and out of your house all day long. 

On second thought, can it just be over already?

The fact of the matter is that any time your home is under construction, things are going to feel a little off. Whether it’s for a week or three months, remodeling a home is an invasive process.

Our team at Lamont Bros. knows what kind of challenges you as a homeowner are facing during the construction process. This article is meant to answer several questions our clients often ask and provide some insight as to what you might expect while your home is being remodeled. 

We want you to be informed and prepared when construction begins so you can plan your life around the project with minimal hassle. By the time you’re finished reading, you should know about:

  • Daily schedules
  • Personnel
  • Noise levels
  • Space usability
  • What to do with kids and pets
  • Your responsibilities

Let’s jump in!

What is the daily construction schedule?

Although different construction companies will have different approaches to daily scheduling, we find that it is best to start work earlier in the morning. This is especially true for outdoor projects in order to beat the heat of the day.

At the same time, most urban and suburban districts have quiet-hour statutes. Mandatory quiet hours usually last until around 7:00 a.m. Our teams usually shoot to start around that time and work for eight hours a day with a lunch break in the middle. We try to wrap up the day by 3:30 p.m.

For some homeowners – especially young families – a 7:00 a.m. start time simply isn’t feasible. If you have to get the kids up and ready for school, or simply need some extra time in the morning before work begins, we try to be flexible to fit your schedule. However, we don’t usually start work any later than 8:30 a.m.

Some construction companies work a 6-day week with Saturday being a full workday. As a company that recognizes the importance of family, we don’t schedule our teams to work on weekends. Our standard week is Monday through Friday, and we try to avoid scheduling on Saturdays or Sundays unless absolutely necessary. 

Who will be in my house during a remodel?

You have every right to be cautious about who has access to your home – especially when children and families are involved. We know that having strangers in your home can be unnerving, and the stereotypes of typical construction workers don’t help, either.

At Lamont Bros., our clients’ safety is our top priority, which is why we require background and drug tests for every one of our field staff. We also put them through weekly job site safety training. Our expectation is that the personnel representing our company are courteous, well-spoken, and respectful of you and your family. 

As part of the planning process, you will have the opportunity to meet with your construction team before the work begins. This way, you’ll already know each other when the team shows up to work on your house. 

The number of workers in your home during a remodel depends largely on the project’s scope.

A typical bathroom remodel can’t fit much more than one or two full-grown adults, whereas an extensive kitchen remodel might require up to three sets of hands at a time. 

During an addition, multi-room remodel, or whole-home remodel, there might be several workers on site at once. A good rule of thumb is to expect 5 people or fewer on projects this size. 

You may also see a project manager or site inspector occasionally stop by.

How loud will my house be during construction?

In case nobody’s told you, construction work is usually loud – that’s why we schedule our work to begin after quiet hours. There aren’t many moments during a home remodel when something isn’t being hammered, sawed, or otherwise power-tooled into place. 

To give you an idea, of how loud you can expect your home to be, the human speaking voice is around 60-70 dB, while a jet engine is around 140 dB. 

Construction work typically rings in anywhere between 90-105 dB if you’re standing in the immediate vicinity of the work. The noise level also depends on what tools are running.

Although tools and equipment come nowhere close to being as loud as a jet, experts recommend hearing protection for anything over 85 dB, and double hearing protection for anything over 100 dB

The further you are from where the work is happening, the quieter things will be. However, you shouldn’t expect peace and quiet until after the workday has ended. Talking on the phone, watching TV, and even carrying on a conversation in your front yard will likely be interrupted by the sound of your remodel taking shape. 

If you work from home and are concerned about having a place to work quietly during your remodel, you may want to find a quiet place on the opposite side of the house. You may also want to consider finding a temporary home-office-away-from-home. 

How will a remodel affect my house?

The answer to this question depends largely on what kind of remodel you’re doing. Whatever area is being remodeled should be considered out of order and off-limits. 

Usability

Let’s get one thing out of the way first: you can still live in your house during a home remodel. Just don’t expect to be able to use the space that is being remodeled. 

If your bathroom is under construction, you’re down a bathroom. If you have a large family, this might cause some tension over who gets to use the remaining available lavatories. 

And unless you have a spare kitchen lying around, a kitchen remodel will effectively prevent you from cooking until the project is done. You can expect to be eating out a lot or finding temporary appliances to cook your meals. 

During a whole-home remodel, you probably won’t want to live in your house at all. Not only is there an uncomfortable lack of privacy and personal space, but it’s also just really unsafe. We recommend finding somewhere else to live during a project like this.

On the other hand, single-level additions are the least likely to intrude on your lifestyle since the construction usually happens outside of your existing living space. 

A 2nd story addition might get a little more intrusive if workers need access to the upstairs of your house. Adding a basement to a house requires a lot of work, but it’s possible. It’s also very expensive and requires us to evacuate the house while we lift it up off the old foundation. 

Lawn & Garden

A lot of homeowners are concerned about how a remodel project will affect their lawn. Most of the time, this is a non-issue. There are, however, a few exceptions. 

The carpenters working on your project will need a place to dump the wastewater used to clean paint, grout, or tile dust from their equipment. They will usually do this outside to avoid dirtying your home, but this can stain your lawn for several weeks. If there is a place you would prefer they clean off their equipment, it is important to communicate this.

Any kind of heavy equipment can damage your lawn, too. Cement trucks, cranes, and even a pickup might leave a rut in the ground. Unfortunately, larger remodels and additions may require some heavy equipment to drive on your lawn in order to get close to the work site. 

Ultimately, we want to take care of the things that are important to you during your home remodel. If your landscape is one of those things, just let us know, and we’ll do our best. You’ll want to discuss with your project manager what landscape repair might be necessary at the end of the job. 

Many homeowners will plan big landscaping projects after their remodel is done.

What should I do about kids and pets?

Because of the inherent dangers involved in a construction project, we strongly advise you to keep your children and pets as far away from the construction zone as possible. 

We do our best to partition off the primary workspace with plastic dust barriers. However, a toddler or even a chihuahua could easily tear them down and wander into the construction area. 

For younger children, we recommend that you communicate clearly and early on that they could be seriously hurt if they go past the protective barriers. Most of the time, this is enough to keep them out, but they may occasionally need a gentle reminder. 

Pets, on the other hand, is a much different story. Indoor pets are especially difficult because they get curious about the strange new things going on in their territory and want to investigate. We’ll do our best to deter pets from checking out the area, but the responsibility ultimately rests on the homeowner.

We recommend that you keep your indoor pets contained in a separate room at all times, even after the workday is over. Although we clean up our workspace at the end of the day, there are still safety hazards on an unfinished construction site.

The Curious Case of the Cat in the Wall

There is one particular story that illustrates how important it is for you to be hypervigilant of your pets during a remodel.

Several years ago, we did a job for a client who owned a cat. During this particular remodel, we had to tear out and replace some drywall over the course of a few days. 

On the day our carpenters arrived to install the new drywall, the homeowner noted that she hadn’t seen her cat in a while. Hoping the cat would turn up soon, the team finished the new wall and the job wrapped up without a hitch. Or, so we thought. 

The next day, we got a call from the homeowner. “I think my cat is inside the wall.” 

Our carpenters hurried back to her house, where we found the cat alive and well in the attic. Sure enough, Fluffy had gotten curious and climbed through the open ceiling while the team was taking lunch, and stayed hidden just long enough to get sealed inside.

At the end of the day, the cat was reunited with her owner and the wall was re-patched and sealed again, but all of this could have been avoided if the homeowner had kept a closer eye on her pets during the remodel. 

What are my responsibilities during a remodel?

As the homeowner, you play an important role in making sure your remodel is successful. For the most part, the design plan we create with you before construction begins will tell the team how to build everything. However, there will be a few specific times we will need your input.

Be available for meetings

There are two meetings during the construction process that you will need to attend. The first is the rough-in walkthrough. Before the electrician does any re-wiring in your home, we’ll walk you throug the space to make sure you get a say as to where any new outlets, lighting fixtures, and utility hookups will go.

This meeting is essential to making sure your space fits your needs. It is also important because the framing of your home may change where we can put things. Problem is, we won’t know where the studs are until we begin demolition. We’ll make you aware of any necessary electrical changes at the rough-in walkthrough.

You will also need to attend a final punch list walkthrough. This meeting usually happens sometime around 95% project completion. We’ll walk you through the project and look at what  things need to be done before we wrap up. This is the time to keep an eye out for fine details that you want to see at the end of the remodel.

Let your design run the project for you

By the time construction starts, your design should have all the information we need to get things done. This means you don’t need to direct any of the work yourself. 

If we need to double-check something to make sure it meets your expectations, we’ll do that. As long as you’ve done your due diligence with your design team, we should have a very detailed plan to work off of. 

As your project comes together, you may want to make minor adjustments. If so, we’re happy to accommodate this. However, please make sure that you use the proper channels to requests a change order rather than dictating the changes to your build team yourself. 

Change orders are the method we use to incorporate any mid-build changes into the design plan. This way, the design remains the consistent authority over your remodel. You can request to put in a change order by contacting the project manager. Keep in mind that some change orders may incur additional costs. 

Want to learn more about what goes on during a home remodel?

As we gear up to begin a remodel, plenty of people ask us how much work they are allowed to do on their own. If you’re curious about how you can do your part to make sure your remodel is a success, check out this article

Still looking at your options and trying to decide whether or not a remodel is right for you?  Give us a call to talk about your plans. At Lamont Bros., we work with homeowners to help them design and build home remodels that fit their needs, style, and budget. Click the button below to talk with one of our design consultants.