Pro Tips: What To Expect When You Are Remodeling


If you’ve never remodeled before or are taking on a big project, you may feel a little nervous. How much will it cost? How long will it take?  Knowing what to expect can help allay your fears and make you better prepared for what’s to come.


AG’s Home Solutions is grateful to our clients who have chosen us as their construction partner. We do everything we can to ensure you are satisfied with the results of your project. One of the most important things we can do is communicate clearly what will happen during your build. We aren’t perfect, but we try harder than most. While the end result will be worth it, the process of remodeling is like putting together a puzzle. One of the ways we try to communicate better is by having a pre-construction meeting that goes through some of the realities of remodeling a space.


Noise: Whining saws, scratching Sheetrock sanders and thumping nail guns followed by bellowing compressors: in short, little peace or quiet. Find another place to nap and don’t count on working from home unless your home office is far away from the construction zone. If you’re sure it couldn’t possibly be that bad, let us take you to another of our job sites, you’ll see.


Dust: Even with elaborate ZipWalls, a fine layer of dust can gather in parts of your home far from construction. There are a few ways to control it. If you can, close off the construction area from the rest of your house with a compression-fit temporary wall. Running air filtering systems called air handlers can also pull the dust from the air on the non-construction side of the house. Heat the house without your furnace if possible, or completely block the warm-air and cold-air returns in the construction area. If you don’t, you’ll just be pulling dust from that section of the house into the part where you’re living. Consult with your HVAC vendor before blocking ducts to make sure your furnace will still work effectively.


Happy Milestones: For you it may be the demolition of the ugly vinyl floors in your kitchen. For others it may be the installation of the carefully selected backsplash tile. Others still may feel elated only when they see Sheetrock go in or get to relax when their project is completely done. Please let us know what your happy milestone will be.


Frustrating Days: It may be that you just want to be done, or that you’re tired of answering so many questions and writing so many checks. Or you may just be tired of having so many people in your house. Hang in there — remodeling fatigue will be short lived when you get to move back into your newly remodeled space. Remodeling is never done in a straight line; we are here to listen to your frustrations.


The Unexpected:  If you expect anything, expect this. Asbestos, irregular framing, jerry-rigged wiring, funny plumbing and more unexpected surprises are bound to arise. No, you won’t be laughing, and neither will we. Our contractors have seen a lot, and your project will benefit from our experience. Count on finding something no one could have anticipated in your budget and your time frame, and you will be well prepared when it happens.


Change Orders: “The unexpected’s” cousin is the change order, by which any new and changed work is documented, along with added or reduced cost. Change orders can also be used to resolve allowances, which are placeholders in the budget for particular items. But most often change orders occur because of things that you decide to add or change. When you absolutely positively have to have that Italian tile, you can bet a change order is on the way.


The Big Picture: Subcontractors don’t have a complete picture of your remodel, your general contractor (AG’s) DOES. We love our subs, but they talk too much. If a sub comes in and says something won’t work, or complain about another subcontractor’s work, please take it with a grain of salt. Then, call your project lead, explain what was said and let them reassure you. Nine and a half times out of ten, we thought about their concern and have addressed it. And on the small chance something needs to be addressed, we consider it our responsibility to do so.


Delays: It rains, people get sick, cars break down and sometimes faucets ordered from the factory take 10 weeks instead of six. You will likely be working from a schedule that assumes the world is a perfect place. It’s not and knowing that will allow you to be resilient when your schedule shifts a bit. We will do our best to communicate schedule shifts with you weekly.


Budget: Even if your project is right on budget, the sheer amount of money you are spending may cause a bit of a “freak-out”. If you’re used to writing four-digit checks, you can easily be writing checks with one or two more zeros during a large remodel. If costs are increasing, along with change orders, it could increase your anxiety. Having cash on hand that's a bare minimum of 10 percent above contract for contingencies will help alleviate that stress. Have 20 percent if you want to worry less.


Decisions: Where should that outlet be? How high do you want the showerhead? Where do you want the cabinet hardware mounted? Oil-rubbed bronze or chrome or brushed nickel or satin nickel? Is your head spinning yet? Count on hundreds of questions that you’ll need to answer as your project proceeds, or select your architect as your proxy. Just know that your selection of a contractor is the first of many you will make, but we are here to help along the way.


Questions: “That trim doesn’t look right.” “Shouldn’t there be shoe molding here?” Believe it or not, we do have a successful process for remodeling. Although it doesn’t always make sense at the time, we are scheduling things in a certain order to save you time and money. While there is no such thing as a stupid question, trust us as your guide through this process. We aren’t finished with a job until we tell you we are. We take pride in our work, and your word of mouth is our best advertising.


Punch lists: At the end of your project, expect one or two punch-list items that will take longer to resolve than anything else. It may be a light fixture that arrives broken or the very last two pieces of tile. The important thing is to get the final details right, even if they take a little longer.


Party: Expect that you will want to show off your newly remodeled kitchen, living room or addition. We have had clients throw parties and invite friends, along with us and our trade partners. It’s gratifying for everyone to see a beautifully finished home filled with people enjoying themselves.