Remodeling: Great Expectations
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More like: Realistic Expectations If you’re about to embark on a remodeling project in the home you’re living in, knowing realistically how the process is most likely to go will: minimize (if not entirely eliminate) ulcers, headaches, and meltdowns help sustain your sense of humor enter the family history log as an adventure rather than a [...]
More like: Realistic Expectations
If you’re about to embark on a remodeling project in the home you’re living in, knowing realistically how the process is most likely to go will:
- minimize (if not entirely eliminate) ulcers, headaches, and meltdowns
- help sustain your sense of humor
- enter the family history log as an adventure rather than a catastrophe
- enable you to continue to enjoy alcohol as a recreational beverage, as opposed to an addiction
- prompt greater appreciation for home as your private sanctum
Bumps & warts
We do our best to reduce the number of potential surprises before the first deconstruction hammer hits the site. That being said, no designer can foresee all possible conditions of a space that may affect the speed or sequence of a project’s execution.
Here are a few things we have encountered on every installation we have done to date:
- Floors that are not level – doesn’t matter how old or new the existing structure is. Unless we’re working in an R&D lab where gravity & stability are extremely important, no floor is 100% level. Ever.
- Walls that are not fully square or plumb – same as above
- Departure from cabinet size and/or placement mid-installation is expensive and will delay and frustrate all fronts of an installation – pushing it around on paper is MUCH cheaper and easier than in 3D
And here are some things we have only encountered once or twice on an installation:
- Unnecessary damage to our cabinet installation by other trades – once, a ceiling contractor walked on all of our cabinet bases that had no countertops yet. His body weight compromised the non structural components on 4 cabinets, which we had to reinforce to restore their integrity. Translation: $$$
- Water damage. We pulled some old base cabinets out for a remodel, which revealed floor rot from an old leak. It was about a 3′ by1′ stretch of subfloor & sill plate we had to refurbish prior to the new cabinet installation.
- Incomplete trade prep work. We arrived for a new cabinet installation one morning to find that the plumbing supply & waste lines were not shortened & capped. The valves & p-trap were still happily poking out of the wall, instead of straight, capped lines which we neatly feed through holes we drill in the backs of new sink cabinets. In this case, there was no time to get a plumber out to properly cap the stubs, so we ended up installing the sink base cabinet with no back. Not a big deal since it had cabinets on either side of it stabilizing it, but when they open the cabinet they get to see the ugly wall under the sink.
The Ordinary Process
There’s a great post today over at Daily5Remodel about the normal conditions under which a remodeling process happens most often. It has a nice pre-construction letter by Meadowview Construction in Georgetown Mass. that really prepares the homeowner’s expectations in line with a garden variety remodel experience.
Preparation & realistic expectation are key to flexibility when things do get a little sideways (and they always do, it’s just a matter of the degree of sideways-ness.)