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How to Survive a Remodel

home construction improvement
Posted at 5:30 AM, Feb 24, 2015
and last updated 2016-07-04 12:03:44-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) --  Contractors tell Angie's List that 2015 is going to be a busy year for home improvement. So how to prepare those homeowners for what may be unexpected stress? In this Angie's List report, how to survive a remodel.

 Experts say the thing people often underestimate when it comes to remodeling is the actual stress it puts on you and your family.

"We all worry about how much it's going to cost and how long the project's going to take, but what you don't realize is that you're going to have contractors living with you, and you might be cooking your dinner in the living room," said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List.

Good planning and communication can help reduce some of the stress.

"My best advice is to be sure that you're meeting regularly with your head contractor. Whether it's every morning before they get started, or at least once a week, because that way you can cover things that come up real time, instead of letting them blow up into bigger problems," said Hicks.

Other things to cover include where materials and tools will be stored, where the crew will go to the bathroom and how early they'll start hammering in the morning.

"In general, remodeling is a very intrusive process. It can really disrupt the lives of a homeowner just because the project we're doing will be torn out or torn up and then it will take a number of weeks before it's put back together to working condition," said contractor Andy Peabody.

But even the best planning doesn't always make the jobs go perfectly. Contractors say they often run into existing problems they have to fix before they can get back to the planned remodeling project. That adds to the time on the job, as well as the budget… which can add to the stress.

"It also doesn't hurt for the homeowners to plan a little bit just to make sure they can cover any additional costs without stretching the budget too thinly," said Peabody.

Angie's List recommends setting aside at least 10 percent of your estimated project cost as a contingency fund and to add at least a week to the expected end date of your project. If all goes well she says look at that extra time and money as a personal bonus.

Remember you can catch the latest Angie's List report every Tuesday morning on WTXL Sunrise.