This article was crafted with the help of Bill Bartlett from Kitchen Village

While remodeling projects can often seem quite daunting, the process does not necessarily have to cause a headache. An in-depth understanding of all that the project will entail coupled with proper preparation and planning will ensure that your remodel goes off without a hitch.

The first and most important step is hiring a reputable, professional remodeling contractor whom you feel comfortable working with and who presents you with the assistance and information you need. According to Bill Bartlett, owner of Kitchen Village in Chicago, good remodeling contractors will be adequately equipped with the knowledge, experience, and equipment to make the remodeling process as unobtrusive as possible.

What Is the Typical Time Line for a Remodeling Job?

Although there does not seem to be a right or wrong time to tackle a project like remodeling a kitchen, Bill says, “What I do hear often is, ‘Let’s do it in the summer because then I can grill, and we at least have a way of making a meal.’” However, he is quick to point out that there is a delay between when a homeowner decides to do a remodel and when the renovations actually occur due to the length of the design process and the time it takes to order and receive products like cabinets and appliances. Therefore, if you do have a grill you’d like to put to good use during a late spring or summer remodel, it is best to start meeting with a contractor and deciding on designs a few months ahead because of the significant amount of time it can take to get all the materials in order.

How to Best Prepare for a Remodel

The homeowner’s main responsibility before a remodeling project begins is to thoroughly clean out whatever areas are being renovated. Bill says that “getting everything cleared out—100 percent—in that room alone” is all the homeowner has to do. Everything must be removed from the room’s cabinets, walls, shelves, and countertops so that the contractor can easily access all aspects of the room and start working immediately upon arrival.

If the kitchen is the area being remodeled, it is best to plan ahead about how to prepare meals while the renovation is being done. While eating at restaurants is an option, it can become costly. Having relatives in the area can be helpful, as they may be able to host you for a few meals. If you have no relatives close by and frequent restaurant visits are not an option for your budget, be sure to set up a temporary food preparation station in an unaffected area of your home. With a few small appliances, such as a coffee maker, mini refrigerator, and toaster oven or microwave, you should be able to get by easily. As mentioned earlier, grilling is also a good alternative if the remodel is done during a time when the weather is nice. Do not forget to stock up on disposable plates, cups, and utensils since you will likely have no dishwasher access.

Keeping the House Clean and Dealing with Noise

A remodeling project certainly has the potential to be quite messy, but Bill explains that many companies plasticize the entryways of the room they are renovating. They hang plastic sheets to act as barriers to prevent any work-site dust or debris from contaminating the rest of the house. Additionally, Bill emphasizes that a reputable company will keep the area as clean as possible in order to minimize any potential issues. He says, “We clean up at the end of the day; it’s immaculate. There’s nothing dangerous left and no dirt or dust. We vacuum everything up.”

In addition to the mess remodeling projects cause, noise can also become an issue. Bill admits that noise will be intermittent throughout the whole project due to the necessary use of tools like saws and hammers, but he says that most of the noisiest parts will be done in a separate area like the garage. He describes the noise levels as tolerable for anyone living in the house during the renovation. Even if you are someone who works from home or are particularly intolerant of loud noise, you probably will not need to leave the premises, but it might be worth purchasing some earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones if you do not already have any on hand.

Safety Hazards and How to Avoid Them

Due to the aforementioned plasticizing, many—if not all—of the hazards of a remodeling project are confined to one area, which makes the dangers relatively easy to avoid. However, the plasticized doorways are not completely foolproof. Bill says that occasionally, when going in and out of the room, the plastic may come down; therefore, if you have children or pets, it is important that they are under supervision and do not wander into the construction area.

Overall, the best way to avoid a stressful remodeling project is by working with a contractor you feel comfortable with—one who takes proper precautions, explains things thoroughly, and makes you feel like a valued customer. Bill says he becomes very close to his clients and always feels like they’re in the project together every step of the way. A good contractor will encourage open communication to ensure that the homeowner is pleased with the progress and results of the renovation.

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This spotlight article was crafted with the help of Kitchen Village, a Bathroom & Kitchen Remodeling Best Pick in Chicago. While we strive to provide relevant information to all homeowners, some of the material we publish may not pertain to every area. Please contact your local Best Pick companies for any further area-specific advice.