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Thinking About A Major Remodeling?

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Author: Bob McGuire

You might be looking around your home and say, "This place is so outdated, it's time to fix it up." And so you might go to the library for information on how to design and plan a home improvement; how to deal with the city building department; how to do tear out—and where to dispose of debris; how to do carpentry, electrical, plumbing, dry wall, painting . . . Hmmmmm . . . Perhaps you will hire somebody to do this, instead.

Whether you decide to do it yourself or decide to hire a contractor, the first thing you have to do is clear all your stuff out of the area that is going to be remodeled. Take a deep breath and get ready for MESS. Having had my own kitchen extensively remodeled, I know how stressful it is to have one's house torn up. Our home is our safe place. Even if it is an ill-suited, messy nest, it is our shelter; and we have strong feelings about that shelter.

I think the time it takes to complete the job has a big impact on weather you think it was worth it when completed. In order to get the job done in as short a time as possible, whoever does the job, a home owner or a contractor has to plan in advance. Make a schedule of every action before starting.

There is a list of things needed in every job. One important item not to forget is to make sure you order all the materials in advance especially the cabinets. Don't do anything till you open the boxes and inspect the contents for damage and to make sure the correct model and color cabinets are there. Make sure there are enough cabinets and moldings. You don't want to have to stop and order anything in the middle of the project and have to wait 2 weeks for something.

1. Empty all the cupboards and closets. This may take a couple days

2. Demolish the cupboards and counter tops. - Don't forget this includes cutting up the debris to fit in garbage bags and carrying around or loading into a dumpster. Probably a couple days.

3. Demolish all the drywall or plaster and put in bags. Don't forget old drywall and all plaster is loaded with asbestos. Maybe a day.

3 Remove all the old wiring and pipes that won't be needed.

4 Remove all the old flooring. This too may have asbestos. Pay attention to the wall heights at this point, especially if you will be having any full height cabinets later. This can take 2 full days.

5 Rough plumb and rough wire for the new utilities and be sure to install what ever tin work for moved heating or microwave vents. This could take several days.

6. Change out any windows and door openings. This can take several days.

7. Install the new drywall. This can take as long as a week.

8. Paint on special drywall primer. A day to dry.

9. Install sub floor (and finish floor if using ceramic). Another week maybe.

10 Install the cabinets then the counter tops. If the counter tops are made by someone else this is 2 days.

11 Small misc. jobs and clean up and trim A couple days.

Even a careful crew makes noise as they tear out drywall and flooring. Though they lay down plastic and tarps, they will be tracking endlessly through your house—the door will seem never to be closed!

Kitchens are particularly difficult to bear with. My appliances and table were in the living room. I washed dishes in the laundry room sink, and cooked with small electrical appliances on the washer and dryer. Everything was misplaced.

And then the drywall was taped and sanded. Even though plastic was taped to the walls to keep the dust from the rest of the house; dust still found its way into rooms it had no business being in!

The stress of spending money, having to work your schedule around other people, noise, distraction, dust, endless discussions and decisions; it is stressful—be prepared! There is no getting around it, construction is messy.

But the result is SO worth it. Having a beautiful new room that works efficiently. New appliances, new plumbing, new lighting. It just feels good! You will forget the aggravation and difficulty of the remodeling phase as you take delight in your new skylight, or Jacuzzi, or shower, or kitchen, or fireplace. Pleasure in your remodeling job lasts a long time. It is all worth while.

As you can see this is about a month long process for a full time crew.

Good luck.

About the author: Bob McGuire is owner of Oakbridge Construction and

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