How to avoid remodeling chaos | Home & Garden


Good planning and communication can help minimize the mess created by remodeling.

Whoever came up with the saying “things get worse before they get better” just may have been in the middle of a remodeling project. With blocked-off rooms, tools and materials taking up space, and pros coming and going, your once-peaceful home can feel like a, well, construction zone.

But thankfully, you can keep your household humming and everyone happy with a plan, an organized process and careful preparation.

Follow these steps to make the remodeling experience smoother and less stressful.

Keep it clean

Before the project begins, align with your pro on how you’ll work together to keep your home as clean and organized as possible, and be sure to include it in your contract.

As the homeowner, you can take fundamental steps like putting down plastic sheeting and covering furniture to make cleanup easier. You and your contractor should also determine who’s responsible for cleanup at the end of the project.

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Keep communication strategic

On the same note, it’s good to communicate, but respect the chain of command and don’t micromanage. A friendly wave, a quick chat or — bonus — a box of fresh doughnuts is great, but don’t distract the crew to the point that you delay the process.

If you have concerns about the work, route them through the person in charge, who can disseminate them to everyone who needs to know.

Be accommodating

Help keep the project running smoothly by creating an optimal environment in partnership with the lead contractor. Keep the pros working in your home all day comfortable with a plan for lunch breaks, water and restrooms.

If possible, create a dedicated staging area in your home for your contractors to store tools and materials so they can grab them and hit the ground running each morning.

Make a plan for your everyday needs

If your renovation job will put key rooms out of commission, plan how you’re going to adjust. If you’re temporarily going from two bathrooms down to one, prepare for some traffic management.

And if your kitchen will be unavailable while work is underway, create low-effort meals ahead of time (or use it as the perfect excuse to order take-out for the duration of the job — no judgment here).

Consider hiring a professional cleaner

A general contractor often handles the major cleanup after a renovation, but usually doesn’t perform a final deep-clean.

You can hire a cleaning professional to complete a thorough post-construction cleaning on your home once work is complete and make it feel like the brand-new space it is. Post-construction cleanup generally costs between 10 and 50 cents per square foot, and the average job tends to cost about $450. This will vary based on the extent of the original renovation.