Ask Angi: Avoid conversion chaos

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Anyone who came up with the saying “It will only get worse before it gets better” was perhaps in the middle of a renovation project. With locked rooms, tools and materials taking up space, and professionals coming and going, your once peaceful home can feel like a construction site. But luckily, with a plan, an organized process, and careful preparation, you can keep your household going and keep everyone happy. Follow these steps to make the remodeling experience smoother and less stressful.

keep it clean

Before beginning the project, coordinate with your professional how you will work together to keep your home as clean and organized as possible and make sure this is included in your contract. As a homeowner, you can take basic steps like putting down plastic sheeting and covering furniture to make cleaning easier. You and your contractor should also determine who will be responsible for the cleanup at the end of the project.

Keep communications strategic

Likewise, 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 donuts is great, but don’t distract the crew in a way that delays the process. If you have any concerns about the work, escalate them to the person in charge who can escalate them to everyone who needs to know.

Be accommodating

Help ensure that the project runs smoothly by creating an optimal environment in cooperation with the main contractor. Keep the pros working at your home all day with a schedule for lunch breaks, water, and toilets. If possible, create a dedicated staging area in your house where your contractors can store tools and materials so they can grab them and get started each morning.

Make a plan for your daily needs

If your renovation will put important spaces out of use, plan how you will adapt. If you’re temporarily moving from two bathrooms to one, be prepared for some traffic management. And if your kitchen isn’t available while you work, prepare meals in advance with little fuss (or use this as the perfect excuse to order takeout while you work—no judgements, here).

Consider hiring a professional cleaner

A general contractor often does the main cleaning after a renovation, but typically does not do a final deep clean. You can hire a cleaning professional to perform a deep post-construction cleaning of your home to make it feel like a brand new space. Post-build cleaning generally costs 10 to 50 cents per square foot, and average labor typically costs around $450. This depends on the extent of the original renovation.

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