4 Surprising Renovation Stressors
Unexpected problems that come up in a remodel and how to tackle them
You've heard about broken budgets and shady contractors, but other headaches can catch you off guard during a renovation. Read on for a few unexpected hassles—and how to cope.
If your pooch doesn't like strangers, he's definitely not going to enjoy heavy-booted contractors tromping around his turf. Angie Hicks, founder of the service-provider referral network Angie's List, has a simple fix: "Send him to a kennel. Or, even better, to stay with a trustworthy family member."
"People have a proprietary feeling about their street, so it's worth giving everyone on your block a heads-up about your project—especially if you're installing a dumpster or if the crew is going to take up valuable parking spaces," says Robert Degni, a New York-based contractor. Also, construction is noisy. The last thing you need is your neighbor, who was asleep after working the graveyard shift, calling the police.
"Plaster dust travels on the thinnest current of air. It can even get into your electronics and destroy them," warns Degni. He recommends isolating the construction area with portable plastic barriers (ZipWall ZipDoor kit, about $40; homedepot.com). Another tip: "Keep a wet towel or rag near the entrance so that people don't track grime or dust into the rest of the house."
Consider your usual day before arranging a work schedule with your contractor. "For example, ask the crew to not show up before 9 a.m. if you need to get the kids out the door," Hicks says. If the work is especially onerous, it might even be worth getting out of town for a bit or booking a short-term rental.