How to Manage Renovation Expectations | Ask This Old House

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Ask This Old House general contractor Tom Silva discusses the conversations a homeowner and a contractor should have before starting a renovation project
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1. Tom and Kevin agree that a house renovation can be a very disruptive process for the everyday lives of homeowners. For that reason, Tom finds it helpful to discuss with homeowners up front all the ways they can expect their lives to be disrupted so they can prepare themselves for it.
a. Start time – most contractors prefer to start around 7am, which is often when homeowners are trying to get up and get ready for the day. If you’re not able to get up earlier, you’ll need to negotiate a different start time with the contractor, though starting later each day could delay the project.
b. Disturbing the neighbors – be mindful that, depending on the scope of the work, large, loud trucks that need to find parking and spaces to work are going to disrupt your neighbors as well. It makes the process go smoother and keeps everyone happier if you can give them a courtesy heads up before work begins to happen.
c. Bathroom use – even though it’s your home, it’s now a workplace for any contractor who comes to do work. Be prepared for the contractors to need to use your bathroom, and if muddy landscaping work is happening for an extended period of time, it might make sense to rent a port-o-potty.
2. Overall, Tom feels that having an open dialogue between homeowners and contractors before work begins will help head off any potential misunderstandings and problems before the project begins so that there are no issues that come up mid project that could slow the project down.

About Ask This Old House TV:
Homeowners have a virtual truckload of questions for us on smaller projects, and we’re ready to answer. Ask This Old House solves the steady stream of home improvement problems faced by our viewers—and we make house calls! Ask This Old House features some familiar faces from This Old House, including Kevin O’Connor, general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and landscape contractor Roger Cook.

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How to Manage Renovation Expectations | Ask This Old House

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