Congratulations! You've just finished your kitchen, bathroom, basement, or whole-house remodel. Now what? Read on for some quick tips to make the most of your new space and map out your next steps. If you haven't started your remodel yet, this article will help you know what to expect when you eventually reach the finish line.
After a remodel, your builder will likely schedule a final walk-through to discuss any remaining "punch list" items. If your remodeler doesn't schedule this critical meeting, make sure you do so yourself. Together, you will walk through every remodeled space on the job site and point out anything that is not 100% complete and perfect. It may sound like a time-consuming process but any honest and experienced contractor you hire will also be looking at every detail with a keen eye for imperfections. The goal should be to write everything down on a list, which will hold your remodeler accountable and ensure that you are completely satisfied with your remodel.
Here at CRD, we refer to this list as a "completion list". This list is created with your project manager or lead carpenter. This will be the best time to point out something that needs a touch-up. Your renovation will be covered under our two-year warranty. However, the warranty will only cover certain types of touch-ups that are mostly related to your remodeled space settling into your home as the seasons change. These things include calk, paint, trim separation, and plumbing/electrical fixes.
Post Construction Cleanup
Remodeling produces lots of dust and debris, which manages to find its way even to parts of your home that were not under renovation. Most good remodelers will take measures to control the spread of dust and include a professional cleaning service as part of their project package, but there is usually some flexibility.
For instance, we've had clients trying to squeeze the most out of their remodeling budget who opt to complete the post-construction cleanup themselves. While this is certainly a way to save money, be advised that it can involve many hours of hard work which shouldn't be the job of homeowners. However, if you choose to to do the cleaning yourself, make sure your new space is completely clean before moving any furniture or personal items back in. Also be sure to replace your furnace filters that were in place during the remodel and consider cleaning your ducts and the furnace itself. These can collect significant amounts of construction dust.
If you have any air purifiers that were running before your project started then this would be the perfect time to change the air filter. After your contractor has had their professional cleaners come to your home, there will be minimal amounts of fine dust in your home which makes it the best time to start new.
Talk with your insurance agent
For larger projects, you will want to document your investment and call your insurance agent. You may need to adjust the limits on your homeowner's policy if you have added significant value to your home. While you're at it, take the time to register any new products or appliances you purchased as part of your remodel to make any future warranty claims easier.
Move back in
Once all the items are checked off your punch list and your space is clean, it's time to decide which of your existing items, such as rugs, furniture, and art pieces, you will want to move back in and which pieces you'll want to replace. I absolutely understand the need to keep some existing pieces, but I would urge you to cast a critical eye on everything you're moving into your pristine new space. Does it match the new style? Does it fit your new layout? After all, you've invested a significant amount of money and time in your remodel, and you don't want to diminish its value and appeal with old, out-of-place furniture.
If the remodeling company you hired has interior designers on staff, you may want to tap their expertise, not just to design a new floorplan and pick fixtures, but to help you make the most of your decorating budget and aesthetic appeal. For instance, at CRD we are well-versed in selecting:
Area rugs (time to decorate your new flooring!)
Furniture (create your home's new aesthetic through furnishings.)
Fabric (new upholstery for old furniture. Your house isn't the only thing that deserves an upgrade!)
Accessories (decorate your new built-ins.)
Window coverings (don't forget privacy!)
Artwork (paint can't be the only thing on those new walls.)
Being able to ace those last details is a key part of great interior design. Like the Big Lebowski said, “That rug really pulled the room together.” I couldn’t agree more! Keep in mind though that decoration can accrue a lot of additional costs so make sure you have a solid budget set aside to furnish your home post renovation.
People often put all of their money into their renovation project and think that they'll be okay with keeping their old furniture. While this can seem enticing, it feels so much better to add at least a few new pieces to your new space to really drive that new feeling home.
Celebrate your new space
Now is the time to throw a party to show off your gorgeous new space. But before you do, be sure to take photographs to document it in its pristine shape. Your remodeler may also ask to schedule a professional photography session so that your project can be included in his or her portfolio.
The photo shoot is best done right after moving your things back into the space and putting photos and art back on the walls so it looks lived in. However, you don't want to schedule it too late after the remodel finishes because it may become overwhelming to have to clean up the spaces before the team shows up.
Make a maintenance checklist
Your remodeler should have been saving the instruction manuals for all of the products he or she installed in your home. Ask your remodeler for advice on what tasks you should complete regularly to keep your home maintained in excellent condition. Here are just a few items you should keep in mind:
Natural stone: If you have granite, marble, or other natural stone countertops, you will need to seal them periodically to prevent stains. If water doesn't bead up on the surface, it's time to reseal.
Wood floors: Protect newly-finished wood floors by installing felt pads on all of your heavy furniture. Ask your remodeler what products to use to safely clean your floors. Don't wait to lay down entry rugs and shoe storage near the door to encourage anyone to remove their shoes. The less shoe traffic and cleaning products that come into contact with your wood floors, the better.
If you have kids that play sports, especially in the rainy season, a mess on your entryway floor will be unavoidable- even with rugs. Try keeping a neutral spray cleaner and a microfiber cloth near the door to do a little cleanup on the muddiest days. This way, you won't need to spend your Sunday mornings scrubbing built-up dirt. All it'll take is a wipe or two or a quick pass with a vacuum.
Filters: If your remodel included a new furnace or other HVAC system equipment, you will need to regularly change your air filters.
Caulk: New trim work and plumbing fixtures will all get caulked during your renovations. As natural materials adjust to the prevailing humidity of your home, they will shrink and expand. It is normal for caulk to pull away from the wall. Many remodelers will be happy to cover re-caulking under their warranty. There are also many other touch-ups that are covered under the CRD warranty. For example: as houses move throughout the seasons another thing that may happen is trim on your walls and ceilings may pull away and will need to be nailed back in.
Finishing your home remodel
At CRD, we pride ourselves on treating our clients like family. And we often develop a friendship with many of our clients that last for many years and maybe even a few more remodels. As much as our clients enjoy having us around, they are also happy to see us go when their beautiful new space is complete. However, we are always happy to help our clients with the finishing touches of their space. Interested in learning more about how CRD designers can help pull your interior design together? Reach out online today.