This is what almost finished (and the next week) looks like.
The time factor
No surprise here, everyone should anticipate your reno will take longer than expected. The way the first contractor laid it out for me, our kitchen could go from gutted to glam in 10 days. Reality is, when multiple people are involved in a project things can easily get backed up. Expect products to be out of stock, contractors to not return your calls and those fancy countertops to take forever. Here’s a realistic schedule based on our kitchen reno:
Day 1: Demolition
Day 2: Electrician in to move and add outlets
Day 3: Buffer day in case electrical or demo takes longer
Day 4: Drywall patching
Day 5: Cupboard installation
Day 8: Final cupboard install
Day 9: Countertop guy could come in, but they’re booked up
Day 10: Countertop templating AKA measuring
Wait 7 business days for countertops to be cut
Day 18: Countertop install
Day 19: Plumber hooks up sink and dishwasher
Day 20: Repaint
Day 21: Backsplash applied
That my friends is what three weeks of hell looks like. Fortunately, some renovation companies own furnished rental properties families can move into, taking one less hassle out of the equation. Quite obviously, we did not go that route.
It’s a major buzz kill determining needs vs. wants, but do it, you must. Trouble is, there’s all these extra expenses nobody tells you about. Be sure to factor in for:
- Renting a garbage bin
- Dump fees
- Jobs (like electrical) billed hourly that take much longer than anticipated
- When ordering a new sink, you must know they don’t come with faucet, despite the false advertising in the picture!!!
- Dining out – this will happen more than you expected, as washing dishes in the bathtub gets old fast
Coming to agreement
The bigger issue isn’t the hassle nor the stress of working with multiple contractors. It’s dealing with the other stakeholders. Here’s a scenario I’m sure plays out in more than one households: Person A (for fun, let’s refer to A as “wife”), does all the research, supplemental legwork and presents findings to Person B (for simplicity sake, we’ll refer to B as “husband”). Husband is too busy and important to meet with tradespeople. He agrees with wife on what is to be done and gives his consent after hearing (through wife) of the contractor’s recommendations. When it comes down to the 11th hour, husband changes mind and wants to go in a new direction. Sound familiar?
The take away? Make sure all decision makers meet with the professionals at the same time to avoid conflicting requests. If that’s not possible, nail down that fickle individual and get their commitment that if they make an agreement, they have to go with it, or else step into role of general contractor.
Have you ever gone through a reno? How did you survive? I’d love to hear your tips.