Angie's List: How to survive a remodel - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Angie's List: How to survive a remodel

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With spring just around the corner many homeowners will soon be wanting to do some remodeling. But sometimes those projects you have in mind don't always go as planned.

Contractors tell Angie's List that 2015 is going to be a busy year for home improvement.

"The one thing people most often underestimate when it comes to a remodeling project is the actual stress it puts on your family to have the re-modelers there. We all worry about how much it's going to cost and how long the project's going to take, but what you don't realize is that you're going to have contractors living with you, and you might be cooking your dinner in the living room," said Angie Hicks, Angie's List founder. 

Good planning and communication can help reduce some of the stress.

"The most common problem, when it comes to remodeling, is lack of communication, so my best advice is to be sure that you're meeting regularly with your head contractor. Whether it's every morning before they get started, or at least once a week, because that way you can cover things that come up real time, instead of letting them blow up into bigger problems," said Hicks. 

Other things to cover include where materials and tools will be stored, where the crew will go to the bathroom and how early they'll start hammering in the morning.

"In general, remodeling is a very intrusive process. It can really disrupt the lives of a homeowner just because the project we're doing will be torn out or torn up and then it will take a number of weeks before it's put back together to working condition," said contractor Andy Peabody.

"If there's an area of the house that homeowners absolutely don't want work to be done in, that needs to be discussed ahead of time," said Peabody.

The job won't always go as planned. Contractors say they often run existing problems they have to fix before they can get back to the planned remodeling project. That adds to the time on the job, as well as the budget, which can add to the stress.

"I will plan a little bit of contingency into my own budget. It also doesn't hurt for the homeowners to plan a little bit just to make sure they can cover any additional costs without stretching the budget too thinly," said Peabody.

Angie's List experts recommend setting aside at least 10 percent of your estimated project cost as a contingency fund and to add at least a week to the expected end date of your project.

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