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The time has come. You went from having a need, to finding the right contractor, to an actual design and selected materials. Your remodel is about to begin. But so is a particular type of reality – your home will be a construction jobsite until the project is complete.

Written by NARI Staff

The good news is that your contractor should have you, your family and your home prepared so your excitement can continue as you embrace the entire process.

First, it’s important to understand why remodeling jobs don’t happen overnight. There are phases. Every component of work builds on each other and requires a certain amount of lead time, work time and possible drying time. Renovation brings a complex schedule. That’s one of the reasons you hired a professional general contractor to manage it.

Project Timeline

Your general contractor should provide you with a project start and end date prior to demolition. Inside that time frame, they should be able to give you a timeline of your project phases, both completed and upcoming. Although this will provide an understanding of the overall progress, disruptions, changes, unforeseen complications, wrong products delivered, or product delays can happen. Your general contractor should be updating your schedule and completion date if this occurs.  Specifically for product delays, remember the contractor is conveying messages from suppliers and manufacturers and delays can be out of their control.  

Know the Team

Your general contractor should also introduce you to their staff and their trade partners well in advance. That way when it’s time for plumbing or electrical you will know the company entering your home that day.

Move In

You and the contractor will establish work hours, access to the home, pathway to the construction site and where materials and tools will be safely and securely stored. They will walk with you through the home and advise what household items should be removed for safe keeping. An easy rule to live by: If it’s important to you, secure it. Remember your contractor is a remodeler, not a mover. They may assist with moving an appliance into an adjacent room, but you will need other means to move things out of the house or to different levels.

Construction is Messy

The contractor will establish where dust barriers will go, floors that will be protected and may even cover some of your furniture. It’s recommended you keep doors to other rooms closed. Your contractor will do everything they can to minimize dust, but complete containment is impossible – your home will be dusty. The contractor should also discuss where the dumpster will be placed on the property and explain their clean up routine and how they intend to leave the construction site daily.

Temporary Kitchen

If you are remodeling your kitchen, establish where your temporary kitchen will be. You will need a location for at least your refrigerator and a microwave. Some recommendations to ease the transition: Purchase disposable plates, cutlery and cups to minimize dishwashing in bathrooms or sanitary tubs. Consider pre-making meals and freezing them for easy microwave cooking. Stock up on bottled water. Establish a list of new restaurants you want to try along with family favorites.

Power Down

Occasionally the need will arise to temporarily turn off water, electrical and the HVAC system. The contractor will notify you in advance so that you can plan accordingly. Make sure the contractor knows if you are working or schooling from home to coordinate schedules, or you might need to find an alternative location.   


Remodeling can throw off your daily routines so plan extra time for everything. Keep your kids safe by explaining the work zone and that materials and tools are not toys and can be dangerous. Inform your contractor of kids at home and if you have pets. Establish a plan for the pets.  Will they be contained, go to pet daycare or perhaps stay with a family member or friend for a little while.   


A positive remodeling project is all about open and calm communication. The contractor should establish what the communication lines will be. Many contractors have online portals posting the schedule, changes, what happened today and what’s the next step. Be prepared with questions and concerns for any progress meetings.

Throughout the process, remember remodeling is a temporary inconvenience to the long-term delight of a beautiful and functional home.

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No matter what your style, or convenience standards, a new kitchen can make a huge impact on your family’s day-to-day function. Working with a NARI remodeler is the best way to ensure you end up with the kitchen you need and love.