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Tips for Homeowners that can Lessen the Stress of a Remodeling Project

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry's Greater Chicagoland Chapter (NARIGC) offers homeowners access to more than 250 remodeling products and contractors. NARIGC encourages homeowners to work with their contractor to ensure smooth sailing during remodeling work.

The homeowner's role in the remodeling process doesn't end once a reputable professional has been hired. Simple steps initiated by the homeowner will lessen the stress of a remodeling project over the next few days, weeks or months. NARI suggests the following tips to create a positive experience for the homeowner and the contractor.


No Water or Power
Know in advance if and when workers plan to shut off your power and water. You can avoid food spoilage in the refrigerator/freezer.  Also, be prepared by having a supply of bottled water on hand. Make temporary arrangements with a neighbor or friend when “nature calls.

Create a Phase List of Procedures
Meet with the contractor and create a list of work that will be done.  Try to incorporate a chronological timeline so you’ll know what phase of the project you can expect next.

Make an Extra Key or Create a Temporary Security Code
Depending on your schedule, there may be a need to share keys or opener/security codes with the contractor or workers. Keep track of any keys given out. If you give an opener or security door code, create a temporary code while the work is in progress. Once the work is complete, return to your regular code.  Don’t forget to ask who will take responsibility for any mishaps.


Is That the Right Color?
Once tile, cabinets, baseboards are installed, there’s no turning back (or at least it can be very expensive to have to do so).  Before workers start drilling, gluing, nailing, painting, etc. make sure the product you ordered matches the product that was delivered to your home – and don’t just trust the box it came in.  Open it!

Don’t Plan to ‘Buy as You Go’

NARI® of Greater Chicagoland

You can cut down on last-minute stressful decisions as well as material availability delays by selecting all materials with your contractor in advance.


Cover Furniture and Carpeting
Your contractor will take the necessary steps to protect and cover the work area, but remodeling leaves more dirt and dust throughout the house than you can imagine.  You may want to cover furniture in other areas of the house, especially in rooms adjacent to work being performed.

Dryclean Drapes, Rugs and Upholstery
Use remodeling time as a perfect excuse to have curtains, rugs and upholstery cleaned.  Otherwise, remove drapes, throw rugs and upholstered furniture as practical and place them in an area away from the work being performed.

Store Breakables
Accidents happen. Box away knick-knacks and personal mementos from the construction zone for safe keeping. If furniture is to be moved, pack contents in boxes and remove them from the work area.  This protects contents from loss and breakage, and also prevents the homeowner having to dust or clean each knick­knack after the work is complete.


Safety First
Keep children, toys and pets away from the work area.

Maintain Schedule
Enter the work area when workers are on a break or after they have finished for the day to eliminate disruptions and injury to the homeowner or workers.  This is important for maintaining construction schedules as well as safety for the homeowner and workers.

Create Space
Make Adequate room for tools, equipment, materials and workers.  Remove your items from the work area so the contractor has sufficient space to work.


Basic Human Relations
Realize that workers are going to be a part of your lives for a period of time.  Win cooperation from workers and the contractor with mutual respect and honesty.

NARI® of Greater Chicagoland


It’s a nice gesture for hard work. An unexpected pot of coffee or a cold glass of lemonade will always get a “thank you”.

Give Compliments
Nothing makes anyone work harder than a sincere word of appreciation and gratitude.

Be Cool and Calm
Take a deep breath, step back and trust his or her skills.  Time-clocking workers only builds resentment and tension.  Be flexible if you want to save a penny or speed up the work process.


No one can prepare for the unseen incidents that may transpire during remodeling projects. Tearing down a wall may uncover a problem that demands plan revisions. Remember, late deliveries, inclement weather and wrong parts are not necessarily related to the contractor. The relationship you establish with your contractor can greatly improve the overall remodeling experience.

NARI of Greater Chicagoland is a not-for-profit organization comprised of remodeling contractors, material suppliers and related businesses.  By hiring a NARI of Greater Chicagoland contractor, the homeowner can be assured they are hiring a professional remodeler.  For more information on the organization or to obtain a free list of NARI of Greater Chicagoland contractors, visit their website www.narichicago.org or call 847­298-6212


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