One way to ensure the success of your project is to plan for and actively participate in a pre-construction meeting. This allows your remodeler to clarify procedures and explain how the job will progress. It also offers both you and your remodeler an opportunity to prepare for those issues that may arise later. Think of this meeting as a forum for all participants to define their expectations and agree on the anticipated outcome.
Some of the issues you may wish to cover at this meeting include:
• Will you allow your remodeler to place a company sign on your property? Remember that, in addition to being a marketing tool, signs help contractors and suppliers locate your home.
• How will workers, construction equipment and vehicles get to the job site without damaging outside structures, plants and flower beds?
• What areas of your home will be off-limits to workers?
• Do you have a place on-site to store building materials for your project?
• Who is responsible for removing your belongings and later returning them to the newly remodeled space? When packing, remember that the workers may need access to the electrical panel, the water shut-off valve and areas not being remodeled.
• Does your house have an alarm system? Will workers need a key or will someone always be there?
•How will you ensure that your children and pets stay out of the work space?
• Does the space to be remodeled contain any special items that you would like to save from demolition? If so, where should they be stored?
• How will trash removal be handled? Where will the remodeler locate the dumpster on your property?
• Does the remodeler anticipate any interruptions of utilities during the project? If so, when and for how long? At certain stages of construction, the project may affect basic household necessities like water and electricity. Will you need to vacate the house at any time?
• What are your expectations regarding clean up? Will sweeping be sufficient for a daily cleaning, or will you need a more thorough cleaning in order to use the space?
You should also use the pre-construction meeting to establish guidelines for the remodeling crew working on the project:
• What times will workers begin and end work at your home? Be sure to consider the neighbors as well as household members. Your remodeler may contact your neighbors and give them a phone number to call if they have any concerns about your project.
• Where can workers park near your jobsite?
• Will you allow workers to use your phone for local business calls?
• Will bathroom facilities in your home be available to workers or will a temporary bathroom be used?