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Portland Design Build Remodeling Blog

Preparing Your Home for a Remodel: Full Guide

Posted by Lane Cooper on Oct 5, 2023 10:59:00 AM

The magic of turning a house into a dream home is only partially about the bricks and mortar. It’s also about the vision and passion behind the project. Here in Portland, we’re fortunate to have a unique blend of architectural styles, influenced by our city’s vibrant history and beautiful surroundings. As the excitement to transform your Portland home builds, it's essential to approach the remodel with both enthusiasm and meticulous planning. The perfect home remodel is a blend of vibrant ideas, precise execution, and, most crucially, thorough preparation.cooper-design-build-kitchen-remodel-floating-shelves

Understanding the Remodeling Transformation

Every home has a story, a unique character, and a distinctive style. Recognizing this, it’s essential to understand that every remodel is indeed a unique journey. No two houses, even in the lovely streets of Portland, will have the same remodeling requirements. Thus, the journey you embark upon with your home will be entirely unique.

However, some universal truths bind every remodeling process:

  • Transformation Takes Time: Your beloved abode will undergo a significant metamorphosis. Walls might be torn down, new spaces crafted, and previously hidden corners might see the light of day. The process is both exhilarating and, sometimes, a tad overwhelming.
  • Dust and Disruptions: With the hustle and bustle of construction, dust will become a temporary roommate. It’s a natural byproduct of the beautiful transformation your home is undergoing. But rest assured, this phase is just a brief interlude on a page in the novel of your home.
  • A Symphony of Faces: Remodeling brings with it a parade of skilled craftsmen, designers, architects, and more. Each individual plays a pivotal role, in ensuring your vision is brought to life with precision and flair.

Setting the Stage: Defining the Remodel Zone

Before the first hammer swing or the initial tile removal, there's the vital stage of defining and decluttering. This is where COOPER Design Build showcases our expertise and experience.

  • The COOPER Touch: Our team is hands-on from the get-go. We assist our clients in demystifying the process, setting clear boundaries, and defining what we fondly refer to as the "remodel zone." This designated area becomes the canvas upon which we paint your remodeling dreams.

  • Kick-Off Meeting Insights: This meeting is more than just a formality. It's an avenue for us to align our visions, set clear expectations, and determine the exact parameters of the remodeling zone. Think of it as charting out the map for our remodeling journey together.

  • Protect and Preserve: With the remodeling zone defined, it becomes imperative to clear out the space. We recommend removing all belongings from this area. Even the cherished photo frames adorning the walls adjacent to our work zone might need a temporary new home. Vibrations from construction can occasionally dislodge wall hangings, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

  • Peace of Mind: Beyond just the remodeling zone, consider safeguarding valuables and sentimental items. Not because of distrust, but to ensure they're kept free from dust, debris, and accidental nudges. A clear space also allows us to work with unhindered focus, ensuring a seamless transformation.

whole home remodel | COOPER Design Build

Safeguarding Belongings and Setting Expectations

The foundation of a successful remodel, beyond the bricks, beams, and boards, is the sense of assurance that everything dear to you is safe and secure. Whether it's that antique vase you inherited from your grandmother or the modern art piece you splurged on last summer, every item has its own story and significance.

  • Rethinking Temporary Storage: To maintain the integrity of your possessions, we strongly advocate using facilities like PODS. These secure storage solutions ensure everything stays dry, clean, and intact. And while the temptation might be there to keep a POD on-site during the remodel, we recommend opting for off-site storage. This not only frees up space but also ensures a smoother workflow for our team.

  • Why Move Out? It's a question many homeowners ponder. The idea is not just about space; it's about peace, both for the mind and the home. Even small-scale remodels can lead to disruptions – from noise to the coming and going of our dedicated team. Moving out temporarily can lend a smoother trajectory to the project, ensuring the remodeler can work unhindered. Moreover, when there's no immediate need to keep the home in a 'livable' state (like ensuring continuous hot water or functioning AC), it often translates to better pricing and efficiency.

  • Alternative Living Arrangements: If you're wondering where to go during the remodel, we've seen homeowners benefit from long-term stay rentals or even month-to-month Airbnb rentals. These places offer the comfort of home while your actual abode gets its much-deserved makeover.

Utilities, Mail, and Other Essentials

Even as the home undergoes its transformation, certain essentials need to remain in place. It’s like ensuring the heart continues to beat even as the body evolves.

  • Maintaining Essential Utilities: Water, power, and, yes, even Wi-Fi need to be up and running. While water and power are fundamental, Wi-Fi ensures our Project Managers and Contractors remain efficient on-site. Connectivity means the PM can often be on-site more frequently, ensuring a smooth flow to the process.

  • Mail and Trash Considerations: While we manage debris disposal during the project, you might consider stopping regular trash services temporarily. Redirecting mail is another small but crucial step, ensuring your bills, letters, and packages don’t end up amidst construction materials.

  • Respecting Boundaries: For safety and productivity reasons, we recommend that homeowners visit the site only during predetermined meetings. This ensures the safety of everyone involved and ensures our tradespeople can work without distractions.

bathroom remodel | COOPER Design Build

Landscaping and Exterior Preparations

Portland homes are often complemented by lush greens and beautiful flora. And while a home remodel predominantly focuses on the interiors, the surroundings need their share of attention too.

  • Preserving Your Green Oasis: If the remodel involves exterior work – like window replacements, roofing, or additions – it's crucial to consider the plants that grace your home. Transplanting or trimming plants can make a big difference in preventing potential damage.

  • Navigating the Pathways: For projects that require excavation or significant external work, ensuring clear paths is crucial. Removing any plants or obstructions can help the process proceed without any hitches.

  • Managing Expectations: It's essential to understand that, regardless of the project's scope, landscaping might experience a bit of wear and tear. Setting expectations right at the outset can save a lot of heartache later on. It's all part and parcel of the transformation journey.

Embracing Flexibility and Managing Surprises

Home remodeling, much like life itself, comes with its fair share of unexpected twists and turns. Yet, it's this unpredictability that adds character to your home, lending it a unique narrative of its own.

  • The Unseen Behind the Scenes: No matter how meticulous the planning, there will be moments when the unexpected rears its head – especially when we peek behind drywall or delve beneath floors. From old plumbing systems to outdated electrical wiring, surprises can lurk anywhere.

  • Finding Solutions Together: While encountering an unforeseen issue can be daunting, it’s essential to remember that every challenge has a solution. At COOPER Design Build, we pride ourselves on our problem-solving skills. That’s why trust in the team is so vital. We're here to navigate these challenges together to ensure your vision remains undeterred.

  • Adjustments Along the Way: A flexible mindset can make a world of difference. Sometimes, alterations to the original plan not only address unforeseen problems but also lead to a better, more efficient design outcome.

  • The Benefits of Design-Build: Because our designers and construction specialists are part of the same team, we can quickly and easily make design adjustments and alterations to address any unforeseen issues that arise along the way. 

home remodel | COOPER Design Build

Trusting the Team and Communication Channels

Central to a harmonious remodeling experience is the bond of trust between the homeowner and the remodeling team. It's a relationship built on clear communication, mutual respect, and a shared vision.

  • Open Lines, Clear Minds: Regular communication ensures you're always in the loop, understanding the project's progression and any adjustments being made. Yet, it's equally essential to respect established communication channels, as this ensures consistency and clarity.

  • Scheduled Visits for Peace of Mind: While your excitement to see the progress is wholly understandable, scheduled site visits ensure safety and allow our team to work with optimal efficiency. It's a balance between curiosity and productivity.

  • Relinquishing Day-to-Day Stresses: Our goal at COOPER Design Build is to shoulder the day-to-day stresses of remodeling so you don't have to. By placing trust in our expertise, you can focus on envisioning the beautiful outcome awaiting you.

Pre-Construction Preparations and Access

Before the real transformation begins, the pre-construction phase lays the groundwork for the project. From measurements to material assessments, this phase is crucial to ensure the remodeling process proceeds seamlessly.

  • A Week of Measurements and Bids: Towards the end of the design phase, our tradespeople require unhindered access to gauge and measure various elements of the home. This helps in accurate bidding and ensures all necessary materials are procured efficiently.

  • Managing Pets and Access: While our team adores furry friends, it's essential to manage pets during this period to ensure their safety and the team's efficiency. Providing unhindered access through keys or lock boxes can help streamline this process.

  • Laying the Foundations: This phase might seem less 'active' compared to the bustling construction period. Yet, the pre-construction phase's meticulous planning and preparation lay the foundation for a smooth remodeling journey ahead.

kitchen remodel | COOPER Design Build

A Home's Transformation Journey with COOPER Design Build

Ready to begin your home transformation? Let's craft a story of beauty, function, and warmth, one room at a time. Contact COOPER Design Build today and let’s turn your Portland home dreams into reality.


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Topics: Design-Build Portland, Home Remodeling, Remodeling Ideas, Finance, Planning a Remodel