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Remodel Survival Guide

Remodel Survival Guide

So… One day you woke up and chose chaos! Just kidding. Kind of. Undertaking a remodeling project is quite different from building a new home from scratch. During remodeling, your home becomes a work site, and you must live in it until your project is completed. This can be challenging and even if everything is going well and on schedule, there will be times that you will long for the simple pleasures like a fully functioning home. Don’t get discouraged, the results will be well worth these inconveniences. We have compiled a list of things to expect along with ideas to help you see the light at the end of the construction tunnel. It is our goal to support you through this process and provide you with a great customer experience.

Let’s Talk!

We believe in open communication. Your Production Team’s goal will be to enhance your understanding of the project as it progresses and give you the opportunity to exchange your ideas. This is your home. We just work here. If your requests are within code, we will do our best to make your vision a reality! Communication is the foundation of our working relationship. Calyx believes that keeping open lines of communication is key the success of any project. Your Production Team will be your support system throughout your project, answering any questions you may have.

Time for some Q&A.

Here are a few questions we will be asking at your Pre-Production meeting:

  • Are there any features or items you DO NOT want demolished or disposed of?

  • Do you have a plan for cleaning out the work area before demolition?

  • We will typically need a room close to the work area to set up materials and tools. Where will the designated staging area for materials and tools be?

  • Have you made a copy of your house key or programmed in a temporary door code yet?

  • Do you understand work on your home could begin from as early as 7:00am to as late as 5:00pm Monday through Friday for the duration of your project?

  • How will you ensure that your children and pets stay out of the workspace?

  • Will there be space for work vehicles to park near or on the property?

  • Where on the property do you want portable bathroom units and dumpsters placed?

The Fun Stuff!


Even with zip-walls, a fine layer of dust can gather in parts of your home far from construction. We will do all possible to close off the construction area from the rest of your home. We will seal off doorways and stairs and turn off central air or heat when workers are sanding. We recommend stocking up on extra house filters so that you can change them often; have a designated entrance/exit away from the work area if possible; Use doormats and temporary floor coverings when appropriate; Clean out all closets and shelves in the work area; Create temporary cooking or washing stations in a spare room. Most importantly, remove anything that might get damaged by the dust or at least cover it with plastic drop cloths that are taped shut, including your smoke detectors. We will do our best to keep things as neat as reasonable, but you should prepare to have some dust sneak past our barriers.


It will be incessant, especially if you work from home. Whining saws, scratching sheetrock sanders and thumping nail guns followed by bellowing compressors: no peace and quiet until we leave for the day. Planning a remodeling project is much more fun than living through one. We recommend organizing your living space ahead of the start of your project, to minimize discomfort as much as possible. You may need to find another place to nap or a temporary place to work from. Please take down all pictures, décor and other valuables from your walls or shelves. Hammering and drilling can cause things to vibrate and move even though they are in another area not under construction.

Pizza Again?

Prepare to be inconvenienced. A kitchen remodel will absolutely affect meal planning. With a little preparation and some culinary shortcuts, you can lessen the impact. We recommend setting up temporary cooking quarters away from the work area. If possible, move the refrigerator, toaster oven and microwave to another room. If the weather permits, fire up the grill. Try cooking and freezing easy-to-microwave meals or collect take out menus before we start.

The Unexpected.

We do our best to be as accurate as possible with our estimates. While we like to joke that we’re superheroes, we don’t actually have x-ray vision and we can’t see behind walls or through ceilings and foundations. In any home, but older homes especially, there is always the chance that during demolition we discover asbestos, irregular framing, knob and tube wiring, out of code plumbing or any variation of unexpected surprises. We are obligated to bring these items into code compliance. However, these items were most likely not factored into your estimate. Reading this, you may want to panic, but don’t worry. This is to help you prepare! It’s important to budget for these unknowns ahead of time so you will be prepared if anything is found. Together we will remedy any situation that arises.

Change Orders.

The cousin of the Unexpected – These are written addendums to your signed Agreement, by which any new or changed scopes of work are documented, along with any added or reduced costs. When you must have that hand crafted tile, or specialty lighting you can bet a change order is on the way.


Snow falls, city inspections get pushed back, Trade Partners or employees get sick and often products that have been ordered take twelve weeks instead of the promised six. We approximate a schedule that assumes everything will go perfectly. The reality is that it rarely does. Understanding that early in the process will allow you to be resilient when your schedule shifts a bit. We will always do our absolute best to maintain your project timeline. We understand that you will be counting on us, and we take that very seriously. Just know that when your timeline is altered, your Production Team is working hard behind the scenes to organize getting back on track.

Laughter is the best medicine.

Try to maintain a sense of humor. Remember that it’s best to laugh rather than be frustrated about things like the weather or delayed delivery of materials. See the remodeling process as an adventure and transform inconvenience into fun. These are stories you’ll look back on and laugh with your friends, relatives and neighbors, while showcasing your new and refreshed space!

Jenna Ehlert Inside Coordinator / Customer Relations Manager

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