Remodeling your home is stressful whether you do it yourself or have the work done by a professional. You dedicate lots of time, energy, and money into making the remodel happen on time and within budget; and to keeping the house organized and running smoothly throughout the clutter and confusion.
All of that ends once the dust has cleared and the finishing touches are complete, right?
Well, not really.
As it turns out, the work isn’t done just because the space feels complete.
Your next step is maintaining the quality of that work so that it lasts as long as possible.
How to Make Your Remodel Last as Long as Possible
You just renovated your home. That is a huge investment.
There are many benefits to deciding to remodel or rebuild your home, however you’ll want to maintain your renovation so it stays in the best condition possible.
Follow these tips to get the most time out of your new renovations:
- Complete a final walk-through
- Register warranty items
- Contact your property appraiser and insurance agent
- Create a maintenance checklist
By utilizing these four steps, you’ll be able to maintain your newly remodeled home so that it will last for years to come.
1. Complete a final walk-through
Remodels consist of a complicated balance of several projects at once. Because there’s so many things going on at one time it’s easy for small items to fall through the cracks.
Inconspicuous finishing touches such as handles, painting baseboards, or clean-up can be overlooked as you or the contractor’s team concentrates on larger more pressing issues.
And because remodeling requires the work of multiple technicians there’s the possibility that someone will inadvertently damage or alter another project.
A plumbing crew may accidentally scuff your newly installed tile floor; the painters may miss a small spill on the counter; movers may knick a door frame.
Once the remodel is complete make sure to do a final inspection of the premises noting anything that needs to be completed or retouched.
If you had work done by a contractor then someone from their company will complete the walk-through with you and create a “punch list” of items that need to be finished.
These walk-throughs are a customary activity and reputable contractors will schedule this appointment with you.
Finding a remodeling contractor who specializes in multiple services will help reduce this problem as well. It’s as much a time for you to inspect the work as it is for them.
2. Register warranty items
Large or expensive purchases such as bedroom sets, refrigerators, toilets, living room furniture, and even some high-end coffee makers generally come with a manufacturer’s warranty that protects against defects and shoddy craftsmanship.
If the item easily breaks or malfunctions within a certain time frame then the manufacturer will repair or replace the item.
Each of those items must be registered with the company in order to activate the warranty.
Most can be registered online through the manufacturer’s website using information from your invoice or receipt.
Contractors will often register the items they’ve installed then give you the pertinent paperwork, but not always.
Make sure to ask your contractor whether they’ve completed this step. And don’t feel bad for requesting documentation that proves all items have complete registration.
It may feel like a nuisance to go through the trouble of registering every item, and keeping that paperwork in a safe place but it’s worth it in the event of a problem.
Imagine the frustration you’d experience if you found a problem with the digital control panel of a new dishwasher just weeks after it was installed, but learned that the company wouldn’t cover the replacement.
3. Contact your property appraiser and insurance agent
Both entities will want documentation of the work that was completed. They will always require proof that the work is safe and adequate.
Having a contractor usually means that they’ll take care of documentation. But if you’re doing the work yourself you’ll want to make sure you know the requirements ahead of time.
Most appraisers and carriers won’t alter your coverage without strict proof.
Skipping this step can cause you major frustrations later, and cost you extra money; especially if you ever plan to sell.
You won’t be able to ask a premium price for upgrades unless they’ve been registered with the local property appraiser’s office.
In the event you do try to sell the property, you’ll be responsible for retroactively securing necessary permits and inspections.
This usually requires you to reopen structures such as walls to expose plumbing or other items.
Avoid this disaster during your remodel; get the right permits and documentation.
4. Create a maintenance checklist
There’s a pretty good chance that you’ll be adding all sorts of new materials and equipment into the space whether remodeling one room or an entire home.
Each of those items will require their own maintenance schedule to keep them at their best shape or running smoothly.
For example, your new floors could require a different cleaning solution than your previous ones. New countertops may need extra care compared to the old ones, or your new HVAC system may take different filters.
If you’re doing the remodel on your own then make sure to keep the instruction manuals for anything you purchase. They usually contain the pertinent maintenance information.
Contractors should provide you with the maintenance protocols of anything they install but don’t hesitate to ask for it if they don’t.
Below are a few of the things you should keep in mind:
- Countertops – Stone counters such as granite require specialized sealing and gentle cleaners. Make sure you know how to treat these surfaces to prevent stains and keep a fresh sheen.
- Flooring – Natural flooring such as wood or cork will need to be cleaned and sealed differently than laminate or ceramic tile. Learn the frequency of how to clean, seal, or strip your new floor, as well as the type of cleaning solutions that are safe for that surface.
- Plumbing fixtures – New faucets and showerheads need to be regularly cleaned to prevent internal mineral build-up that interferes with the flow. Many products are available from big-box home improvement stores but not all of them are safe to use on all finishes.
Just because the hustle and bustle of a remodel ends that doesn’t necessarily mean the work is over.
Following a remodel there are things you should do to maintain the new furnishings and equipment you worked so hard for – complete the final inspections, register pertinent warranties, contact your local property appraiser and insurance company, then make a maintenance checklist.
Doing so will ensure that your beautiful new remodeled home stays beautiful for years to come.