September 26, 2014 at 7:00 am EDT | by Josh Baker
Tips for a stress-free remodel
remodeling, gay news, Washington Blade

With a little pre-planning, remodeling your home can be a stress-free experience for the entire family and neighborhood.

Let’s face it: Remodeling your home has the potential to be stressful on you and your family, as well as the neighborhood or community you live in. As much as you love them, having to share the small guest room and bathroom (which only has one sink) can shake up the strongest of family unions. And, the inability to comfortably join the neighborhood picnic because your neighbors were upset you didn’t tell them construction trucks were coming onto the block can be troubling.

I understand and empathize with homeowners who are worried about the inconveniences of an extensive home remodeling project – so let’s avoid them! In my 25 years in the business, I can tell you, the key to surviving this momentary disruption in day-to-day life, is to anticipate and plan for innovative solutions from the outset so these temporary inconveniences can be avoided.

There are many things you can do, or have your remodeler do, that can make your renovation run smoothly and not interrupt your family’s – or your neighbors’ – routine.  Here are some of the most common items BOWA anticipates and helps implement with clients before their remodeling projects begin:

Maintaining a routine

Living without access to the critical rooms that keep your family routine in order can cause stress for everyone. The good news is, is that there are plenty of great ways to quickly and easily install temporary versions of your home’s most essential spaces, which often include kitchens, bathrooms (showers), and laundry rooms.   If you’re worried about going without an essential space, just ask about what is possible to simulate a temporary area that will work for the days or weeks in which the permanent area will be off limits.  More than likely, a simple solution can be thought through and implemented to meet your needs.

Thinking of your pets

Every family member’s comfort during a home remodeling project is important, and that includes your furry relatives! It is important to ask your remodeling manager how to ensure pets will stay safe and happy during the construction process. BOWA has accommodated pets by building special outdoor paths and areas so dogs can easily and safely get outdoors to do their “business.”  We’ve also built temporary viewing areas where animals can sit and watch the remodeling work in action. This front row seat to the action can entertain a pet for hours, and keep them safe from wandering into places that might put them in harms’ way.

Keeping the neighbors happy

Nothing is better than walking into your newly remodeled home, but the “getting-there” part takes time.  It is important to think through how your neighbors may be impacted by trucks entering the neighborhood, as well as the potential noise.  Great remodeling companies will anticipate the potential impact on your neighbors and help guide thoughtful communications with them.

We have found that keeping clients’ neighbors informed and involved, if they so choose, is good for the community.  For example, neighbors benefit from, and participate in “Dumpster Days,” which is a free service our company offers to neighbors who dump their junk and large items, that are then hauled away for them.

BOWA has also offered “Camp BOWA” for neighborhood children who want a behind-the-scenes, guided tour, of the remodeling action in neighbors’ homes under light construction.  Kids are outfitted with hard hats, and given closely guided tours.

These are great ways for keeping everyone from parents to children smiling in the community!

So, with a little pre-planning, remodeling your home can be a stress-free experience for the entire family and neighborhood!

Josh Baker is the founder and co-chairman of BOWA, an award-winning design and construction company specializing in luxury renovations, remodels and additions in the greater Washington area. BOWA has more than 25 years of experience and has been honored with 170 local and national awards. For more information, visit, or call 703-734-9050.

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