Coined by our Jacksonville designer Terry Caito, Post Traumatic Remodeling Syndrome (PTRS) is when everything that could possibly have gone wrong during your remodel did and then some. This is, unfortunately, a common situation. Sometimes it’s preventable and sometimes, despite every good intention, it’s not.
Here’s a quick list of things that can help avoid, or at least lessen the impact of PTRS on your next remodeling project.
First, if you have the ability to hire a designer, do so. They are a great resource. They are very familiar with products and can give you the design you want while helping you stay in budget. They typically know where the ‘hidden gems’ are and have relationships with dependable resources for knowledge, service and products, ultimately saving you time and money.
Secondly, when hiring contractors, make sure they are licensed and insured and ALWAYS get references. A slightly higher quote with glowing recommendations can be a better fit than a lower quote with a marginal history. Spend the time to do the research. These are people who will be in your home for only a few days installing things that you need to look at and use for a very long time.
On a related topic, be sure you hire the right person for the right job. If you’re hiring a handyman to install cabinets, don’t get a recommendation for work they’ve done on rebuilding front steps or installing basement lighting. It’s great that they can do a good job on those things, but that’s not what you’re hiring them for and doesn’t relate to your job.
Make sure all materials needed for your job are on hand BEFORE starting the job. It’s so much fun to see your remodel start and see that circa 1970’s pink bathtub torn out, but it’s not fun to see your halfway destroyed master bath sit untouched for three weeks while you wait for the custom granite countertops, or fixtures, or cabinets, or whatever the items may be. Whether you’re having the entire project hand carved and detailed, or getting it wholesale from the local Discount Depot, have all items on hand (or as much as possible) before you start. This includes tile and stone, cabinets, appliances, fixtures, countertops, lighting, etc, etc. Most places will hold items (paid for) until your contractor is ready for it if you don’t have storage space in your garage or basement. There are some items that can’t be ordered too far ahead of time, i.e. custom glass shower doors/walls. Those frequently do need to have the rest of the shower done before accurate measurements can be taken but you should still have the details arranged and lead times specified before any work is actually started.
Most importantly, personally, individually, independently, and every other word that means YOU yourself, need to inspect everything before it is installed. This is where having a designer comes in handy, because they typically know what everything should look like, but at the end of the day, this is your house. Not theirs. This is what you have to live with every day, not the installer.
Check the cabinets and make sure the finish is right and the door details are what you wanted.
Check the appliances and make sure the right models were shipped.
Check the countertops and make sure the edges are correct and there isn’t a large splotch in the middle or chips on the corners.
Check the stone for color range before it is installed.
Check the tile and bullnose for coordination before it goes up in your shower.
Check everything personally, before the installers put it in and it’s a massive ordeal to tear out and replace it.
Remember, you live there, they don’t.
While doing all of these things isn’t going to protect you from everything that can go wrong on a project, they will go a long ways to preventing a lot of common mishaps related to Post Traumatic Remodeling Syndrome.