Living through a remodeling project can be challenging for clients. Even if everything is going well and is on schedule, after about six weeks your clients are likely to experience what I call remodeling fatigue. They’re just sick and tired of the disruption to their home, their normal family schedule, and their lives.

Here are a few tips to help your clients make it through the experience, which will make things easier for them and for your team:

  • The pre-construction meeting is a good time to let homeowners know what to expect during the construction process — provided it’s done well enough in advance.
  • Tell them about the physical aspects of remodeling work that will affect their everyday lives such as the noise, dust, water shut-off, and inability to use cooking appliances.
  • Go over what they should move or place in storage before you start the job. Tell them to set aside medications, clothing, and critical paperwork before you cover and seal the remaining items to protect them from dust and damage.
  • Call clients to remind them to shower before your crew shows up to shut off their water. Store some water for them before the water is shut off so they can still make coffee or flush toilets.
  • Remind them that they will not be able to cook while you remodel their kitchen. Suggest that they consider cooking and freezing easy-to-microwave meals or collect take-out menus before you start their kitchen renovation. Some remodelers provide their clients with recipe books or a collection of menus.
  • If you are renovating the client’s only bathroom, ask how they plan to deal without a toilet for a few days or more. Maybe you or they can even set up temporary spaces to tide them over until they can reclaim their homes.

Earning good customer reviews and referrals has more to do with the experience your team provides customers than with the work they perform. If you manage their expectations, you’re more likely to exceed them and shorten their feeling of remodeling fatigue.

Shawn McCadden sold his design/build company and now consults with remodelers and the supply chain.

Related articles:

Great Expectations: Ways to ensure that client expectations are clearly defined and met

Start-of-Work Checklist: A way to set client expectations early

Setting client expectations for schedule delays