Remodeling checklist: 3 things to remember after the work is done

The workers are gone, the final clean is done, you’ve had friends and family over to celebrate the finished project. Now what? Is it all downhill from here? Not necessarily. Here’s how to make the most of your remodel by ensuring the quality is maintained over time.


Rossington Architecture, original photo on Houzz

Register Any Warranty Items

If your builder or remodeler has already registered the warranties for you, congrats. You get to skip this step. But if not, take a few minutes to go through any warranty cards your contractor left you (they usually come with the bigger items like appliances or air conditioners) and follow the steps to make sure you get the most out of the manufacturer’s warranty.

Related: How Builders Respond to Problems When the Warranty Ends

I know it may seem like a hassle to go through warranty paperwork when all you want to do is cook on your new range, but the real hassle comes when the range has a technical issue and you realize that you never registered the manufacturer’s warranty. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially with high-dollar items.


 Denali Construction, original photo on Houzz

Ask Your Contractor About Maintenance

While general cleaning is great for maintenance of your whole house, there are other items that need a little extra TLC to keep them functioning the way they should. I can suggest a few maintenance items that I’ve encountered, but ultimately the remodelers are the experts on your project. And, if they don’t know exactly how to take care of something, they’re surrounded by experts who can provide some knowledge.


Bristol Design and Construction LLC, original photo on Houzz

But, so I won’t leave you hanging, here are a few of the most common maintenance items I see:

Natural materials (for example, a teak shower bench or marble countertops) need to be occasionally sealed to maintain that brand-new sparkle and shine (and to make sure they don’t fall prey to stains or patinas).

Filters (such as those in water purification systems or air-conditioning units) should be changed regularly to make sure they are working at their highest level. Purification systems have even been known to kick the bucket (or at least act a little funny) if they go long enough without a fresh filter.

Certain plumbing fixtures (specifically, I’m thinking of rain heads) should be deep-cleaned every once in a while to prevent buildup, which could turn your relaxing stream of rain into a weird sprinkle. As I said, though, your contractor will know what is best for maintaining the quality of your project, so do a follow-up with him or her.


McClellan Architects, original photo on Houzz

Protect Your Wood Floors

My No. 1 suggestion? Put felt pads on the legs of chairs that are on hardwood floors. Not only does it make sliding them a lot easier, it prevents the dreaded screeeeech they make as they scrape across your new flooring.

Side note: Felt pads don’t have a lifetime guarantee, so you might want to check on them occasionally to ensure that they’re still secure.

This next one is a little trickier, but if you have big dogs (I’m lookin’ at you, black Labs), try to keep their nails in check. That way, when they go skittering across the floor every time they hear the doorbell go off, they don’t take a piece of the wood floors with them.

Another easy fix? Put a coco mat at any entrances to your house to help ensure that guests don’t track in mud or rocks that could embed themselves into the floor.

Related: Protect Your Floors With a New Rug

Of course, these are just some of the most commonly overlooked ways that people can keep their home in tip-top shape. There are plenty of others, but these are a good place to start as soon as your remodel is complete. It’s worth it in the long haul.
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