We can thank reality TV for the misconceptions. While the home renovation experts on HGTV seem to cram complete home remodels into one short weekend, in reality, the same projects typically last from four to eight weeks, or longer. What the cameras fail to capture is the tested patience, flared tempers and overwhelming stress. And, we rarely get to see all the prep work completed before the renovation. More than just your actual home, you need to prepare yourself for a full home remodel. Consider our guide to help you get ready for both.

First things first. Figure out a timeline. Timing can mean everything to a full home remodel. Think about what’s going on at home at any given time of year. The fall might be a good time to remodel since the kids are back to school while the holidays — when you plan to host the family — might be a bad time.

Dust and dirt. The dynamic duo. How do you keep these two major threats at bay? Use plastic wrap to close off the main remodeling area and zip the doorways in order to contain the mess and minimize dust and dirt from traveling to the rest of the house. Cover everything in adjacent rooms — from the furniture and floors, to lamps and electronic equipment — with thin plastic sheeting. Sanding the floors? Turn off the central air or heat. And, sweep the construction area daily to minimize the mess.

Pack and prep. Begin with the basics. Empty walls and shelves for dry walling (vibrations can knock down and damage pictures), box up your belongings (with the cleanest and sturdiest boxes you can find), cover them with plastic and select a space for storage. Organize and label boxes to more easily track down items during the remodel. A little extra effort at the start goes a long way in the end. To stay tidy and safe, clear a path in the hallways to get to bathrooms or basements. And, inspect the area daily for shards of glass, nails, loose wires and other potential hazards.

Create a makeshift kitchen. Being without a kitchen during a remodel means being without a stove, pots, pans or a sink to clean up after meals. But you still need a place to eat and a functional space to cook (unless you plan on eating take-out every day for the next two months). Need ideas? Move the refrigerator to the guest room and set up a small table. For convenience, keep it simple: eat cereal for breakfast, microwave meals for dinner and use disposable plates, cups and utensils you can throw out after a meal.

Rent a dumpster. Secure a spot for crews to get rid of large amounts of debris and prevent them from trampling your lawn with random piles of garbage. Store lumber and materials on paved surfaces (rather than the grass) or lay down a temporary plywood sidewalk. Set the ground rules for the crew, including where to put the trash and how to best exit your home.

Expect the unexpected. Structural problems. Mold or moisture in the walls. Termites or carpenter ants in the floors. Asbestos. Anything can go wrong. Miscommunications are common in home remodeling. Contractors deliver damaged products, products with missing parts or the wrong products altogether. Don’t be surprised if mishaps stretch your budget or extend your timeline. Murphy’s Law might rear its ugly head.

Think about your kids. For their safety and comfort, introduce the kids to everyone working on the home remodel. The young ones especially need to know the rules: Who is allowed in the house? Where are they allowed to go? What are they allowed to do? The extra precaution gives parents peace of mind.

Don’t forget your pets. When doors open and close all day, Fido can get away. And, loud construction noises can frighten or upset him. Your best options: put him in a crate, send him to a sitter or drop him off at doggie daycare during construction hours.

Stay positive. Go with the flow. Days filled with loud noises — from whining saws, to scratching sheetrock, to thumping nail guns — put peace and quiet on hold. Remodeling fatigue undoubtedly sets in. But hang in there. The inconveniences will disappear your first day living in your newly remodeled home.

Looking for help with a full home remodel? Reach out to NDA Kitchens today!