We just hosted our first Behind the Drywall tour since before the pandemic, and it was a huge success! More than 30 people came out to take a peek behind the scenes at our Comfortable Elegance project in Malvern.

We started these tours a few years ago to help people understand what goes into a major remodeling project. We’re proud of our work behind the drywall, but not all contractors or home builders are so conscientious. We sometimes find problems during demolition that need to be corrected before the project can continue. It’s always tough to break this kind of news to our clients, and it’s why we advise building a little wiggle room in the budget just in case we discover one of these surprises:

Structural issues Foundations crumble, walls bow, and floors sag. Most of these structural problems are obvious and we can plan to fix them upfront. But sometimes we find an insufficient header or a bearing element that’s been improperly cut or drilled through. Gotta be fixed.

Damage Water damage from a long-forgotten leak can hide behind drywall, and it’s often accompanied by rot or mold. When we find water damage, we find and fix the source of the problem, then follow the flow and repair damage as we go. The same goes for termite damage, which can plague both old and newer homes.

Old wiring or plumbing We’ve uncovered knob-and-tube wiring and galvanized pipes behind the drywall. Electrical codes require replacing knob-and-tube wiring, and any time we have to move wiring or plumbing it must be brought up to current code standards.

Code compliance issues Building codes and zoning regulations evolve over time, so we may need to make changes to meet local regulations, such as adding smoke detectors or ensuring a basement bedroom has window egress.

Unforeseen obstacles Sometimes we find things we couldn’t anticipate, like a hidden water pipe or air duct. Other times, we’ve discovered subpar materials that must be replaced.

Asbestos or lead-based paint Older homes may contain hazardous materials like asbestos or lead-based paint, which can be dangerous and require specialized removal.

These surprises may sound daunting, but they shouldn’t scare you away from a remodeling project. We know how to handle them and can usually make things right without significantly affecting the timeline or budget.

With any remodeling project, a little bit of flexibility and positivity goes a long way. We take our job seriously, but we try to keep the mood light and positive. Our best clients do the same, understanding that unforeseen things can happen.

Renovating your home is an incredibly satisfying experience, despite the occasional surprise. The transformation makes everything worthwhile: it really is making the most of the home you love. Reach out if you’d like to talk about starting a project of your own.


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