15 Feb How to Prep for Large Renovations
A massive renovation to your home is a beautiful thing. People either renovate in order to make money (which is great), or to create a more desirable living space for themselves and their family (also great).
Of course, the renovation process isn’t as beautiful as the end result is – major renovations will often involve knocking down walls, ripping out floors, people yelling, dust billowing, and loud machines. Now, if you’re an industrial music fan, this all might sound beautiful to you, but 8 solid weeks of industrial music (or, in this case, home renovations) is liable to stress anyone out.
So here’s our guide to preparing for large-scale renovations to your home. We broke it down into three parts – preparing your home, preparing yourself, and preparing others.
This guide assumes that you’ve already found a contractor and laid out the details of your renovation with them. We’ll be operating in the space between signing that contract and when the renovations actually begin.
Preparing your home
A lot of people can’t sit idly by waiting for something big to happen – they need to take some kind of tangible action in order to help the process along. When it comes to home renovation projects, this is a really good instinct, and there are two important things you can do:
Deep clean your home
The first step is to do a very deep clean of your home. We’re talking so deep that you might need to rent a dumpster. You’ll want to go room by room, throwing away everything you don’t want – use the Marie Kondo method if you like. Whatever works – just make sure you do an honest and thorough job.
You don’t have to worry so much about things like sweeping the floor – you’re going to end up with a ton of dust all over the place, anyway. Nonetheless, making sure there’s nothing the renovators can easily trip over is a good idea.
Depending on your contract, you may or may not need to move furniture out of rooms yourself. Almost every contract, however, will require you to get rid of small things that can be moved easily.
The second thing you can do is talk with your contractor about how work is going to progress, and plan out zones that you’ll use as “replacement rooms” for the area that’s being worked on.
This is particularly important for families with small children – you basically need to quarantine them away from power tools and contractors. Many contractors are friendly people who will appreciate a child’s curiosity about their trade, but a construction zone is a dangerous space for children.
Once you’ve figured out a timeline for work, you can create a space you section off for your children. You can also do things like create a temporary kitchen by putting a mini fridge and microwave in the garage, for example.
One of the best ways to prepare yourself for anything is to have a good grasp of what to expect. There are two key things we want you to be ready for:
Be ready for change
Home renovations are, by nature, very fluid. Contractors will find unexpected problems that they need to fix. Some homeowners change their minds about the renovations on the fly as they see how they’re home looks when work progresses.
That means things might take longer than you expected, you may have to pay more than you expected, and things might not look exactly as you envisioned them. Before work even starts, prepare yourself mentally for these possibilities. You should also try to have a concrete idea about the work that’s getting done; this helps to avoid changing your own plans too often as work progresses.
Be ready for reduced accommodations
Living in a home that’s being renovated isn’t the same as normal living by any stretch of the imagination. Some people are surprised by the stress that comes with not having the freedom of movement they’re used to.
The home is, after all, a sanctuary. Given the stress that renovations can produce, it’s a good idea to create a safe den away from home – a place you can go to relax when you get stressed. Whether that’s a park, a friend’s place, a relative’s place, or someplace else, having a spot in your back pocket is a good idea.
Should you take a vacation?
Given the reduced accommodations, it can be tempting to take a vacation while the renovations are going on. For major renovations, that’s usually a bad idea – the contractor will need your input as unexpected circumstances arise.
Having to get on Zoom with your contractor every day is a bad way to spend a vacation.
Unless you have someone you trust absolutely with major decisions about your house – and this someone needs to be willing to spend some time every day on-site – you should stick around while renovations are happening.
While you don’t technically need to alert your neighbors about your renovations, if you’re doing anything that involves, say, demolition services, letting your neighbors know is the courteous thing to do.
You should also talk to your children about what to expect. Obviously, how you go about doing this will depend on your child, but it’s a good idea to let them know well in advance, and then remind them as the start day gets nearer.
There are quite a few other ways that you can prepare for renovations, but the ones above are some of the most important. You’ve ensured peace of mind for yourself, your neighbors and family, and your contractors – that’s going to make everything else go a lot more smoothly. Now that you’re ready to go, just give the professionals at CMW a call to get started!