Living In Your Home During A Renovation Project: How To Survive With Your Sanity
Even renovation of a single room in your home or changes to the building’s exterior façade — such as installing stone veneer — may disrupt daily life for weeks or months. This is especially true if you choose to live at home during the project.
Remodeling can be noisy, dusty and intrusive no matter how well you and your contractor seal off rooms and set boundaries. It can also be hazardous, particularly if the remodeling crew doesn’t tidy up properly at the end of each day.
However, there are major benefits to being on-site during remodeling, including:
Being around daily to monitor project progress and site cleanup
Avoiding construction delays by being more available to answer contractor questions and
Saving money on alternative housing and restaurant dining.
Aside from those, sometimes moving out to a hotel or temporary home just isn’t an option, and can be extremely difficult, especially if you have children and pets! Here are some tips for living at home safely and sanely during renovation:
Setting Construction Schedule & Boundaries
Aside from setting start and completion dates in the project contract, you need to set a daily schedule identifying when construction workers will be on the premises.
The contract should also specify boundaries within which workers may be present. Furthermore, safety requires that children stay out of the work area, so you need to explain and stress boundaries. Children in particular could have a hard time enduring a renovation, so explaining to them how things work, where they can or cannot be, and how to protect themselves is very important. That in mind, it can be a fun thing for kids to switch things up a little during a home renovation project- dinner in the bedroom or taking baths in the sink are probably going to be more fun for them than the adults! 🙂
Isolating the Work Area & Protecting HVAC
The work area needs to be separated from living areas with heavy plastic sheeting hung in doorways and plastic wall systems. You also need to limit access to your home’s heating, ventilating and air conditioning system during construction. This includes covering or closing air supply and return registers.
A small renovation, such as installation of a stone fireplace surround, may take less than a week to finish. Yet minimizing ambient stone dust during that time is important and may even require air scrubber equipment if you have asthmatics in your family. Here is a detailed explanation about controlling stone veneer dust. (Take a look at our article on controlling dust here!)
Clearing & Protecting the Project Area
Before construction begins, remove objects from the work area including art and decorations, carpets, drapery, floor rugs and furniture. Cover floors and walls — and any furniture too unwieldy to remove — with drop cloths and other sturdy materials. This process makes final cleanup easier and protects against a hidden buildup of dust that could migrate through your home’s HVAC system following project completion.
Maintaining a Temporary Kitchen
If your kitchen is part of the renovation project or is open to the work area, clear it of food and appliances. Then you’ll need a temporary kitchen area, such as a utility room, with a sink, coffee maker and microwave oven. There are also some great, inexpensive products you can buy and use to help make life a little easier- hot plates and electric griddles are AMAZING for kitchen renovations! And don’t forget to stock up on paper plates and silverware. Washing dishes in the bathroom can get pretty old, pretty quickly. As much as paper plates and plastic silverware aren’t great for the environment, they sure can help you maintain your sanity.
Wearing Protective Footwear
Finally, wearing shoes (not flip flops) when walking anywhere in or outside your home is crucial during remodeling. Dust isn’t the only thing that migrates. Nails or shards of other materials can accidentally slip past barriers or land on grass and driveways during a remodeling.
Protecting Pets During A Renovation
Your pets are some of the more at risk creatures in the home during a renovation project. Make sure your contractor is aware that you have pets, and depending on the kind of pets you have and their personality and needs, you may have to take special precautions. Some contractors (like us!) love animals, but others (or their laborers) may not be as comfortable with animals. Make sure your pets have a safe place to be in the home during the construction.
Talk with your contractor to know if there will be days when there is going to be significant noise. Those days you may want to consider sending your pet to a neighbor or friend, or boarding your pet for the day. Construction noise can be really stressful for pets! Make sure you are cautious of where your pets go in the home during the reno- their paws are subject to nails and glass/wood shards to!
Choosing a Safety-Minded Contractor
Choosing a contractor known for work-site safety is one of the most important steps to take in preparing to live in your home during remodeling. For projects involving fireplace design and exterior stone veneer work, please contact North Star Stone for top attention to detail.