Living with Construction – 5 Tips for a Peaceful Coexistence

You’ve decided to renovate your home.  Terrific!  In an ideal world, you move out and let the experts do all the work.  You’ve lined up the beach cottage for the next 6 months, right?  Oh, “no” you say?  This blogger feels your pain as she renovated an entire house while living in it at the same time.  The process can be overwhelming, but if you do the prep work, it doesn’t have to be.  Here are 5 useful tips for making the turmoil of dust and disruption a bit easier.

1. Know what to expect.  Research the scope of the job.  How long should the job take while knowing it will take longer in case there is a surprise lurking behind the wall you are about to remove.  Prepare a budget and expect the project may go over budget for those unexpected items or changes you may want to make during the renovation.

2. Get references and call them.  Even visit the project if the reference is open to it.

3. If the room under renovation is completely off limits for use, where will your temporary room be?   Think camping, it that helps you.  When we had our kitchen remodeled, we moved the refrigerator to the dining room, put the microwave on a TV tray and used the dining table as our prep area.

4. Establish guidelines for contractors before the project begins.  While your house remodel happens to be the contractor’s jobsite, it is also your home.  Set a schedule of hours when your home is accessible for work, assign which restroom workers can have access to during work hours or provide a portable toilet, state how the construction site should be left after each day’s work and define acceptable conduct (especially if you have young kiddos around).

5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or point out if something wasn’t completed properly.  Just remember to keep calm and be respectful. You and the contractor really do want the same outcome.  By keeping call, you will find the right solution.

Now that you have valiantly prepared for your renovation adventure, I have one last tip for you.  Be sure to schedule some away time.  Visit a museum, go to the park or take in a movie for a bit of escapism.  For the bit of discomfort you may experience during the construction phase, your diligence will smooth the way to enjoying your newly renovated home very soon.

By Sylvia Avey

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