How to prepare for the start of your remodel

Well, the moment of truth has arrived. Your remodel contractor has called and told you that they will be starting your project next week. What should you expect, and what do you need to do?

The best thing to do, obviously, is to directly ask your contractor how you can best prepare for the remodel. In lieu of their answer, however, there are some remodel preparation aspects that are universal.

Get Your Head In The Game

First and foremost, prepare yourself mentally. Remodeling your home is uncomfortable. Parts of your home will be out of commission or inaccessible during the renovation process. Your daily schedule will be disrupted by workers showing up early in the morning and sometimes working into the evening. Doors and windows will be left open all day, and…dust, in the wind, in your closet, in your cabinets—everywhere.

There will be dust—a lot of it.

Even if your contractor masks against the dust, it will find ways to seep through. Hanging plastic and taping up areas helps (which your remodeling contractor may do for you), but keep in mind that the dust travels in the air, on clothing, on shoes and can tend to get all over the place.

Even with careful containment, the workers will still have to enter and exit the workspace, carrying tools and building supplies. The dust will waft after them when they enter and exit. And the dust will stick to the masking materials as well. When the plastic is rolled up at the end of the day, even with the utmost care, the dust that has deposited itself there as a result of the day’s work will get airborne.

Clean Sweep

Take the time to remove items from the immediate surrounding area of your remodel that you don’t want to get dusty. Also, remove fragile items or anything that might be close to the traffic paths going to and from the work areas. Even careful workers and contractors can have accidents, especially when carrying tools and construction supplies in and out of your home.

Remove everything in the immediate work area. Empty out cabinets (especially if they are being removed), take clothes from closets, and pull pretty much anything on any surface, including pictures, lamps, and furniture. Your contractor may have agreed to help you move some of the heavier furniture items, if needed, but take the time to empty them out as well to lighten the load.

Create Storage Space

Ensure that there is ample area somewhere onsite for your contractor to store the construction materials and tools that he or she will be using during your remodel. It should be a secure area, safe from the elements and with limited access by children, pets and strangers.

Look After Your Four-Legged, Feathered and Scaly Family Members

Speaking of pets…of course, they are family. Most experienced remodel contractors have spent some time in their careers chasing down the four-legged family members that have somehow escaped the house through an open door or window. I know from personal experience that there is no worse feeling, as a contractor, than knowing that the family pet has gotten out during a remodel.
Find a quiet, secure area like a laundry room or back bedroom away from the remodeled space to set up as your pet’s sanctuary during construction. Between the noise, the disruption and the dust, the farther away from the action you can get your pet, the happier it will be.

Don’t Forget About Those Other Family Members (The Ones That Keep Nagging You About Allowance Increases)

And for the two-legged family members that aren’t adults—some of the same rules apply. If there are school-aged children in the household that may be returning home before a parent arrives, make sure that both the contractor and the children are aware of what is going on each day. Giving the children instructions to stay out of work areas can go a long way toward preventing accidents and possible damage to work performed during the day.

Taking these precautions before your home improvement project starts can help ensure an efficient, timely and cleaner completion of your dream remodel!