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Tips to Prepare Your Home for Renovation Project

A well-prepared renovation is halfway to completion.

Renovating a home can make it look great, but it has challenges. It’s not just about having a cool idea; you need to plan well, understand the process, and expect problems. Whether you’re fixing up one room or redoing the whole house, knowing how to prepare can make things easier. Here’s a guide to making your renovation go smoothly.

Understand the Scope of Home for Renovation Project

Before you start fixing up your place, know what you want to change. Decide which rooms you want to update, like the kitchen or bathroom, or if you’re redoing the whole house. Think about the details, like changing walls or moving windows.

Once you’ve decided which areas to work on, set clear goals. Ask yourself: What do I want from this renovation? Maybe a more modern look, better functionality, or a higher property value. Clear goals help you and your contractor stay on track and make sure the results match your vision.

Setting the plans for your renovation helps with budgeting and staying on track. Whether you want more space, better looks, or to fix issues, these goals will guide you. They’ll help you choose materials and design, making sure everything matches what you want. As you plan, picture the end result and let that vision guide your renovation.

worker working on home

Set a Budget and Timeline

Plan your budget carefully. It will help you succeed in your renovation project. Start by looking up the average costs for projects like yours. You can find this info online, at home improvement stores, or from experts. Initial estimates give a rough idea, but it’s smart to set aside extra money for unexpected expenses. Renovations often bring surprises, like hidden problems or design changes. Adding 10-20% to your budget can help cover these surprises.

Establish a realistic timeline. Pick a start date, considering things like contractor schedules and material delivery. Once you have a start date, plan with your contractor to figure out the end date. This helps you know how long the project will take and plan for any disruptions. While you might want a quick renovation, good work takes time. Make sure your timeline balances speed and quality for the best results.

Choose a Trustworthy Contractor

Pick the right contractor. Asking friends and family is a great way to find a trustworthy contractor. They can share their experiences, letting you know if the contractor did good work, was reliable, and professional. Their advice can help you find the best contractors and avoid the bad ones.

But, don’t just rely on personal recommendations. Check online reviews too. These can give you a wider view of the contractor’s reputation. Look for common themes in the reviews; repeated praises or complaints can tell you a lot.

After you’ve picked a few contractors, set up an in-person interview. This helps you see how they work and talk about your project. Ask for references from their past jobs. Talking to these references gives you a real idea of how they work and finish on time. Following these steps helps you find a contractor who fits your renovation plans.

home renovation permit

Secure Necessary Permits

Handling the legal side for a renovation is just as important as the design. Every city has rules you need to follow, especially for big changes. Check out your local regulations before starting any work. You might need permits for things like plumbing, so look up the rules online or visit your city office.

After you know the codes, get the necessary permits. You’ll likely need to submit detailed plans of your changes, so it’s good to involve your contractor since they have experience. Keep in mind that permits might come with fees, so include these in your budget.

Pay attention to any specific rules for the permits. Historical districts might have strict guidelines on external changes to keep the area’s character. There might also be limits on construction hours. Following these rules ensures a smooth renovation and avoids legal issues. Getting all necessary permits and following guidelines helps make your renovation hassle-free.

Clear Out Affected Areas

Before construction starts, you need to prepare the space. Remove all furniture and personal items from the area. This clears the way for workers and protects your stuff from damage and dust. Box up small items, and make a plan for bigger pieces like sofas or beds.

Think about other storage options for things you can’t keep at home. Renting a storage unit can be a good way to store big furniture or valuable items. For long renovations, monthly storage rentals might be cheaper. Or, if you have friends or family with extra space, they might help out.

home renovation

Protect Areas Not Being Renovated

Even if only part of your home is being renovated, the rest can be affected. Dust, debris, and foot traffic can impact other areas. To reduce these effects, take protective steps.

Start by covering nearby furniture and appliances with plastic or dust sheets. This protects them from dust and paint splatters. You can find these covers at hardware stores, and they help prevent scratches, stains, and dust buildup.

Next, protect the rooms near the renovation area. Use plastic barriers or tarps to seal off doorways and open entrances. This limits the spread of dust and debris. It’s like creating a controlled space to keep the renovation mess contained.

Protect your floors, especially if they’re hardwood or carpeted. Foot traffic, tools, and materials can damage them. Lay down protective sheets, tarps, or specialized floor protectors. This is very important in high-traffic areas where workers move tools or materials often.

Inform Neighbors and Set Boundaries

A home renovation can disturb your neighbors with loud noises, such as the sounds of drilling, hammering, and machinery. Let them know about the project, its length, and the noise to maintain good relations. Informing them can help them prepare and show you care, which can be useful if any issues come up.

Setting boundaries is important too. Work with your contractor to set reasonable working hours. Starting too early or working late can upset neighbors. Follow local noise rules and consider neighbors’ routines. For example, if a neighbor works nights and sleeps during the day, schedule the loudest work when they are awake.

home reno

Plan for Waste Management

Renovations create a lot of waste, like discarded materials and packaging. A waste management plan keeps the site clean and makes disposal efficient and eco-friendly.

First, figure out how to collect the waste. For big projects, renting a dumpster is a common solution. Dumpsters come in different sizes and can be placed on your property for easy waste disposal. Pick the right size based on how much waste you think you’ll have. This way, you avoid extra costs and overflow.

But it’s not just about collecting waste; it’s also about responsible disposal. As you discard materials, try to separate recyclable items from the general trash. Many renovation materials, such as metals, certain plastics, and clean wood, can be recycled. Setting up separate bins or areas for these recyclables ensures they don’t end up in landfills, promoting eco-friendly practices.

Some discarded items, like old appliances or fixtures, might still be in working condition. Think about donating to local charities or organizations. It does not just reduce waste, but also helps support community members in need.

Prepare for Daily Life Disruptions

Although renovations are really rewarding, it can disrupt your daily routine and make key areas of your home unusable. Expect these changes and prepare to reduce stress and make things easier.

For example, if your kitchen is being renovated, it might mean several days or weeks without a functional cooking space. In such cases, setting up a temporary kitchen can be a lifesaver. This could be as simple as a designated corner in your living room with essential appliances like a microwave, toaster, and a mini-fridge. Stock up on easy-to-prepare meals and disposable dishes, or even plan for regular takeout to ensure meal times remain hassle-free.

Renovations can mess with your routine. If you work or study from home, noise can make it hard to focus. Find quieter times or set up a temporary workspace in a less noisy area. If you can, change your work or study hours to when the contractors aren’t working.

For big renovations, consider moving out temporarily. It can be practical if large parts of your home are unusable. You could stay with relatives, book a short-term rental, or stay at a hotel. Though it adds cost, the comfort and peace of mind can be worth it.

home reno concept

Safety Preparations

Safety is important during a renovation since there can be many hazards. Take preventive steps to keep everyone safe and the process smooth.

Always have a first aid kit on hand. Minor injuries like cuts, bruises, or scrapes can happen despite best efforts. Having a well-stocked first aid kit lets you treat injuries right away, minimizing their severity.

Tools and hazardous materials can be dangerous, especially with kids or pets around. Always store them securely after use. Lock them in a storage room or use safety latches on cabinets. Keep sharp tools, paints, and chemicals out of reach to prevent accidents. Proper storage also keeps these materials in good condition.

When lots of people are working and things keep changing, make clear paths for moving around. Keep tools, materials, and mess out of walkways to prevent trips or falls. Set up specific spots for work and breaks to avoid confusion. If some areas are dangerous, put up temporary barriers or signs to keep others safe.

Renovating a home is a big job. While the goal is to improve your space, safety should come first. Being careful and proactive can make the process smooth and accident-free.

Stay Flexible and Adaptable

Renovation projects often don’t go as planned. Unexpected issues and material delays can happen. Staying flexible and adaptable helps handle these surprises without stressing out or messing up the project.

Even with careful planning, unexpected problems can come up during renovations. It might be old plumbing behind a wall or a delay in getting materials. Instead of seeing these as setbacks, see them as part of the renovation process. Being ready for surprises makes them easier to handle.

Flexibility means being okay with changes to the original plan. Maybe the paint color doesn’t look right, or the fixtures aren’t available. Being open to alternatives helps keep the project on track and still looking great.

Trust the expertise of your contractor. They have experience and have solved many problems before. Listening to their suggestions can help find the best solutions for your project. They offer valuable insights and alternatives when issues come up.

home contractor

FAQ Section

Do I Always Need a Permit for Renovations?

Not always, but many significant changes, especially those involving structural alterations or changes to the home’s footprint, often require permits. Always check with local regulations to be certain.

How Do I Manage Living in My Home During a Renovation?

A: It involves a mix of preparation and adaptability. Setting up temporary spaces, adjusting routines, and possibly considering short-term relocation for extensive renovations can help.

How Do I Ensure My Belongings Are Safe During the Renovation?

Clearing out the renovation area, covering items with dust sheets, and possibly using storage units can help protect your belongings.

What’s the Best Way to Stay Eco-Friendly During a Renovation?

Choose sustainable materials, separate waste for recycling, and consider energy-efficient upgrades. Discussing eco-friendly options with your contractor can also yield valuable suggestions.

Can I Continue Using My Home’s Utilities During the Renovation?

In most cases, there might be short periods when utilities must be turned off, especially if they’re being updated or relocated. Your contractor will usually notify you in advance.

References

Plan The Scope Of Home Renovation

HomeAdvisor’s Renovation Cost Estimator

NARI