There are many horror stories when it comes to home remodeling projects, and you might be nervous that living at home is dangerous or too stressful to handle. Here we’ll talk through whether you can live through your remodel and ways to make it easier on you, your family, and even your pets.
Can You Live in Your Home During a Remodel?
The short answer is yes. Often during a home remodel, it is safe for you and your family to continue living there while construction is happening. However, it’s a more complicated answer, and it depends on a few factors, including the project’s scope. Depending on which areas of the home are being remodeled, you may find it harder to live there. For example, suppose your kitchen is being renovated. In that case, you’ll experience disruptions in your routine, but you can make plans for a temporary kitchen setup or budget for more restaurants during the remodel. However, if your only bathroom is being renovated, this might make it impossible to live at home while the construction is going on. So let’s dive into how you can make it easier to live at home during a remodel and plan for when you can’t.
Planning, Planning, Planning
If you’re going on vacation, you don’t just pick a date and then get up to leave that day without any plan. The trip will be entirely unsuccessful! So instead, you plan the dates, where you’ll be going, who is going with you, and what you plan to do while there. Then you research the weather at that time, what you might need to pack, and which route you’ll take to get there. Without all those details in place, you could show up on the beach with a winter coat and a snowboard.
To avoid disrupting your life more than a remodel project already will, start planning for everything that will happen. For example, when is the project due to start and finish? Will you be living at home? If not, where are you staying? If you are, how will you cook dinner without a kitchen? Answering all these questions ahead of time will ensure you don’t feel overwhelmed with all the changes in your routine and help you prepare others in the home to deal with this temporary disruption.
Where Does Your Furniture Go?
You’ve decided to move forward with your remodel project, and you gaze at the space with a sense of relief that you’ll finally get the kitchen or bathroom of your dreams. Then it hits you; where is all this stuff going to go? The carpenters will need all your utensils, toaster, plates, pots, and pans out of the way so they can come and work their magic. There are a few places you can move these items. If you have room in your garage, you can pack up the room and stack boxes in the corner until the project is done. When doing this, we recommend creating a box of essentials that you’ll want to get to during the project. Set aside some plates and forks and maybe a pan or two so you can make basic meals. The larger furniture in the room, such as buffet cabinets or dining room tables, can be stored in pods or short-term storage units. This, of course, isn’t a free service, so you’ll want to add that to your budget.
Where ever you decide to store your belongings, it’s best to figure out these questions ahead of time. As we say and will keep saying, plan, plan, plan.
How Will the Air Quality Affect You?
We all know it can get pretty dusty while remodeling your home. Even with the best dust walls and cleaning up at the end of the day, you’re bound to notice more dust in your home than usual. This might bring up the concern of air quality. Should you avoid living at home during a remodel to get away from the dust and possibly harmful debris that could be floating around? This depends on the project, the age of the home, the contractor’s experience with containing dust, and your own personal preference. If dust bothers you and your lungs, it might be best to avoid the area altogether. If you’re worried about pets and kids in the home, you can bring this up to your contractor and ask them what measures they take to protect the rest of your home from the dust that’s bound to happen. You can also invest in more air filters and change them more often during the remodel. This will ensure the air circulated through the home is as clean as it can be and will improve the health of your system by not putting too much strain on it with dust-filled filters.
Keeping Kids and Pets Safe
Speaking of kids and pets, these curious creatures can sometimes get themselves into trouble. Construction sites are dangerous no matter how clean, organized, or proactive the crew is. There are often exposed wires, drywall dust, or insulation that neither kids nor pets should be around. To protect them during this time, we suggest making plans for extra time outside, more walks for the dog, a room set up for the cat, and maybe more sleepovers with grandma for the kids. Be sure to communicate with your contractor about the presence of kids and pets, and they should also have ways to help make the process easier. We have a whole blog dedicated to keeping pets safe during a home remodel, and you can read that here. But as we say, plan ahead and maybe invest in some new toys or treats or games for the kids and pets to enjoy to keep them out of the space and occupied with something else.
How Do You Make Decisions?
Once construction starts, it doesn’t matter how much planning you’ve done; you’re bound to feel a bit more on edge than usual. Your routine is messed up, and there are people in your home, so the last thing you want to do is continuously make last-minute decisions. By the time the first hammer falls, every detail of your home remodeling project should already be made, set in stone, and ready to go. This means the work can go on without continuously bothering you with decisions that you’re feeling too stressed to make. To avoid these last-minute irritations, we suggest choosing a contractor who practices a Design-Build method. This means designers will walk you through each step, every cabinet knob, and tile piece already chosen, ordered, and ready to go. Design-Build methods promote more accurate finish dates, estimates, and peace of mind when your home is being torn apart and put back together.
Planning is often the solution to many of life’s significant events. There are entire industries based on wedding planning, birth plans, and even adopting a pet. The same is true for remodeling. Plan ahead, communicate with your contractor and set yourself up for success with a Design-Build firm like McDermott Remodeling.
Brittany received her interior design degree in 2010 and recently earned her kitchen and bathroom certifications. She sees her job as much more than just picking out pretty colors and materials – it also involves exact measurements, plenty of planning, and determining how to have a space accurately reflect the lifestyle of its occupants.