Life in the Construction Zone: 5 Ways to Survive Your St. Louis Home Renovation

Written by Ron Mifflin

living through a renovation st. louisIn all the excitement of designs, layouts, and shopping for materials, many homeowners don’t stop to think about what it’ll be like living through a renovation. Even under the best of conditions, there’s no debate that your family’s life will be disrupted while the work is going on. To see your ideas for a new space come to life is always worth the time and effort it takes to happen, but you might lose sight of that as saws buzz and dust flies.

We’ve come up with some tips and strategies we think will help you live through your renovation in as stress-free a manner as possible.

Tips for Living Through a Renovation

Planning ahead, getting organized, and setting expectations will all help you minimize any inconveniences of a remodel – and save your sanity at the same time!

1. Accept That Day-to-Day Life Will Be Uprooted

Your construction team may not be at your home 24/7, but any remodeling job is an around the clock experience. There’s the noise of hammers, saws, and extra people by day, and roped-off rooms and sawdust by night. If you’re doing a bathroom or kitchen remodel, you may find yourself banned from the room for days or weeks. If you’re remodeling the master bathroom, you may discover you’ll have to find another place to sleep. Stay flexible, and keep the end goal in mind.

2. Get Out if You Can (or Must)

For a complete home renovation, there’s usually no choice but to live somewhere else while the work is being done. For smaller remodels, though, you usually have a choice. If you decide to stay at home, talk with your team about how they’ll seal off areas to make them dust-proof, keep mud and dirt from being tracked in, and protect your flooring and walls. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed at any point, consider taking a short break and renting a room or staying with friends or family for a couple days.

living through a renovation st. louis

3. Protect Against Dust and Damage

At J.T. McDermott, we prep your site before construction begins to protect it as best we can and know how. We consider ourselves guests in your home and strive to make it a seamless, comfortable experience. There are things you can do, as well. If you’re concerned about dust in curtains, for example, it might be best to take them down during construction. If there are valuables you’re worried will get damaged, start packing them up in advance (see below). In the end, you are the best judge of what is most important to you in your home and doing your own bit of damage control goes a long way in making you feel confident throughout this phase.

When Should I Get My Things Cleared Out?

No matter which room or rooms you’re remodeling, construction will have an effect on every room in your home – dust will magically find its way throughout, even with the best protection in place. To avoid damaged, you’ll want to take down pictures, move breakables, and pack away valuable belongings before the work begins. At J.T. McDermott, we utilize 360-degree HEPA air scrubbers to help protect you and your family from remodeling dust.

4. Organize and Clean Out Closets and Cabinets

It may sound like a lot of work, but it’s actually easier to clean everything out of cabinets and closets than deciding to take out “just what you need,” because you will inevitably need something else, and won’t be able to access it! As you remove items, set aside those you will need to use regularly during the remodel and put them in easy-to-access, clear storage boxes. Lightweight bins, chests of drawers with wheels, and rolling clothing racks are great solutions.

living through a renovation st. louis

This is also the perfect time to do some spring cleaning, no matter what time of the year it is. As you find things you no longer need or use, box them up to donate or hold a yard sale. Seasonal items can be stored in the basement or attic.

Finally, ask yourself which items you treasure so much that you’re willing to pay for it to be stored somewhere else during construction. Renting a storage unit or on-site pod is the only way to make sure your most important valuables are out of harm’s way.

5. Set Up a Temporary Kitchen

Losing the hub of the house for weeks or months is probably the greatest inconvenience of a kitchen remodel. The key to survival is in finding another place where you can prepare and eat meals. It should be readily available the family but out of the way of ongoing construction.

At a minimum, you’ll want your refrigerator, a microwave and/or toaster oven, and some pots, pan, dishes, glasses, and utensils. Think light meals – lots of healthy salads – to save yourself from additional stress. If you’re going through a major kitchen renovation, your local take-out businesses and nearby restaurants may become your favorite getaways. Try to think of it as an adventure!

Learn More

At J.T. McDermott, we make sure you have a customized schedule before the work begins so you can best prepare for the construction phase. Your Lead Craftsman and production team will also work with you to make the necessary preparations. To learn more, schedule a conversation with us today. We look forward to meeting you!

Ron is the resident numbers cruncher, helping clients meet their budget and get the remodel they’ve dreamed of. He considers himself the “man behind the curtain” who’s always looking out for the best interests of the client.

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