Home renovations can be stressful – whether you decide to stay in your home during the process or not. It’s important to protect your home as it is essential in preventing damage to your house’s interior and exterior.
Safety measures must be taken to ensure that your residence, family, and workers are adequately protected from chemicals and elements used during construction. Keeping everything and everyone safe is always our top priority for our clients, so below we’ve compiled some information about the best ways to protect your home, how to prepare before your project starts, and some of the most common risks associated with renovating.
Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, and San Diego Counties with reliable contractors, we speak to homeowners every day about tips for how to protect your home and family during a home renovation – here are some ideas & tips to get you started.
4 Ways To Protect Your Home During a Renovation Project
1. Contact Your Insurance
You should always contact your insurance company before renovations to notify them of the type of construction you are performing on your home. Certain repairs can be covered under your policy, but renovation insurance doesn’t exist. Ensure that you choose a contractor that is properly insured – both with general liability insurance, as well as workers compensation insurance.
Renovations can pose many risks to workers, so you want to ensure you aren’t held responsible for injuries or accidents. Some insurance companies limit coverage during construction and renovation, so discuss this with your provider. Talk about your protection against fires, accidents, and fallen trees to know what is covered under your policy.
2. Make Renovation Preparations
Make some checklists to ensure you know how to prepare for construction during renovations and clean up afterward. Knowing what you will be responsible for and what the construction crew will take care of is helpful. You’ll want to be sure the workers pick up nails and screws when done for the day, and you might want to wipe down surfaces in the bathroom and kitchen.
Having these lists will keep you on track and also help with delegating to the workers in your home. Set boundaries so you can still live your lives during the construction phases. You want to ensure everything is done efficiently. However, if you are living in the house during the renovation, it is best to set a schedule with your contractor to mitigate inconveniences as much as possible.
Talk to your neighbors, warn them about the noise levels they may experience, and be transparent and forthcoming about the time estimates and schedule you discussed with the construction team.
3. Ensure Pre-Construction Protection
Staying in your home during the renovation process can offer many advantages, such as saving money and being able to answer questions posed by workers quickly. However, it also has many drawbacks. You want to be prepared for the obstacles you will most likely encounter – below are some of the most common ways to prepare:
- Expect Hiccups
As a rule of thumb, it’s always good to expect at least one thing to take much longer. Many factors go into construction and hiccups are relatively common. Mold in the walls or electrical issues are examples of things that could delay work. Clear expectations make you less likely to get frustrated or discouraged during the renovation process.
- Protect Floors and Corners
Dust is going to get everywhere during the construction phase of your renovation. Prepare the best you can by closing doors and windows, laying heavy plastic sheeting on the floors, and taping them down.
Workers will be moving around and likely tracking in mud, and you want to ensure your floors are protected against the elements they will be exposed to. Use paint tape for maximum protection. Use cardboard or similar material to cover the corners of all your walls to prevent scuffs and potential damage from tools.
- Cover Windows and Air Ducts
Another step for safe renovation preparation is to cover your windows, doors, and air ducts to prevent dust from entering your ventilation system. Tape plastic sheeting over them to close them off from contaminated areas. Make sure not to tape the bottom or sides of doors to allow entrance to workspaces. If possible, turn off your heating and cooling systems to prevent contamination.
- Plan Exterior Protection
It can be challenging to prevent dust from spreading outdoors. You can take steps to minimize the spread, though. Hang heavy plastic sheeting or use mobile scaffolding to enclose work areas as much as possible.
Cover scaffolding with plastic to limit spreading debris near sidewalks and property lines. Cover the ground and plants with plastic sheeting that extends a minimum of 10 feet from the house for protection from debris. Avoid working in severe weather, such as high winds that can spread particles and debris in your work area.
4. Understand the Risks
You must understand the risks involved in going into the renovation process. That way, you can take the necessary precautions to avoid and mitigate them. The domino effect occurs when construction projects slip. Contractors have employees and subcontractors that suffer when projects fail, and the client is also affected.
Going over budget brings severe financial consequences. Ensuring that your spending plan is correct before the process begins is essential to avoid this type of risk. However, it can sometimes be unavoidable when things come up unexpectedly during construction.
Many factors can cause projects to fall behind schedule. Weather can delay or cause damage that is well beyond everyone’s control. Staying off-site can also delay the process because workers only have access to workspaces at certain time intervals. When the home is vacant, it is more acceptable to put in long hours to make up for the missed time.
A well-defined project scope is needed for contractors to complete projects successfully. Poor worker performance can delay time estimates and result in late completion. Ensure you have reasonable expectations and do your best not to cut costs or change plans during renovations.
Paying your contractor on time is vital so that they can pay their workers in a timely fashion as well. This will ensure everyone is on the same page and sticks to the agreed plan for a successfully completed project.
Have a Successful Renovation
Ensure the renovation meets your expectations after construction ends and that no damage is done to your home. The company wants you to be happy with the results.
The construction crew should have taken the proper steps to clean up their mess. Do a thorough walk-through of your home to ensure the workers did so before you give them their final payment. Then you can thoroughly enjoy your upgraded space.
When it comes to home renovations, you shouldn’t have to go it alone – GreatBuildz can help simplify your renovation experience.
GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura or San Diego with reliable, thoroughly screened general contractors and provides project support from start to finish. Call now (818.317.3567) to chat with a real person about your next remodel project or visit our website for more information: www.greatbuildz.com
Rose Morrison is a home & construction writer from Pittsburgh, PA. She’s the managing editor of Renovated, a web magazine for the real estate industry. She’s most interested in sharing home projects and inspiration for the most novice of DIY-ers, values she developed growing up in a family of contractors.