It’s no secret that construction work is disruptive. There will be noise, dust, workers trudging through your home, and it can render entire spaces unlivable as your lifestyle is forced to adjust.
Remodeling may be disruptive, but it will be worth it in the end. Luckily, a bit of planning, creativity, and flexibility go a long way to help transform an inconvenient situation into one that’s manageable and even memorable.
Partner with your contractor to create a schedule
Talk with your contractor to determine the start, middle, and end dates for your project. Remodeling is complicated with many moving parts, so a detailed yet flexible timeline will help you to set expectations and transparency across the board. You can use this to check in with your contractor weekly to make sure the project is on track and know what’s coming up. This will enable you to plan your own week and adjust to changes with minimal inconvenience.
Designate construction-free zones
Once your schedule is in place, make sure the areas under renovation are clearly identified and sealed off as best as possible. Temporary barriers will help keep you and your family away from the dust, noise, and dangers of an active worksite.
To preserve your sanity have your contractor set up at least one sealed-off, construction-free zone and make it your sanctuary to escape the chaos. Make an effort to keep this area clean and tidy. Remodels are messy and if you aren’t mindful, they can spill into other areas of your home.
Having workers swarming your home feels very invasive. Set ground rules on crew access so you know when the house is your own and when the workers take over. This will help you to still enjoy your home during the project.
Pack up what you don’t need
Start by packing away things you can live without for the length of the renovation. Maybe it’s furniture, kitchen supplies or decor. Don’t forget to remove anything else that will get in the way or could get damaged during the renovation.
To minimize health-related problems, pack up clothing and bedding that you won’t be using in space-saving, vacuum-sealed bags to keep them clean and dust-free.
Then, take the leftover essentials to separate rooms where they can be put to good use during the renovation. Make sure things you’ll need most frequently are easily found.
Repurpose non-renovated living areas
While certain areas of your home are under construction, you may have to find alternate solutions in other spaces, including new eating or resting areas.
While your kitchen is under construction, convert the dining room into a prep, storage, and eating space. In lieu of full-size appliances, switch to an electric skillet, mini-fridge, and bathroom sink. Keep only what you need and stay functional. Most importantly, use this experience as an excuse to discover new local restaurants.
Bathroom renovations result in their own complexities. If possible, renovate only one bathroom at a time to keep at least another one available. If necessary, create a schedule where everyone is given specific times to shower.
If the bedrooms are being renovated, move beds to quieter and cleaner places better suited for a good night’s sleep. If you have kids, make it a fun experience and throw slumber parties in the family room.
Make the most of your outdoor space
Depending on how much land you have and what the weather will be like, incorporate habitable spaces outside before the renovation starts. Free of dust and noise, you and your family can enjoy eating, resting, and playing outside. A playground for the kids, a pizza oven, or a projector for movie nights all help make an otherwise stressful and inconvenient renovation palatable and even fun.
Stick to your daily routine
Keep up on your daily routines. It’s easy to eat out every meal, skip the gym or stay up late when your life feels so out of sorts, but sticking with as much of the normals as possible will cut down on a lot of stress.
Children rely on familiarity and structure. This might mean eating breakfast at the same time every day, even if it happens in the living room.
While most contractors genuinely work to keep your home clean, safe, and comfortable during a remodel, there will be dust and there will be a lot of it.
Dust particles are tiny, they sneak in and settle onto everything, including your countertops, your dog’s bed, and even your lungs. Remodeling dust can be made of not-so-nice things such as chemicals found in paint, fiberglass insulation, or cement.
Have a conversation with your contractor about their containment and cleaning procedures. Contractors can take certain steps to reduce the spread of dust and toxins. Likely, the renovation is sectioned off with tape and thick plastic. Water misters can also be used in the renovation area, as damp air limits the dust from traveling around.
But no matter how many protective products are used, dust will be in the air.
To help combat this, insist that your crew conduct daily cleanups and turn off air conditioning and heating systems during the day to keep air from circulating through the house. This won’t completely eliminate dust but will make it manageable.
Stay focused on the end result
We all handle stress differently, but the fact is that having a bunch of people tear your house apart is stressful no matter what.
Staying focused on your future home will help you overcome the challenges you’ll face. Though your home may be turned upside down, remember that after these months of stress and feeling unsettled, the finished product will be worth it.
Another way to handle the disruption is by accepting the inevitable and making the most of it. Rather than fighting against the mess, find fun things to do. If nothing else, renovations force quality time with your family and create endless excuses for just enjoying yourself.
And finally, while there’s a lot of upheavals, remind yourself that this is all temporary. Accept that you will feel some stress and emotions and allow yourself enough grace to know that it’s bringing you that much closer to your new space.
Partner with a trusted contractor
Living through a home renovation demands an empathetic contractor. Ensure that your contractor listens to your needs and anticipates your expectations. Having a good relationship with the people you’ve hired to renovate your home is essential to project success.
A qualified contractor will be able to describe protocols they have in place for containing and cleaning their work area, keeping their employees and your family safe, and ensuring minimal disruption to your home.
BWBE is a local, Twin Cities-based remodeling company dedicated to providing beautiful craftsmanship and professionalism to every project. With over 20 years of experience, we provide a full range of services from bathroom and kitchen remodels to full home renovations, additions, and new construction.