Industry Expert: Prepare to Succeed
by Bryan Tuckey
Preparation is key to managing disruptions during renovation
Almost every renovation project will come with some disruption to the homeowner, but there are a number of things that you can do to minimize the disarray.
Some people don’t want to live in an active construction site and opt to vacate their homes and live elsewhere for part of, or the duration of their renovation. However, for most people, living elsewhere for several months is not financially viable, so they must find ways to live in a home under renovation.
Planning ahead and preparing your home, your stuff, your family and yourself, are important steps you can take to minimize the disruption.
As part of the overall planning of your renovation project, work with your renovator to devise a project plan that best accommodates you and your family, and always be sure to work with a professional RenoMark renovator.
BILD created the RenoMark program in 2001 to help homeowners differentiate professional renovators from underground contractors. RenoMark renovators abide by a Code of Conduct, which includes providing written contracts that carry at least $2 million in liability insurance and offer a minimum of two years warranty on all work. You can find a RenoMark professional at renomark.ca.
Talk to your renovator about your household’s daily schedule, any vacations that you have planned, or any special circumstances that need to be accommodated so that they can be factored into the work plan and schedule for your project. That way, particularly disruptive or messy parts of the project, such as refinishing hardwood floors, can be arranged for when you are away or can make alternate, short-term living arrangements. And busy on-site work times can be aligned with your family’s schedule so crews won’t be hammering away while you are trying to feed your kids breakfast.
Make sure you discuss which parts of your house will be impacted by your renovation project. Depending on factors like plumbing and wiring, your renovator and work crews may need access to more than just the immediate area being renovated.
Clean out the areas that will be impacted by the renovation and consider temporarily removing valuables such as art, from other parts of your home that could be impacted by vibration. Depending on the scale of your project, you might want to rent storage space nearby, or bring in a portable storage container. If you are storing things in boxes, be sure to label the boxes with an inventory. That way when you need something, you can find it.
Make a plan for how you will live in your home while it is under construction. Kitchen renovations can be especially challenging. Figure out where your temporary “kitchen” will be and what you need to make it work for your family.
Plan and stock up on meals that can be easily prepared in your temporary kitchen. Look at how you might be able to utilize your small appliances and your BBQ when you don’t have access to your oven. You will likely be without running water in your short-term kitchen, so make sure you consider how you will clean up after food preparation and wash dishes.
When you encounter trying moments, and you probably will at some point when you are living in a home under construction, just think about how great your remastered space will be or what it will be like to cook in your new kitchen.
|Bryan Tuckey is president and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association and a land-use planner who has worked for municipal, regional and provincial governments.|