When you’re planning your home remodeling project, don’t forget to put some thought into how construction is going to affect your daily life, the rest of your home, and your nearby neighbors. Thinking ahead can help minimize disruptions, protect your furniture and belongings from harm, and keep the peace in your neighborhood.
If you do decide to stay during the remodel, consider what daily tasks will be affected by the construction and make contingency plans for how you will handle them. For example, if you are remodeling your kitchen, you will need to set up a temporary kitchen elsewhere in your house, and you may want to budget for more frequent eating out. You will also want to discuss working hours with your contractor so you know exactly when workers will be on the premises, so you can anticipate when your family will have privacy—and when they won’t.
Construction inevitably generates a lot of dirt and dust. All of your belongings should be removed from the area to be remodeled, and the area itself should be isolated from the rest of your house with plastic sheeting to prevent dust from spreading. If your contractors will need to walk through your house to access the area to be remodeled, rather than being able to enter it directly from the outside, the path they take should be covered with runners to prevent carpets or wood floors from becoming dirty and worn. Discuss your contractor’s cleaning plans; daily cleanups will help keep the site and the rest of your house neat.
It is always good form to notify your nearest neighbors when you are planning remodeling work. Make sure your contractors adhere to local guidelines concerning what times of day and days of the week they can work; even the most understanding neighbor will quickly grow tired of hearing the sound of pneumatic nail guns at the crack of dawn. You may also want to give your neighbors an additional heads up before days you expect to be particularly noisy or disruptive—say, if the contractors will be breaking up a concrete slab in your back yard with jackhammers. Good communication with your neighbors can help keep everyone happy.
A remodel can be stressful, but putting thought into the big picture will help reduce that stress. Having a living situation you can cope with, the mess under control, and your neighbors happy will help you enjoy the process of improving your home as well as the finished product.