Whatever the project, you can assume up front that it's going to be messy and disruptive. A little pre-planning and organization on your part can save you time and inconvenience. Possibly money as well. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for your renovation:
Pack, Purge and Organize
A renovation is an excellent time to de-clutter. Focus on the areas where work will be taking place. Start by removing anything that isn't permanently attached and carefully pack up the items you will be keeping. Have a garage sale, post on Craigslist or donate items of value to a local charitable group. Recycle what you can and take everything else to the landfill. In some cases, your contractor will be arranging to have a disposal bin on site during the project. Speak with him or her about the possibility of placing unwanted items there for removal.
Ensure Ease of Access to the Work Site
The largest single expense in any renovation project is time. If your contractor has to navigate stacks of boxes, open and close gates, deal with pets or move tools at the end of each day, the work will cost more and take longer to complete. Make sure there is a secure area for tools and materials adjacent to (or at least close to) the job site. Send the dogs and cats to stay with family or friends. Clear all access to the project location each morning of any toys, furniture or other moveable items.
Keeping It Clean
Renovations produce dust. Although your contractor will take steps to protect floors and limit dust escaping from the work site, it is impossible to keep all of it from making its way into other areas of your home. To help limit the cleaning, keep doors to other rooms closed. Photo frames, window coverings, electronics and small appliances are dust magnets and should be either covered or put away.
Have a Back-Up Plan
Don't assume that it will be possible to have access to the fridge, sink, dishwasher, oven, shower or other important parts of the home while kitchen or bathroom renovations are underway. Speak with your contractor before you start if you think you will need access to the room being renovated. Often a temporary solution can be set-up to help limit the inconvenience.
No matter how curious you might be, speak with your Project Manager before entering any area of the home that is being worked on (or where equipment and materials are being stored.) Make sure children and guests are aware of the potential hazards. Even after the worker(s) have left for the day, potential hazards remain and the room or rooms under construction should be treated as "off limits".
For more suggestions on keeping your sanity and safety during a home renovation, click here.