The steps you take before a major renovation are one of the two factors determining whether your project will be a success or a total nightmare. (The other factor is what kind of contractor you hire.)
No renovation will be without surprises, but minimizing your discomfort is easy to do if you think ahead.
Maybe you’ve never remodeled before and you don’t know what to anticipate. Or maybe you just want to hand the whole thing off to a company with the skills to figure it out for you—it’s too exhausting to think of all the “pre-model” tasks there are to do.
Preparing for a major remodel can be simple if you follow these steps. Don’t worry about figuring it all out…this guide does that for you. Partnering with the best remodel company (and maybe even a decluttering professional) enables you to prepare your home for a smooth remodel, a satisfying unpacking process, and a home that functions like it should once you’re done.
Here are the 12 steps to prepare your home, your family, and your headspace for a remodel…
1: Clear the clutter
This step means more than cleaning up. Instead of wiping surfaces down and stacking things neatly in a closet, this stage includes asking yourself the question, “does this have a place in my new kitchen/bathroom/living space?”
If something doesn’t form part of your vision for your newly remodeled environment, it’s time to give it away, donate it or toss it.
Signature Home Services has partnered with Decluttered DFW because of their extensive work with clients like ours. They are a professional team that comes in to help declutter, pack smarter, store safer, and unpack while optimizing the use of your new space.
2: Take inventory
Once you’ve pared down what you no longer need from your closets, counters and shelves, take an inventory of what you have and what you’re packing away.
This means you’ll know where something is if you can’t remember in the middle of your remodel. It also gives you a sense of security knowing what you should still have (and where) once your renovation is done.
3: Separate what you know you’ll use
You’ll pack away most of what you pull out of the area you’re renovating.
There are, however, those essential items you’ll still need.
For example, if you’re remodeling your kitchen, maybe you have to set up a kitchenette in the garage to use until you have a working stovetop. With one hot pad and a microwave, you plan on making due with camp-side-style cooking until the six weeks of construction are complete.
If that’s the case, what is the one pot you’ll need to heat things? What pan will come in handy? How about your favorite utensil that you use twice as much as all the other ones, anyway? Set those essentials aside. Make sure they’re really essentials, too. Factor in how long the space you’re renovating will be out of commission.
4: Pack the rest away
The remaining piles of stuff will be all those things you don’t need during your renovation. If you have the space, pack those things securely into a spare room or your garage. Bear in mind that the renovation professional you work with will need space, too. Where will the cabinetry be stored when it arrives? Where will the new appliances be staged?
It’s common for homeowners to need outside storage when packing things for a remodel. Even if it’s not strictly necessary, securing your belongings behind a padlock away from all the noise and dust gives you peace of mind that might be worth it.
5: Roll up area rugs
Any area rugs you have are best rolled up, even if they’re rooms away from the area you’re renovating.
Professional remodel contractors put up dust control systems with powerful fans that move dust literally out the window. Sealed plastic doorways will be set up, too. There will always be some dust contamination, though. Area rugs are an invitation for dust to settle and cause discomfort or inconvenience later.
6: Update your security system
Having multiple carpenters and subcontractors working in your home is an opportunity to update your home security. A professional contractor runs background checks on its employees, and a company like Signature Home Services with almost 30 years of experience only works with vetted subcontractors who match our standard of integrity. Still, home security isn’t just about protecting your belongings.
For example, have you considered how workers will get in? If you don’t already have an electronic entry system, handing off a code to the production team is LOADS more practical than making copies of your keys.
You can also use a security update to better denote which areas of your home you prefer to seal off to anyone who enters.
7: Create a “safe space”
You’ll need a sanctuary in your home where you know that dust won’t enter and noise won’t touch you. This might be the room furthest from the room under construction. Or maybe it’s your bedroom but with extra sound insulation.
Children need a designated safe space, too. And so do pets!!
Think ahead about those moments when you’ll need a break, and ensure you have somewhere in your home to go.
8: List the places outside the home you’d like to spend more time at
Maybe you’ve been meaning to get a gym membership…or to get to your EXISTING gym more. Or maybe you’ve wanted to acquaint yourself with the local library.
Whatever activities outside the house you’ve had on your mind, this renovation is the perfect opportunity to make it happen. What better push out the door than the thought of escaping the noise and hustle and bustle of construction?
Make it your mission during this project to spend more time at all the places you’ve dreamed of visiting.
Maybe it’s even time for a vacation during construction…many Signature Home Services clients have gone on vacation while we take care of their projects. Then, they come back to a breathtaking new space. It’s truly a breathtaking experience!!
9: Befriend the production manager
A full-service renovation firm has a production manager to guide construction so you can sit back and just let it happen.
…Other contractors leave you in the middle of the work they do and the work you have to hire subcontractors for. Those contractors also leave you to manage the timetables of selections. Just imagine placing material and appliance orders yourself, being the contact for every delivery email, update, scheduling deliveries, etc…
Having an on-site production manager is a gamechanger for homeowners undergoing a major remodel.
That’s WHY this step exists. You want to have a conversation with your production manager to know what to expect. You also want to get to know your production manager because he or she is going to be around a lot. The production manager will be eager to get to know you, too. The more candid you are about your values and expectations, the better the production manager can make decisions when resolving the inevitable surprises that do come up.
10: Watch for updates from the production assistant
In the case of Signature Home Services, we also have a full-time production assistant standing right at the helm with our production manager. Our production assistant is the main point of contact for all regular project updates. From the production assistant, you can expect:
- Emails with updates as your selections are ordered and delivered
- Updates about the timeline for each stage of production
- Updates about work done on a daily and weekly basis
- And a lifeline for ANY question you have along the way
11: Get to know the carpenters
Picture it…demolition has started, and your renovation is underway.
As the carpenters come in and out of your home, don’t hesitate to get to know them!
You might be asked to wear personal protective equipment just like the carpenters if you visit them on the jobsite, but if you do have questions or just want to see how something works, the carpenters can explain anything you want to know.
They’re also extraordinarily nice people!
12: Watch the project unfold
Construction will move forward FAST after demolition is done. The Signature Home Services team doesn’t even start construction until key deliveries (like cabinets) have been made, so demolition moves quickly into walls, doors, and tile installation, then appliances, then final touches.
Which of these steps had you already imagined? Which of these steps seem the most intimidating? Each can be either overwhelming OR downright cathartic…depending on how you go about it.
Join the conversation with us on Facebook to tell us what you think!