Tips on Living at Home During a Renovation

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A home renovation can be an exciting time for a family, but it can be a bit of a hassle without a clear plan to manage possessions and people during the process. Here are some ways for a family to survive a renovation if they decide to buck through and live in the home during the building phase.

1. Manage pets

Pets who aren’t crazy about strangers aren't as dangerous as friendly, inquisitive pets when it comes to having workers in your home. It's true that it’s hard to resist a friendly animal, but they can become a hazard when workers are lifting and carrying materials, using power tools, etc.  So, plan a way to contain your pets for their safety and that of the work crew.

2. Plan for dirt

A renovation is dirty business! Plan for dirt on everything to be on the safe side. Some people advocate to pack up as though you’re planning to move. While this may seem extreme, remember how eagerly dust settles into nooks and crannies and plan accordingly. Tarps are handy to cover items when they aren't in use. Some people like to rent a storage unit and keep their most valuable, dust-sensitive materials entirely away from the renovation area until it’s complete. Box up everything possible and get it out of the way, especially if the home improvement involves a kitchen or bathroom, and use an air filter, air purifiers, etc. as needed to pull residual dust out of the air.

3. Have alternate entry and exits for the family 

Staying out of the way will make a renovation go more smoothly and be safer for the family — plan for alternative entry and exit points from home to stay away from the renovation site. Most families who own an attached garage normally use it as the main entry and exit from the house. Garage door repair companies report that families who don’t use their garage as an entry point are more likely to have garage door repairs performed just before a home remodeling so they can make use of the garage, either as a point of entry, for storage, or as part of an alternative room arrangement strategy. 

Another room arrangement strategy is setting up a temporary alternative room. When remodeling the only bathroom in the home, some families will set up a camping potty in the garage for kids or emergencies. A large plastic bin can be a makeshift bath. (A siphon hose is a much easier way to empty the bin than tipping or bucketing.)  A small kitchen area can be created in the garage during a kitchen remodel, with essentials such as paper plates, a toaster oven, or even a mini fridge or microwave oven.

Being able to keep a sense of humor and perspective will help a family get through a renovation. After all, it’s only temporary. Human beings have a strong streak of courage and more determination than they know when it comes to pressing through inconveniences so they will end up with the house of their dreams. 

In addition, the renovation process can be much smoother if you hire a professional renovation contractor.

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