The remodeling process is very exciting, but it can also be stressful. Multiple moving parts and unexpected issues can create upheaval in your day-to-day life while waiting for your brand-new space to be finished. That’s why careful, extensive preparation can do wonders to help your remodeling project run as smoothly as possible – even if you get thrown a curveball.
This handy list of 10 things to do before your Ridgewood remodeling process begins will give you peace of mind that you’re ready for anything.
- Pack up and protect. Perhaps the biggest remodeling headache is the mess demolishing and rebuilding an entire living space can make in your home. Be proactive by packing up any nonessentials near the remodeling area and protecting anything large from dust and debris by covering it with plastic. Keeping the area near the remodel as clean and clutter-free as possible will also make it a safe place for your construction team to work. If you’re able to, consider renting an on-site storage unit for large remodeling projects.
- Set up a portable living area. While most of your belongings are packed up, you’ll want to be able to access your essentials without rifling through boxes. Make the transition easier on yourself and your family by purchasing rolling carts. In the case of a kitchen remodel, you might fare well using carts stacked with basket shelves, where place settings, shelf-stable essentials and even a single-serve coffee maker can be rolled from room to room. If your bathroom is being remodeled, consider a rolling set of plastic drawers for towels, toiletries and styling tools.
- Make arrangements for pets. With workers in and out of your home all day for potentially weeks straight – and at least one whole room demolished – having pets around can only make your home more hectic. Remodeling projects create opportunities for speedy pets to escape, and the chaos can make any animal feel anxious. Make boarding or pet-sitting arrangements for the time your home will be renovated to keep pets from being underfoot. Having alternative caregivers for your furry family members will eliminate a stressor for both you and them.
- Beef up home security. No matter how well you vet and trust your contractor and construction team, remodeling still means that your home will be open for a significant portion of the day. Consider taking the time to upgrade and/or double-check your home security system to ensure that both your belongings and your contractor’s tools are under surveillance. Besides keeping your home as safe as possible, being able to offer your contractor that extra layer of protection will help solidify your professional relationship.
- Set aside your day-to-day essentials. You’ve already put your remodel-specific essentials on a cart; now it’s time to put those other belongings you can’t live without in a secure, easily accessible location. Find one place in your home far away from the remodeling project and make it a “central station” for keys, mail, phone chargers and anything you’ll need to find daily in a pinch. Establish the place well in advance of your project so you and your family are accustomed to using this new hub.
- Make arrangements to keep your children safe. If you have kids, you know that even the most well-behaved children can accidentally put themselves in danger. Remodeling projects are full of unintentional hazards, like power tools, chemicals, exposed wires and even stray nails and staples. Significantly reduce the risk that your child (or one of their friends) will run into danger by gating off all access to work areas and alerting every member of the construction team that children live in the home. If your children are old enough, talk to them about safety well in advance of the project kickoff and remind them again as construction begins. In the frenzy of an upcoming remodel, it can be easy to forget to establish safety precautions, but a few easy steps will go a long way to giving you peace of mind.
- Give yourself privacy. Having strangers in your home can feel invasive, no matter how respectful they are. Give yourself some privacy from workers moving around your home by setting up partitions to create spaces where you can freely live your life without prying eyes. Set up a schedule on a white board or sync everyone’s device calendars with the times workers are expected to show up and leave each day. This way all family members can be dressed and done with any daily rituals they’d prefer to conduct in private before workers arrive. If you feel your family will be too rushed in the mornings trying to get ready, consider asking your contractor well in advance of the project if they can push back daily start times by 15-30 minutes. Taking the time to think through giving your family enough privacy will significantly reduce embarrassment and stress when it’s time to begin.
- Rally friends and family. Keep close friends and family aware of your upcoming remodeling project and let them know that you may need to press them into service. Making sure loved ones are aware of your temporary upheaval will give you a shoulder to lean on, whether it’s for babysitting, pet-sitting, using their shower or kitchen, having a place to get work done after school, having an emergency home to stay over for a few nights or simply someone to vent to. This will make both planned and unexpected issues less stressful and much easier to handle.
- Keep an eye on the outdoors. Most remodeling projects involve a significant amount of outdoor work, either on the home itself or because tools and vehicles will be put in the driveway or yard during construction. Keep neighbors and other visitors safe by gating off work areas and asking your construction team to keep all tools within the designated space. To reduce debris and make the process easier and safer for everyone, including your team, rent a dumpster or pod ahead of time and establish a clear path from the door to the receptacle.
- Don’t be afraid to get away! Remodeling projects can be expensive, but making room in your budget to spend a few nights away will keep you refreshed and reduce your stress. Whether you take a vacation to a far-flung location or simply escape to a hotel across town, being away from the work site will give you a chance to relax and recharge while your home is in capable hands.
No matter what, be patient, remember to breathe and take time to consider your family’s needs. If you do that, and you follow this checklist, your construction process will be less invasive and chaotic and you’ll be enjoying your new remodel in no time!