It would be great if we could pick up and move out of our homes when undergoing a major renovation project, such as a kitchen remodel, but for many of us that is not a practical option. Your average kitchen renovation takes almost five months, and besides the obvious cost factor, most of us have jobs, kids, and pets that would make a long-term temporary relocation inconvenient at best.
So, how can you learn to co-exist with contractors and workers during a weeks-long renovation process? Communication of course, plus a few basic ground rules.
Pets & Kids
Safety is critical here, so make sure kids understand that playing with tools or construction materials is a no-no. Talk to your contractor about having workers put tools away where curious hands can’t reach them. That said, no construction zone can really be made “kid-friendly” so putting up “do not enter” and “do not touch” signs the kids can understand is also helpful.
Leaving pets to wander into areas where workers are isn’t a great idea, either. Segregate animals somehow—shut them in another room, or secure them in a kennel—or, if that is not possible, look into day care, pet sitting, or boarding options in your neighborhood.
Rules & Regulations
Let’s talk about etiquette for a minute. Rather than wait until week three of the renovation to be upset about workers smoking cigarettes too close to the house, try to anticipate problems and lay down some ground rules early on. A few things to consider:
Ask your contractor about his or her practices and procedures for renovation and site cleanup. Do they use a checklist for renovations? What are their rules for workers while renovating a home? Discuss your concerns early, set out rules and expectations, and keep the lines of communication open so that everyone’s working and living environment stays healthy and happy.