May is National Home Improvement Month! If you’re planning projects for the next few months, here are a few tips to help you prepare your home and family:
Start researching early so you can make as many decisions as possible before target areas are gutted.
- Get referrals.
Find qualified and licensed contractors, interior designers, and other professionals by contacting friends and family who can give you recommendations. Be sure to ask for references, and allow time to view past work to gauge quality and experience.
- Allow time for permits.
Keep track of whether your contractor has applied for and received permits that are needed for the work to begin. There may be other permits needed later, but it’ll save time to pull the permits needed by the time work is scheduled to begin.
- Arrange for materials early.
Order supplies as soon as possible to ensure that you get the style and finishes you want without delay. Inspect everything as it arrives so that you can make exchanges of damaged items as early as possible during your renovation.
- Create stand-in spaces.
If you’re living in your home while the work is happening, plan to set up temporary spaces to stand in for the space you’re remodeling. Be sure they’re located out of the way of contractors. For instance, if you have a bar sink in the family room, add a mini fridge and top with a small microwave so the area can serve as your kitchen for quick meals.
- Prevent dirt, dust, and damage.
Cover furniture and other surfaces with sheets or drop cloths to protect from construction dust. This will save you time and perhaps even cleaning fees after the work is done. Also, remove fragile items from walls and shelves to protect from damage.
- De-stress your pets.
Renovations can be hard on your pets. Have a friend look after your furry family member or kennel your pet during all or part of the renovations. If this is not possible, create an area with all your pet’s favorite toys, food, and water for them to hang out in. Be sure to let contractors know which area is off limits, and caution them to not open the door. (Post a sign.)
- Keep kids busy.
Although summer is a great time to do remodels, if you have young children who are around the house more during the summer, it might be worth considering postponing your renovations until they are back in school. Otherwise, schedule activities to keep children from being underfoot during what is likely to be a dangerous time around the house.
- Stay positive.
Most importantly, keep your eyes on the finish line no matter how stressful things may become. Once the work is done, you’ll get to enjoy your newly renovated space.
To find additional tips for getting ready for a home remodel, visit www.nari.org.