How to Prepare Your House for Remodeling

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You’ve spent pretty much an eternity building up that dream home in your mind, you’ve got contractors lined up, and you’d like nothing better than to have your dream home just appear already. Time works a little differently outside our head though, unfortunately; that means we have to prepare ourselves to put in a lot of patience. Unless you have a magic wand, of course, in which case you don’t even need to read this. For those of us who don’t have a magic wand though, there are steps we need to take before contractors can start work on remodeling the house.

The simplest way to break down the remodeling preparation process is to group all the steps into three separate sections:

 

Scheduling

Some renovation projects are best done in certain seasons so try to schedule them during those times. For example, winter is usually for inside renovation projects only while outside renovation projects can be scheduled in spring, summer, or fall. There are some outside projects that should be done in a specific season though:

–    Window replacement and door replacement should be done in spring to fix any problems that came out of the winter cold

–   Deck-building, siding, and roofing work should be done in summer to minimise the risk of wet weather damaging your house

–   Chimney repairs and any projects to winterise your home should be done in fall so that your house is ready to withstand the coming winter.

Next, adjust your personal schedule to make sure you’ll be in town during the renovation. This just means not going away on vacation so that contractors can check in with you in person throughout the renovation process; it doesn’t mean you need to take time off work though as contractors will accommodate your work schedule.

 

People

Let your contractor know what communication method is the best way to reach you (i.e. phone, text, e-mail, etc.). Provide your contractor with secondary communication options as well just in case the first one doesn’t work. This way, both you and your contractor will have peace of mind knowing that you have open, reliable communication channels with each other. Next, confirm that the contractor will take care of the permit process for the renovation. Let’s be honest: the contractor has done this way more often than you so just trust your contractor to know all the ins and outs to streamline the process. Also, let the contractor know whether or not you’re okay with the renovation crew using your bathroom. Contractors usually bring a portable toilet for big renovation projects, but it may not be the case for smaller ones. If you have a spare bathroom, feel free to offer that up. At the end of the day, it’s really up to your comfort level to make that decision, but it does make it much more convenient for the contractor if you allow the crew to use your bathroom. Finally, tell the contractor which areas in the house are off-limits and that you’ll also tape the areas off with signs to identify them.

Notify your home insurance company about the renovation and ask them if they have any suggestions on what else you need to take care of before and after the renovation. Their suggestions are given often because they’ll affect your insurance policy so do your best to follow them.

The next people you need to communicate with is your family. Discuss with them how the renovation will change the routines for everyone in the house and come up with creative ways to work around disruptions. This is also a good time to highlight safety measures and precautions to take during the renovation period – especially if you have children in the house. Sitting down with your family to have these discussions is important because it reassures them that you’re all in this together, coming up with solutions to only temporary disturbances to home life; it’s what will keep the family sane and focussed on getting one step closer to the dream home, instead of letting the stress of renovation get the better of everyone.

Lastly, give a courtesy heads-up to neighbours on both sides of your house that you’re doing some renovation work on your house and ask them to please bear with you for the next few weeks. This step is optional and it really depends on your relationship with your neighbours. You’re definitely not obligated to notify them of renovation work, but it is a nice, friendly gesture that they’ll appreciate.

 

Possessions

Wrap all your antiques and fragile items with padded materials like bubble wrap or blankets. Store them somewhere safe away from the renovation site, maybe in an unused spare room that won’t have any renovation work done in there. Lock up all your valuables and jewelry in a home safe or, even better, a safe deposit box. Move all your furniture out of the renovation site and into that unused spare room; if some furniture pieces can’t be moved, cover them completely with plastic sheets, tarps, or cloths to prevent construction dust from getting all over them. Take away any remaining loose items still left on the site.

Clean up the site before the contractors arrive. If you’re doing your own demolition, finish that before doing the clean-up in advance of the contractors arriving. Last but not least, run tape across the entrances of all the areas in the house that you’ve identified as off-limits and stick “Off-Limits” signs to the tapes.

That’s it – you’re now prepared for the remodeling work to begin on your house!

What are some other steps you like to take to prepare your house for remodeling? Share the steps you took and tell us why it was important for you on that project!

Are Kitchen Renovations Worth It?

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Think about all the parties you’ve ever been to or hosted where you felt it was the best party ever at the time. Besides the friends you love, what’s the one common factor that made each of them great? If you’re like me, that would be the good food and drinks.

I like to hang out around the source of food and drinks whenever I’m at a party and if it’s inside a house, that would mean spending much of my time in the kitchen. Call me a glutton, but there’s actually a method to my munchiness: the kitchen is the place where I’ll get the most chance to chat with everyone because all the hungry people will gravitate there and even the non-hungry people will follow eventually. It’s not only at parties where the kitchen gets the most foot traffic – the same goes for our everyday lives. Cooking and eating is still a big part of our daily routine; it just makes sense to do all that in a nice, comfortable kitchen.

Having a renovated kitchen customised to your lifestyle means that you get to enjoy these benefits:

 

Fresh, “new house” feeling

This is usually the main reason many people dive into kitchen renovations. With the kitchen being the most popular area in the house, who wouldn’t want to show it off to friends and family in the best light possible? That could mean replacing old appliances, refacing cabinets with new hardware, changing the paint colour scheme, getting a general contractor to do a full service remodeling, or a combination of all these. Whatever changes you make, you will definitely notice their effect from your friends’ gushing and most importantly, from that warm fuzzy feeling you get inside yourself that you haven’t felt since you first bought the house; recapturing that “new house” feeling is priceless.

 

Inspires healthier, cost-effective eating habits

It’s a well-known phenomenon these days that we are spending less and less time in the kitchen preparing meals. When we do cook in the kitchen, it often means warming up processed food so that we can quickly eat and get on with our busy lives. The beauty of a renovated kitchen is that the new changes make you want to linger in there longer. You’ll want to make use of its every reimagined square inch and in the kitchen, that means getting re-inspired to cook again. Whether it’s making a simple pasta dish or preparing a gourmet three-course meal, you’ll save a lot of money and headaches about health issues in the long run by cooking more often at home. All it takes is a little time and planning, which you’ll find creative ways to fit in once you’ve got the spark to liven up the kitchen again.

 

Increased home value

You’re not the only one who wants an updated kitchen – it’s usually a top priority for many buyers as well. This is why renovating the kitchen is often a sure-fire way to attract buyers who’ll pay a higher value for your house. If you are renovating your kitchen before selling your house though, make sure to find out from experts (i.e. real estate agents, general contractors, etc.) what the current kitchen renovation trends are in your neighbourhood and don’t go overboard from there. You want the most bang for your buck so you don’t want to spend tens of thousands of dollars only to bump up your home value by a few thousand. It’s best to focus on the must-have features first and not spend too much on high-end stuff that are not on top of people’s wish list in your area.

These are all crucial benefits that offer a return on your money and time; for that, I’d say kitchen renovations are definitely worth it. Of course, you can argue that the costs and time it takes to put up with the renovations are a big factor to consider. But like any investment, you have to put in a little to get returns and if you have a limited budget for home improvement, then the smart move would be to reap several dividend-paying benefits at the same time by renovating the kitchen first.

What are some of the must-have features in your area? Share your thoughts and see how different each area is from one another.

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