Living with a renovation: Preparation, communication are key

Renovation projects can be very disruptive and stressful. If you are like most people renovating, you cannot easily vacate your home and must find ways to live alongside the work. Luckily, there are ways to prepare.

Communicating with your renovator is a big part of the process. Work with your renovator to draw up a project plan that best accommodates your family’s needs. Talk to your renovator about your household’s daily schedule, any vacations that you have planned and any special circumstances that need to be accommodated, so they can factor into the work plan and schedule for your project. This way, particularly disruptive or messy parts of the project, such as refinishing hardwood floors, can be arranged for when you are away or otherwise accommodated around your family’s schedule.

Make sure you discuss which parts of your house will be affected by your renovation project. Depending on factors, such as plumbing and wiring, your renovator and work crew may need access to more than just the immediate area being renovated. Clean out the places that will be affected by the renovation and consider removing valuables, such as art, temporarily, from other parts of your home that could be affected by vibration or dust.

Make a plan for how you will live in your home while it is under construction. For example, if your kitchen is being renovated, figure out where your temporary “kitchen” will be and what you need to make it work for your family. Plan and stock up on meals that can be easily prepared in your temporary kitchen. Look at how you might be able to use your small appliances and your barbecue to fill in for your oven. You will likely be without running water in your short-term kitchen, so make sure you consider how you will clean up after meals.

Depending on the scale of your project, you might want to rent storage space nearby or bring in a portable storage container. If you are storing things in boxes, be sure to label the boxes with an inventory so you can find things easily.

I encourage you to choose a RenoMark renovator. Visit to find one near you. RenoMark renovators are required to comply with the RenoMark Code of Conduct and provide a detailed written contract, offer a minimum one-year warranty on all work and carry a minimum of $2 million in liability insurance.

Living in your home while it’s being renovated will have its challenging moments, but careful preparation and clear communication with your RenoMark renovator will set you up for success.

David Wilkes is president and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and a contributor for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @bildgta


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