In 2016 homeowners spent a record-breaking $361 billion on home improvements according to this Realtor.com report. Remodeling your home has never been more popular than it is today! If you’re thinking of tackling your own project, you probably have many questions about what it will be like to live through the process. Well, look no further, we’ll share a few things here that you may not have thought of.
Can I live in my house while adding on?
Second only to “How much will this cost?”, one of the biggest questions we get is “Can I stay in my home during a remodeling project?” The short answer is, probably. Most home remodel’s do not require you to move out of your home during the project. This, of course, depends on how extensive your project is, and can also depend on whether or not you or someone in your family has any allergies. See below for more on indoor air quality.
Be aware that there may be times when your water or electric may need to be shut off, but this will typically only be for a few hours at a time, not days, at a time. And since it happens during working hours, many times you and your family won’t even be home when it does.
A phase of work that might require you to move out temporarily is hardwood floor finishing. If your project includes finishing new hardwood or refinishing existing floors, you may have to move out of your home for about a week, either because of a lack of access or because of the smelly finish materials used during that process. This usually happens very close to the end of the project, and heck, what better excuse do you need for a nice little vacation?
Oh yeah, all that furniture and décor in and around the areas of the project work, it has to go somewhere for a while. This can mean stuffing those items into another room, renting a portable storage unit, or moving them to an offsite storage facility. If packing things away in a storage unit is in your plans, you’ll want to consider that cost, and possibly moving costs, in your project budget.
Get the Lead Out
On April 22nd, 2010 the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Lead Repair, Remodeling, and Painting (LRRP) regulation went into effect across the country. Misunderstood by many, and completely unknown to others, this regulation impacts thousands of homes in the Greater Cincinnati Area. It’s a bit more than we want to get into here, and if you want to find out if it affects your home check out our in-depth blog about the specifics of this regulation. You can read that post here.
Unhealthy Indoor Air Quality
Along with the possibility of lead mentioned above, there are likely to be other dust and particles in the air during a remodel that have been lying undisturbed in your home for many years. No, we’re not saying you’re a bad housekeeper, we’re talking about dust that’s trapped behind cabinetry, trim, walls, etc. Stuff you can’t get to or even see today. This can mean dusty surfaces during the project, and potentially unhealthy air quality. Just like with normal dirt and dander, you won’t want to be breathing all that stuff that can be stirred up during construction. Before work starts, stock up on filters for your furnace and plan to change them weekly during the project. This will help catch more of the dust, and keep your HVAC system running smooth and efficiently.
To fight these new and old pollutants, check out our Indoor Air Quality Blog for some tips on how to keep your air clean and healthy for you and your family.
Making Decisions in Advance vs In the Heat of the Moment
Let’s face it, living through a remodeling project is going to upset your daily routines even when it runs perfectly. Why add the stress of someone telling you on Thursday that they need you to pick out a faucet by Friday morning because the plumber is coming to install it.
When you’re interviewing remodeling contractors for your project, be sure to ask how this important process is handled. With a well defined Design-Build process, you’ll be making your design decisions in a showroom with a designer, not running out at the last minute trying to keep things moving. Making decisions on the fly almost insures that you’ll have limited choices and end up over budget. Which one sounds more relaxing to you?
To avoid the stressful journey that most people associate with remodeling, we highly (and somewhat selfishly) recommend hiring a Design-Build firm. You’ll be able to get more of what you want in your budget, and living through the construction phase will be a lot more fun.
For more information check out our 10 Tip’s I Wish I Knew Before I Lived at Home During The Remodel.