You’ve decided to move forward with your home renovation and we couldn’t be more thrilled for you!
Now that the contract is signed and construction has been scheduled, it’s easy to get excited about the prospect of flashy new design features, but don’t forget there’s a little more work to do to make sure your home is prepped and ready for your crew to arrive.
Follow these 5 steps to ensure your home is ready for the construction phase of your home renovation.
1. Prep Your Home
If you’ve chosen to renovate your entire home, you’ll need to put all of your furniture and belongings into storage. As you pack up, work room-by-room and label your boxes to find and relocate items easily once your renovation is complete. Cushion your valuables and take extra care when packing and placing those boxes in storage.
We recommend using your garage or renting a storage unit, as long as they’re temperature controlled to avoid heat or cold damage to your items throughout Calgary’s seasonal fluctuations.
Keep the items that you’ll need during the construction separate and easily accessible. There’s nothing worse than trekking over to your storage locker to find the one thing you need most is in the back, bottom box.
Partial Home Renovation
If you’ve chosen to remodel a couple of rooms instead of your whole home, you’ll need to section off those areas of your home.
Similar to a whole home renovation, you’ll want to pack room-by-room taking extra care to label your boxes or relocate everything into other, untouched rooms.
2. Make Arrangements to Move Out or Make Your Home Liveable During Your Renovation
Depending on the scope of your renovation you may need to move out for the construction phase or rearrange your home to make it livable.
If you need to move out during construction, think of where you’ll stay. This may be an optimal time to go on vacation, as long as you can be reached for progress reports by phone or email. Melanson Homes provides a monthly project schedule on our online portal for easy communication and scheduling updates.
Understanding how long you’ll need to be out of your home can help guide your decision.
While you’re speaking to your contractor about the length of your project, decide if it’s worth pausing your internet, telephone and cable/satellite services while you’re displaced. Utilities like running water, electricity and heat may need to be left on, so coordinate with your team to devise the best course of action.
If it’s possible for you to stay in your home during construction, be mindful of the noise, foot traffic and dust that may come with the crew being in your home. Your contractor can make suggestions on how to best section off your home and may even hang plastic dividers in between rooms to reduce the mess.
Once you have your home divided between the construction zone and living areas, look at how you’ll use your home. If you’re redoing your kitchen, you may need access to a fridge, hot plate and microwave.
If your main bathroom is on the docket, think about how you’ll shower or use the facilities. Is there another one you can access or does this make your home unlivable?
Ask yourself these questions upfront and be prepared to make arrangements before construction begins.
3. Notify Your Neighbours
Construction can be loud and disruptive when you’re living in your home during construction, so imagine how it must be for your neighbours. And let’s face it, they’re not the ones who come out the other end with a home makeover.
To ensure your neighbourhood remains neighbourly, give them a heads up about the start of your construction. Let them know there will be noise, traffic and crews working on your home, and offer to keep them up-to-date on the progress and timelines for when they can expect everything to return to the status quo.
You can work out the details with your contractor, but most companies are open to working within certain business hours to respect your community. Getting to know your crew beforehand, like with our Trade Knowledge Day, can help open lines of communication and mitigate any issues that may arise with your neighbours.
4. Contact Your Insurance Company
Home insurance may be something you set up, pay your bills as they come about and then forget about until if and when you need to make a claim. But before construction, you’ll want to give them a call and let them know your home will be undergoing a renovation.
How can a renovation impact your insurance coverage? It can:
- Change your home’s replacement value
- Change your occupancy status — if you’re out of your home for an extended period of time it may change your policy
- Reduce your risk for liability by repairing potentially hazardous areas within your home
- Reduce premiums on older homes by repairing their structural integrity
- Increase your defence against common hazards (like replacing a roof, preventing leaking)
What your insurance company wants you to know beforehand?
- You’ll need to carry full home coverage during your renovation
- You may need to do a reassessment of your home’s value after construction is complete
- Ensure your contractor has their own insurance for liability to protect you against claims from the workers on site
- Make sure you have the proper permitting in place, while your contractor may do this for you, it’s ultimately your responsibility to make sure it’s secured
- Consider if your policy needs to cover theft or vandalism on the construction materials
- If you’re doing major structural changes, you may need to change your policy to include “building under construction” coverage
Above all, make sure you’ve read and understood all of the fine print on your insurance policy. Ask any and all questions before your contractor and their crew get started. And don’t forget to contact your insurance provider once again when your renovation is complete!
5. Schedule Milestones
To keep all lines of communication open throughout the renovation process, understand when you should be checking in with your contractor and when you can expect to hear from them.
In between regular check-ins, they may need to contact you about unexpected items that have arisen throughout construction. Responding quickly to phone calls or emails will help move your renovation move along smoothly and keep you on budget and on time.
As your team aims to be as efficient as possible, they can keep you updated with expected completion dates so you can make arrangements to move back in or pull your items out of storage.
You’re Ready for Construction
Once you’ve run through this checklist and checked in with your contractor for any additional items they may suggest, you’re ready to move into construction.