A few years ago, my parents decided to re-model our home. With a home re-model comes excitement, fresh ideas, and new beginnings. You get to go through all hardware, department, and paint stores (the works) and re-create your home from a blank canvas. Although, living in the home that you are remodeling, through the holiday’s, is much more difficult than it appears. Especially when you are completely renovating your kitchen, and all you have to cook your food in is a microwave. Here are a few tips and ideas that I wish someone had shared with my parents and I as we "lived" through re-modeling our home. Listed below are my top seven tips:
1. Plan Ahead: Each day a new piece of the puzzle will be added to your renovation. Your electrician might pop in and say, "I’m ready to install your fixtures, where are they"? Save yourself the mild heart attack, and plan ahead to get everything you need. You never know when someone will pop in and need something.
2. Be Flexible: Any kind of construction is going to take time, and you will hit road blocks. In my personal experience, it took our cabinets twice as long to be installed than we had anticipated, and it pushed everything back. We had a home full of appliances with nowhere to install them which leads me to my next suggestion..
3. Plenty of Storage: You can NEVER have too much storage during a live-in renovation. When you have ginormous boxes filled with new appliances, you want to have somewhere to store them where you know they will be well kept and out of the way of workers coming in and going. I cannot express how hard it was to move and re-move our boxed appliances while waiting for them to be installed as other workers came through.
4. Beware of Your Health: In my personal home reno, we had walls knocked out, and paneling removed. Therefore, we had drywall put up and new paint jobs. When the drywall is being done, be sure that all of the exposed areas are confined those rooms are blocked off from the rest of the home. You may do this by having plastic sheets hung to barricade. However, be assertive in knowing that the dust will disperse from shoes of those spraying the drywall. If you have any health concerns, wear a mask and/or take allergy pills to prevent sickness.
5. Wear Shoes at all times: When you are in your home, you would think going shoeless is completely normal, but in a home reno, it is vital that you have shoes on at all times. You could easily step on something that was accidently dropped by a contractor, etc. Be safe rather than sorry!
6. Label Everything: Remodeling a kitchen is much harder than it appears as you keep so much more in your cabinets than you probably even remember. We searched for weeks after our reno for utensils and smaller appliances that we stuffed in boxes that we "thought" we would remember where we put them.
7. Pets: If you have pets living in the home during your remodel, it is important to take all the precautions of their safety. Keep them away from the area of the renovation for their safety.
My last piece of advice to you is to enjoy the chaos because it is definitely worth it in the end! Good luck and happy renovating!
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House to House is distributed weekly by the Arkansas REALTORS® Association. For more information on homeownership in Arkansas, readers may visit www.ArkansasRealtors.com.