How To Survive Living Onsite During a Home Renovation


Congratulations! You’ve made the commitment to upgrade or renovate your home. You’ve hired the best certified and verified construction professionals available. Now comes the most challenging part of all – living in the messy chaos of a construction zone day in and day out.

Don’t worry! We’ve got some great tips to help you get through these trying days of sawdust, clutter and noise.

Prepare with Pre-Construction Meetings
Communication is the key to working with your general contractor and any subcontractors, architects, designers, etc. Clearly outline your expectations, wishes and concerns upfront. They can point out any areas of concern that could hinder your original design, like structural issues, electrical problems, plumbing concerns, etc. Together, you can adjust your plans before the hammer meets the first nail.

Also, confirm that everyone agrees on budgets. Surprises happen. So, go ahead and talk about scenarios that could impact costs, so that your professionals can get an idea of where you’re open to splurging on some things, and where you may choose to save others. Throughout the construction process, all major issues that will impact the budget should be approved by you before any work moves forward.


Plan Alternatives for Daily Life


When temporarily moving out of the space isn’t a possibility, be ready to relocate the spaces within your home. For example, if you’re renovating your kitchen, you may make your bedroom a makeshift cooking and pantry station with a microwave on your dresser and a portable refrigerator as your nightstand. If you’re renovating your bathroom, you might have to take your shower at the gym or at a friend’s house.


Set Expectations for the Crew


Establish daily schedules and communicate house rules up front. One suggestion is to designate a different “crew” entryway into the house. This will help keep the construction mess to a minimum, as well as reduce interruptions to workflow. If you will be away during the times that the crew must come and go, work directly with your main contractor to arrange secure entrance into your home. Do not freely give your keys and alarm codes to the entire crew.


Minimize the Mess with Plastic and Tape


Inevitably, your furniture, floors, ceiling fans and even air-ducts, will be covered with several inches of drywall dust, insulation, sawdust and more. Do yourself a favor and invest in plenty of plastic sheets and painter’s tape. You can section off the construction zone from the rest of your house to help keep your other living spaces as comfortable as possible.


Be Flexible and Patient, and Remember the Goal


Most likely you will encounter obstacles or surprises that cause delays to your timeline and/or changes the way you envisioned the final reveal. For instance, receiving damaged product, uncovering code violations, obtaining required permits or adjusting to budget restraints may impact your project. During these stressful times when you think you might lose your mind, take a minute to remember why you started the project in the first place. In the end, all of the struggles will be worth it!


Check Your Crew’s Clean-Up Plan


Ask your general contractor about his/her crew’s cleanup plan. You should expect them to clean up as they go, as well as performing one big sweep and wipe down of their work area at the end of each work day. On the other side of the plastic wall – where you’re tucked away from the home renovation projects – apply the same practice of wiping down furniture and sweeping floors everyday. Even the walls will start to collect inches of construction debris.


Renovation projects can certainly test our patience and stamina but ending up with your ideal home is usually worth it. Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying a brand new living space!




Christine Cleek


Broker, Owner

Rising Star Real Estate




2016 Voted in the TOP 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL



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Based on Client Reviews & Ratings!


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