Property Pros: Tips On Living Through A Remodel

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This is a sponsored column by Jim Muldoon, a Northern Virginia native, Arlington resident and one of the real estate and remodeling experts at Legacy Home Improvement Consultants. Legacy HIC is your source for all real estate and home improvement needs. Please email with any questions or topics you would like covered.

Right before most construction projects begin there is the excitement about the project, but also the anxiety of living through it. The end product is always very important, but equally important is my client’s experience during this process. Living through construction does not have to be uncomfortable. Here are some tips to improve your experience.

Start with your schedule. Figure out what time construction can start without disrupting your morning routine. At the end of the day, you want to be able to wind down. Always factor in clean up and organizing construction material into the time you want everything done in your home. I recommend using an electronic lockbox to give your contractor accessibility to a key on the door you want them using. Most will let you program the days and times that your keys can be accessed. You can also make different pins for different people so you can track on the digital log who has accessed the lockbox and at what time. Giving accessibility to your contractor will go a long way towards keeping your regular schedule and not being handcuffed to the project.

Designate areas for construction use. Let your contractor know where he can park. In your home, find the most direct path from the construction site to an area outside that can be used for cutting, sawing, and storing construction material. Carports and garages are the most common areas. Some materials, like hardwood, require a certain amount of time being at room temperature before they can be installed so an area in the home might be necessary. Along that path, designate a bathroom to use. Remove all the personal items you can from these areas so they don’t get damaged. Designating areas for you and your family is helpful as well. Checking on progress is important, but the more you go through the construction areas the more chance dust will appear.

Discuss with your contractor his plans for controlling the construction zones. Plastic zip walls are great for keeping dust and debris in. They tend to limit foot traffic as well. I like to use extra air filters on the hvac returns and change them frequently. Use carpet protection adhesive for your carpeted areas and ram board on hard floor surfaces that run to and from the designated construction areas. I like to schedule professional cleaners throughout the process. Everyday the site should be cleaned and organized, but no matter how clean a company is some dust escaping is inevitable.

Setting up ways to stay in the loop that works for you and your contractor should be established as well. We like to use web based platforms like Co-Construct, but setting up a Google Drive is free and effective. Having a central location where updates, progress, and questions can all be addressed will take a ton of stress off your shoulders.

These are the basics that have really worked well for my clients. If you have more specific questions about setting up your home for construction email me at [email protected].

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