Minimize Remodeling Chaos
A major remodeling or renovation is by definition a messy and
disruptive process. Walls come down, windows are torn out,
cabinets yanked--you get the picture. Although you have to break
a few eggs to make an omelet, there's no need for your project to
completely turn your life upside-down. Better Homes and Gardens
Magazine recently offered these survival tips for keeping the
dust, confusion and odors at bay.
First of all, it might be wise to simply escape and stay away
from home most of the time. Find refuge with a relative or
friend, or motel room. You'll at least be able to count on a
good night's sleep, hot meals and a shower every day. But make
sure your home away from home is close enough to allow frequent
inspections of the contractor's work. Improvise if you must stay
at home, by converting a bedroom to a temporary kitchen (thank
heaven for microwaves) or bringing in bottled water.
Next, keep the mess under control. Talk to your contractor about
moving waste out as quickly as possible--don't let it accumulate
around the porch or garden. Give special attention
to keeping sensitive areas clean. Hang plastic drop cloths or
tarps to keep dust contained in areas under renovation. If
wooden or linoleum floors are susceptible to scratching or
scarring, make sure they are covered.
Don't expose yourself unnecessarily to fumes. Find out when
glues, finishes or other noxious materials will be applied, so
you can make a point of leaving at the strategic moment. For
safety's sake, ventilate the house thoroughly during and after
Safeguard sensitive property. There's nothing like fine
construction dust for permeating valuable items like electronics.
Furniture, computers, stereos and the like should be covered or,
better yet, removed. Unplug the telephone and store it somewhere
away from the dust.
Keep talking to your contractor. Develop a remodeling plan and
stick to it. The more you change course midstream, the more
headaches you'll create from service disruptions and waste
problems. The idea is to avoid mistakes, misunderstandings, and
cost overruns by making your expectations clear at the outset,
and keeping the lines of communication open throughout the