How To Prepare for Your Home Renovation

7 Steps for a Homeowner – Before the Renovation Begins

You’ve done all your research, interviewed Edmonton contractors, made an educated decision on who you’ve decided to work with, the design & finishing selections have been finalized, you’ve gone through the contract process, and now it’s time. It’s finally time! You are a month away from the renovation to begin!

Is there something more you should be doing to get ready for this?

Yes, let’s break it down.

1. Get Comfortable with Chaos

Life isn’t perfect, and neither is going through a home renovation. There is really no point in sugar coating that, but you can certainly get comfortable with it.

If you’re about to embark on a major home renovation project, what you and your family are about to go through might be disruptive, chaotic at times, and you might experience stress at some point. Your routine will change, some of your belongings are not where you’re accustomed to them being, access to certain areas of your home will be restricted (if you’re even living there), the kitchen might be under construction, you may be limited to one bathroom for the whole family, etc. I recommend a family unit to be proactive. Have a meeting and inform your kids on what is about to happen. Home renovations can also be hard on relationships. Set aside some dedicated time to speak to your partner about it. If you begin this process knowing that things might get hard, you can be better prepared on how to navigate the stress and protect your relationship beforehand.

Think about the new space. This is temporary. You’ll get through this, and it’ll all be worth it!

2. The Big Purge

Over time, things accumulate in our homes. We all do it. Storage rooms get crowded, closets get stuffed, and the “I’ll find a place for this eventually” items begin to pile up throughout the house. Before a major renovation is the ideal opportunity and necessary time to purge!

Make 5 piles:

  • Donate
  • Recycle
  • Pack for storage
  • Sell
  • Garbage

Get the whole family involved and have fun with it. The Purge will likely take longer than you think. Once you start digging at the back of the storage room, the junk drawers, or the top shelves of closets, you’ll likely find things that you haven’t seen in a long time and the reminiscing will begin. You’ll be surprised at how much stuff you’ve been hanging onto that you no longer use or would like to bring it to the forefront of your daily life.

3. Security

Security is something that should always be taken seriously. At Adlyn Construction, security is adhered to by all members of our team. Strict compliance of all kinds is well known to all members of our team, whether it be our in-house crew, or our sub-trades.

  1. Contact your insurance company and alarm company. Inform them that you will be having home renovations done and that there will be a lot of workers in your house. Don’t forget to give them dates.
  2. If you have a security system, create a unique code for the general contractor and their team. Also make sure that all cameras are working properly.
  3. Change the exterior locksets on the doors so any key your general contractor and his team have in their lockbox, will only be useful during the renovation, or install a programmable keypad lockset. This is optional and can be done by your contractor.
  4. It is always a good idea to secure or remove any valuables from the house such as jewelry, cash, tangible investments, and prescription drugs.
  5. If you will be moving out of the house during the renovation and are unable to check in, because you are using this time to go on a vacation, arrange for a friend or neighbor to check in from time to time.

4. Eat!

Have you ever gone on vacation for a week or two and came home to a fridge full of spoiled food? Chances are that you have… we all have. If you are about to go through a renovation and will be temporarily relocating, you’ll want to eat as much of your perishables as possible. Makes sense, right? Even if you’ll be living there through a kitchen renovation, the fridge will be getting moved or replaced, so it’s best to get it as empty as possible first. You may also want to plan meals at this stage. Do you have a mini-fridge or garage fridge that you can utilize. Do you have a barbecue and propane for outdoor cooking? Perhaps a crockpot might even be useful. Will you be eating out a lot and have you included that in your budget? You may even have to change your grocery shopping habits and go more frequently due to a lack of pantry storage during your renovation. 

5. Relocate and/or Family Support

For most major home renovations, you will probably at some point, have to relocate. Maybe you’re going to stay at your in-laws, rent an Airbnb, go on vacation, or maybe you’re going to stay home throughout the renovation. If you’re planning on staying home, there still may be a period where the house will have to be vacant such as during asbestos abatement, mould remediation, or during spray foam insulation application. Don’t forget about your pets! Now is the time to make sure you have your accommodations booked and have triple checked the timeline with your contractor. You may also want to have a conversation with family and/or close friends regarding the possibility of leaning on them for showers or laundry. If you have the option to stay with family or friends during the home renovation, this can speed up time on our end and reduce disruption to your life.

6. Contingency

Address your finances a final time before the big project begins. It’s a good rule of thumb to add a 10% contingency fund for any discoveries that may come up, such as bad wiring, floor levelling, foundation cracks, or extras’s you might add during the renovation. It’s safe to say that nobody likes to hear the word, “extra’s”, but it’s a reality when it comes to home renovations. As thorough as we are when preparing a scope of work & contract, we do not have x-ray vision. We have a good idea how things are wired, framed, and plumbed before demolition begins, but until the drywall is removed, we really don’t know for sure what we might find. Being completely honest, I’m not sure that we’ve ever completed a large renovation without there being at least one change order somewhere during the project. We have made some interesting discoveries over the years, from illegal & dangerous wiring, screws in drainage plumbing pipes, hacked out floor joists, and cracked foundations among others. All these types of issues need to be addressed during the project and this is where the contingency fund is needed. Another reason is for client additions, which is known in the renovation world as “While We’re At It Syndrome”. While your home is under construction, now might be the time to do it.

7. Storage

Now that you have gone through everything, you will most likely have things that need to be stored until the renovation is complete. Where are you going to put all that stuff? In many cases, finding room in other areas of the house is an option, such as the basement, garage, stuffing the guest bedroom, or a combination of these. In other cases, for larger renovations such as a main floor or basement renovation, a storage unit may be required. We have utilized the services of PODS in the past. This is a storage & moving service that will drop off a steel container to your address, which can then be filled by you, and either left onsite for the duration of the renovation or hauled back to their secure storage facility.

There are other companies of similar services, such as Big Steel Box and Cubeit.Now that all your i’s are dotted and your t’s are crossed, it’s time to put your feet up and let Adlyn Construction and team take care of the renovation. You’ve prepared as best you can, and now it’s time to relax, continue collaborating with us, and look forward to your newly renovated home!

Download our Pre-Renovation Checklist PDF to help you simplify the process.