How To Prepare for Your Home Renovation

7 Steps for a Homeowner – Before the Renovation Begins

Are you excited for your basement renovation? Now that you’ve done your research, interviewed Edmonton contractors, made an educated decision on who to work with, finalized your design and finishing selections, and gone through the contract process, it’s time. It’s finally time! You’re a month away from the renovation to begin!

But are you really ready for this? Is there more to do and consider before things get started?

Yes! Let’s break it down.

1. Get Comfortable with Chaos

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, home renovations are very disruptive. There is really no point in sugar coating that, but you can certainly try to get comfortable with it.

If you’re about to embark on a major home renovation project, you and your family will need to expect disruption, chaos at times, and even stress at some point. Your routine will change, some of your belongings will not be where you’re accustomed to them being, access to certain areas of your home will be restricted (if you’re even living there), your kitchen might be under construction, and you may be limited to one bathroom for the whole family, just to name a few things. We suggest you have a family meeting and inform your kids or others in the home what is about to happen. 

Home renovations can also be hard on relationships. It’s usually helpful to 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.

It helps to think about the new space to come and to remember chaos 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 starting your major renovation, take the opportunity to purge. 

The most common purging technique is to separate your “stuff” into 5 piles or bins:

  1. Donate
  2. Recycle
  3. Pack for storage
  4. Sell
  5. Garbage

Get the whole family involved and have fun with it. It will likely take longer than you think, so make sure to set aside lots of time to do this. 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 you haven’t seen in a long time which can lead to endless reminiscing. Resist the urge to overthink or story tell while purging. You may never finish if you go down that road. 

You’ll be surprised at how much stuff you’ve been hanging onto that you no longer use. You may even find things you want to bring to the forefront of your daily life. Whatever your decision, put in the appropriate pile/bin and move on.

3. Security

No matter how much you trust your Edmonton home renovation contractor, security is something that should always be taken seriously. Although we at Adlyn Construction have NEVER had any issues with theft or privacy breaches of any kind, we still strongly encourage that you take the following security measures before a home renovation. This is more applicable to opportunists that see there is work being done in your (potentially) vacant home, then worries of contractor theft. 

  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 external door so any key your general contractor and team have in their lockbox, will only be useful during the renovation. An alternative is to install a programmable keypad lockset. This is optional and can be done by your contractor.
  4. Lock up 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, for example if you go on a vacation, arrange for a friend or neighbor to check in from time to time.

As mentioned above, we have never had any security concerns in our 15 years of business, but we can’t speak for any other general contractors. We trust our crew like we trust our family, but security cannot be ignored.

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 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 in the home through a kitchen renovation, the fridge will be moved or replaced, so it’s best to empty it as much as possible. 

If you are going to eat at home during the renovation process, you should consider meal planning. You will need to consider how to store food, and how to cook it. Having a mini-fridge or garage fridge, an outdoor barbecue or a crockpot can be helpful. If cooking seems be too difficult and you plan to eat out a lot, make sure to include that in your budget. You may even have to change your grocery shopping habits and go more frequently due to a lack of storage during your renovation. 

5. Relocate and/or Family Support

For most major home renovations, you will probably want to relocate. Consider staying at your in-laws, renting an Airbnb, or going on vacation. If you decide to stay home throughout the renovation, there may still be times when you will need to vacate. For example, you may need to leave 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.

6. Contingency

You should be prepared for any issues that may arise during a renovation. Unplanned issues can derail a project. Keep your stress down by addressing your finances a final time before the big project begins. 

We always recommend a 10% contingency fund for any extra’s that may come up. 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 and 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. 

In almost every large renovation project, there is at least one change order somewhere during the process. We have made some interesting discoveries over the years, from illegal & dangerous wiring, screws in plumbing, hacked out floor joists, and cracked foundations among others. All these types of issues need to be addressed during the project and is why we always suggest a contingency fund. 

A contingency fund can also be used for client additions, commonly known as “While We’re At It Syndrome”. It makes sense to add things while the home is already under construction, but these cost money. A contingency can take the stress out of finding cash to make these changes.

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 garage, a guest bedroom, or a combination of these. In the cases of a larger renovation, like a full 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 and 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 that offer 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. 

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