The moment the Christmas and New Year festivities are behind us, thoughts start turning to Spring. It is a time of renewal, and many of us will be thinking of finally getting started on that project we have been contemplating for years – my recent project of converting a garage to a games room is a perfect example.
But whether it’s a garage conversion, a home extension, a new conservatory or a kitchen makeover, there is one common factor: Major works mean major disruption to the household. Here are some tips on how to minimize the pain and make your project run smoothly with a little bit of advance planning.
Play By The Rules
There are rules and building codes that govern a wide variety of renovation and construction projects, so take some time to find out what applies to you. If your home is designated as a historic one, the levels of bureaucracy could be even more significant. Being the owner of a historic property sounds amazing until you try to change some windows or add an extension. If you are changing the footprint of your home and live by the ocean, you will most likely have to get everything cleared by the Coastal Commission in addition to your local building department.
Sharing your living space with building contractors brings plenty of hazards with it. Try to create a demarcation between the home and the construction site, and be especially careful about keeping children and pets out of the way. If you typically have lots of visitors, make sure they are aware of the risks. Companies like mysafety sign provide all the warning noticed you might need – they could save you great deal of trouble further down the line. Children in particular are going to be curious and will want to see what is happening, so set some ground rules from the get go.
Think of the neighbors
You might be sharing your living space with the construction workers for a few weeks while the project takes place, but you will be living around your neighbors far longer. Let them know what is happening, treat them with consideration and make sure the workforce will do likewise. Agree suitable working hours before the project begins, so that everyone knows where they stand, and be mindful to ensure vehicles and materials do cause obstructions or block neighboring access. On occasion, some disruption will be inevitable – most people are perfectly understanding, as long as they are kept informed and asked in advance.
Get away from it all?
Sometimes it is better to get well out of the way, rather than try to live in a construction zone, particularly if it is a major project. This could be the ideal time to take the family on that spring break you’ve been talking about for years. There’s no doubt the work will progress much faster without trying to fit around family life. The only downside is that you won’t be on hand to supervise progress, so only do this if you know and trust the construction team enough to leave them to get on with the job without you there.