How to Prepare for Your Home Addition Project

Preparation helps major home improvement projects flow smoothly from start to finish, resulting in quality work and enhanced value for your dollar. The stages of preparation for a home addition project cover everything from property matters to neighbors, family members and budget. Make sure to check off each step as you move forward, and ensure a smooth home addition project.

Preparing the Property

Nearly every corner of your property will be affected by a home addition project, from the connecting walls to the landscaping and entryways. Prepare your property to reduce disruption and maintain a semblance of order throughout construction.

Take care of any necessary landscaping tasks, since the contractors will leave little room for your lawnmower and gardening equipment. Cut the grass and clear out the gardens in the area. Trim nearby trees and put away patio furniture, toys and other outdoor accessories that may get in the way. Think about the path contractors will need to take from road to site and keep the surrounding area clear. This provides a safer, more efficient workspace for all subcontractors and delivery drivers.

Think about the interior of your home as well. Home additions result in quite a bit of moving and shaking in a house structure. Clear all breakable items from the immediate vicinity and considering securing artwork and furniture in the balance of your home, just in case. As the contractors cut through the existing wall and work between the two spaces to create a seamless connection, movement can result in damage to fragile items.

Stay in the House or Move Out?

If you have the ability to move out during renovations, think about whether or not to exercise this option. Many families can simply shift day-to-day living into another area of the house, but when your home addition takes over the kitchen or main bathroom, moving out may make sense.

Your contractor will need access to services such as electricity and water, and connections may disrupt those services before workers break through into the existing living space. Plan for alternative power if possible, such as a portable generator for the contractors, but you can still expect some interruptions in your power and water supply.

Staying home will help to control renovation costs, but the inconvenience and unhealthy atmosphere of major home improvement projects exact emotional and physical costs on family members of any age. Weigh your options. It may be more feasible to close off a portion of your home and live exclusively in the balance—avoiding the cost of hotels and the inherent inconveniences. But the safety and comfort of your family is worth the additional investment of a hotel, especially when that expense fits into the budget.

Dealing With Dust

Dust triggers allergies and respiratory problems, as well as leaving a mess in your home. And dust is the natural product of home renovations. Prepare for this nasty occurrence by hanging high quality poly sheets in entrances and doorjambs around the work site. Contractors may do this in the immediate vicinity, but it helps to spread that protection even further.

Remove unnecessary household accessories and cover furniture you're not planning to use. These steps will help to retain your furniture in peak condition and cut back on cleaning chores throughout the project. Air cleaners also help to keep the balance of your house dust-free, ideal for bedrooms and living spaces.

Preparing Your Family

Emotional preparation is an important step in the pre-renovation stage, ensuring that every member of your family is ready for the upheaval and change. Large-scale renovations like home additions take time, and having realistic expectations about that time helps to make the process smoother.

Always keep the benefits of your home improvement project at the forefront; this allows your family to work through challenges and changes during the demolition and construction stages. You'll need to share space with virtual strangers as contractors and subcontractors complete the work in and around your home. It's especially important to ensure that small children feel safe and understand where they can and cannot wander in or near the work area.

Talk to your contractor about work time and schedules, in order to let your family know when to expect workers to arrive. It may also be a good idea to discuss these details with your neighbors and let them know about 7am start times and the sounds of power tools and air compressors. Some contractors will write a work-time clause directly into the contract, other will simply come when it's convenient. Consider this important factor when hiring a home addition contractor.

Storing Materials

Many homeowners save money by purchasing their preferred materials pre-renovation, asking the contractor to install these bathroom fixtures, kitchen elements and other building materials during the project. If you are thinking about this route or already have items purchased for your home addition, be sure to find a secure storage location.

Contractors often pack up their tools and leave the jobsite fairly empty at the end of each day. But homeowners need to be aware that their homes are vulnerable during an addition project, and take steps to improve security. Avoid storing any valuables in the vicinity, and consider providing a locking shed or access to a garage for the contractor's building materials and larger equipment.

Another issue that may arise involves hygiene. Ask your contractor whether a portable toilet will be brought onto your property, in order to reduce the traffic in and out of your own bathroom and improve efficiencies. If the contractor is not taking care of this detail, be sure to book a portable toilet and keep your receipt.

Handling these important steps of preparation well before your home addition project starts is wise and helps to enhance your home improvement investment. Prepare the property and your family by dealing with dust and deciding whether or not to move out during construction. These decisions and actions will ensure your project is successful and an attractive, valuable home addition is constructed on your property.

Posted by: diana
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