You really can continue to live in your home during renovation. However, you must know that it can be quite stressful living in those conditions. There will be lots of dust, debris, tools, workers, and even machinery that will significantly limit the accessible space for you and your family. It does require lots of patience, planning, and even a few take-out meals to survive. Take heart, and don’t stress out too much- there really is a light at the end of this dust filled tunnel. What is that, you ask? You will have a newly renovated space to enjoy once this is all over.
Have a serious talk with the project manager and lay out the ground rules for the project. Let the crew know immediately of your rules. Tell them of any designated smoking areas, usable entrances, and parking areas. Tell the project manager the earliest and latest working hours allowed to avoid any problems. Also inform him if there are any off limits areas.
Move your furniture and accessories out of the construction areas in order to protect them. Section off the area with plastic sheeting. If you can’t move it, then cover any nearby electronics, furniture and air vents in nearby rooms to protect them from the construction dust. If the remodel is in your kitchen, make sure you have a temporary kitchen set up in an area you will always have access to. If the renovation is outside, make sure to cover or move plants. Always make sure children and pets stay out of the construction area.
Do your best to plan ahead- discuss what you can expect each day with the project manager. If the crew will be using any strong smelling materials such as finishes or glues, you may want to take a day trip with the family or even stay in a motel for the night. You’ll also likely want to relocate your pets in this case. Know in advance if they plan to shut off water and/or electricity. Paying attention to details will eliminate any surprises.
Always exercise patience and flexibility. Your home is not going to be spotless during the basement renovation and things never go as smoothly as you plan for them to. It’s great to have the potential schedule in place, but understand that delays will happen- and chances are, it will take longer than originally planned.
Make sure you’re always available- consider getting a cell phone or a pager for them to reach you on when you’re not home. Though most of the details were ironed out ahead of time, there could be some things that come up and require an on the spot decision.